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Tuesday 10 April 2012

Breaking down borders

Like most young people, 28 year-old Frenchman Clement Esso loves to travel. But Clement's motivation to see the world comes from a very different place.

Witnessing racism borne out of ignorance and misinformation spurred Clement to establish 'Out of Borders,' a website which records his journey to discover the world on a deeper level than the well-worn tourist path.

"When I decided to come to Australia I didn't just want to go for a holiday, I wanted to add something serious," he said.

"I decided to try to show all the stereotypes we have and all the cliches we know about different cultures and people are based on ignorance or just wrong ideas which might lead to racism.

"What I want is to show what I see and how people really live."

A software engineer by trade, Clement said it was a sense of boredom that made him question what he wanted to achieve in his life.

"When I realised that I could not decide what I was doing with my life and I had to work from 9 to 5 from Monday to Friday I wanted to escape from that."

Watch the brilliant video where Clement tries to explain to his friend Jeremy the purpose of his visit to Australia (some course language).

Clement said his homeland is not immune from racism, and recent events where a Muslim man killed four military personnel, three children, and a rabbi will only escalate the problem.

"I live it every day in France. Being black you can feel things, you can see things that people may try to hide but you can catch it.

"They killer said he killed the military men because of France's presence in Afghanastan, and he killed Jewish people because of Israel action in Palestine.

"But what he didn't think about is the other victims of his acts are the Muslims in France."

While in our region, Clement was keen to delve into the local Indigenous and sporting cultures.

"We know much about the black Americans because we learn it at school, but over here with the aboriginal people we don't know much so that's why I want to go and meet them and talk to them on the subject.

"With sport I have two points. The first is to try and understand the Australian culture through sports.

"I'm not sure I'll try to play Australian Football because I'm kind of afraid, but surfing or rugby or sports I know I'll try to play to understand the philosophy of the games here.

"Secondly, through understanding that philosophy you understand more of the culture of the country."

If you'd like to see more of, or help sponsor Clement's Out of Borders project visit the Opens external link in new windowwebsite.

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