Artist Date: A coffee with la Môme

houillesLights flickered. The quiet gasps of the public surrounded us as we sat down at the theater, trying to make the least noise possible. I looked around to  find the theater almost empty, yet the view on the stage was mesmerizing: Up on stage a tiny and frail woman moved frantically as she impersonated “Padam Padam” by Edith Piaf. Her voice and the  quiet yet lovely sound of an accordion brought me back to a street three years ago, where a 17 year old girl got lost in the Parisian metro, holding on to her map with dear life as she fell asleep on her way home.

Edith Piaf, ever since I was exposed to her music in sixth grade English class, has always been a sort of like an omen to what Paris, and its streets have meant to me. I would’ve never thought that four years later I would end up living in a small Parisian suburb called Houilles , which stands for coal in French, and which was trapped in between the très chique society of Maisson Laifitte and rural areas next to the Seine. In that tiny suburb I lived with a lovely French family who had three kids and a cat. They taught me what it meant to eat cheese after dinner, that one only has Coke as an appéritif, and that a ride around the North part of Normandie with your windows down is perhaps the best feeling in the world. I did not experience Paris the usual way tourists do. I experienced how the immigrant crisis was affecting the public school system, and how the myriad of cultures clashed perfectly in the heart of the tiny suburb, creating a perfect mix of boulangeries and kebab places where you could get the best of both worlds. I was blessed to experience the marvelous French country  side way up North, “chez les ch’tis” (an expression to call people living in the frontier with Belgium), where my French father was from. His family were farmers, and their 200 year old house is perhaps one of the most captivating places in the globe. The smell of wet wood and bread lingered every morning as I woke up to the alarm of the coffee pot, and took a quiet bath, observing the farmhouse through the window.

A high note struck the beginning of another song, “La vie en rose”, as the actress swayed and danced around the lighted stage. The trumpets lured me into the quiet afternoons at the veranda back at my french home, surrounded by my siblings Laetitia,Antoine, and Marie. A smiled broke the silence that was quieting me into an ellipsis of memory, as I remembered that I had to clap, as the actress looked straight ahead the audience, signaling that the memoir, of the little sparrow, or  môme in French was levitating to a distant “rue”, next to la Seine where a 17 year old girl walked in the midst of rain and a lingering memory of  Baudelaire stuck in her mouth.


The reality of the Creative Commons “freedom” to create and safeguard content in the web

Tonight, as I was browsing through the Creative Commons website I was struck by various elements of its mission, history, and elements it gives. First of all, the element that most struck was its history. Created in 2001 with the support of the Center for the Public Domain, Creative Commons is currently lead by a Board of Directors which constitutes of ” thought leaders, education experts, technologists, legal scholars, investors, entrepreneurs and philanthropists. ” (Web, Creative Commons, n.d). It explains that its main mission is not only to obviously protect original material from plagiarism, but it is also seeking to provide a broader ranger of educative and creative materials for the public with readily access, all within the desired author’s conditions. Further on, it also explains that it has sought to eliminate barriers for research and technological innovation, all which seemed to be quite ideal and futuristic. From a broad view of the website which contains the information about its history and mission, it all seems to work out perfectly. People or enterprises who are seeking to publish their work, and protect it from people who may benefit from it illegally or without their public consent. As the article I read pointed out, it may be particularly beneficial for artists, musicians, photographers, or people who are creating content to use it to avoid other people from benefiting illegally from their work, publishing it as their own. Even more so, if as the website alleges, has had massive media platforms like You Tube join its “partners” to make these licenses in the releasing of work mandatory.

When it came to determining the license I was going to use for this blog, I first read about the licenses, and what each of them entailed. After some consideration I decided to opt for the “Free Cultural Approved for Works” license. However, when it came to defining and understanding the terms of this license is when I found the possible gray areas of Creative Commons, and how these may act as a mask for the apparent “freedom” and wider outreach it promotes.

If not applied correctly, any body who uses a Creative Commons license may be subject to using copyrighted material without even being aware of it.   I found it also to be quite confusing regarding the terms, agreements, and procedures one must follow when using CC protected material, and found that even though the Creative Commons idea skeleton is quite “avant-garde” and promotes a safe environment for creativity, if not done clearly, and safely monitored, can turn into a quite confusing mess of legal terms, insufficient licenses and restrictions.

Read more on the pro’s and con’s of Creative Commons here:

The Unnamed, 2003,
The Unnamed, 2003,

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