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The rise of populism in developed countries

May 4, 2017

This year a lot of presidential elections occurred and we can notice that populism rises a lot in the different votes. First of all, I will define the term “populism”.  We hear by “populism” the criticism of the elite (political, social…) and the fact of being as close as possible to the people. Moreover, populists are against all kinds of coalition such as the European Union. They are protectionist despite the context of globalization, they  focus on their own countries.

Populism rises for many reasons. First of all, people are afraid of the situation in the Arabic countries, thus they are also scared about terrorism and Islam.  Another explanation could be that some of them cannot bear the cleavage right/ left anymore. In France, with this second turn the desire to overcome this original cleavage, is obvious. In fact, this second turn confronts Emmanuel Macron, who is the former Minister of Economy and who has just created his “movement” (this is not a real party). He plays on the fact that he chose the good aspects of both right (capitalist) and left (socialist). And on the other hand Marine Le Pen who is an extreme right wing and who plays on fear and on patriotism.  She is in favor of closing the borders.

Some countries made the choice of populism: this is the case of the United States who elected Donald Trump who wants to create a wall between his state and Mexico in order to fight against migrants. However, populists are not necessarily from the extreme right. Melenchon, for instance, is at the extreme left of the political chessboard. He doesn’t want to close the borders or to leave the European Union (even if he wants to modify it) but he expresses his desire to leave NATO.

Even though  populism rises, in some European countries it didn’t pass ; for example, in the Netherlands Geert Wilders (who is against islam) failed against Mark Rutte who comes from the right liberals. In addition, in Austria, the presidential elections were very fierce and though the scores were very close, populism finally didn’t win.

Currently, being a populist is no longer seen as shameful. Thus, in France people who voted for Jean-Marie Le Pen used to hide it because it was not well perceived.  But since Marine Le Pen succeeded in changing the image of this party (FN), she is not seen as a racist anymore. Indeed, she  wants to be considered as the “candidate of the people”.

Consequently, we will see in a few days if populism wins in France or not.



Chocolate cake

April 28, 2017

My mum’s chocolate cake is probably one of the best things I had during my childhood. She used to prepare it every Wednesday, because after school, we could invite one or two friends to share lunch. It is very quick to prepare and very tasty, yum !

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "gateau au chocolat"

Here is the recipe :

Ingredients :

To prepare this cake, you will need :

  • 200g of bitter dark chocolate (70%)
  • 4 eggs
  • 250g of sugar
  • 125g of flour
  • 25 cl of (sour) cream

Preparation (10-15 min) :

First of all, melt the chocolate in a bain-marie. While it is melting, you can mix the eggs and the sugar in a bowl.  Then, add the melted chocolate, and mix it well. Add the flour and mix it until you get a nice and unctuous batter. Then, you can add the cream and mix it. Butter a cake tin, and bake your cake in the oven at 180° C. Wait for about 25 min and your cake is ready ! It is excellent eaten hot or cold. I like adding some vanilla ice cream on top of it, but you can mix it differently !

Bon appétit !


Le Procope

April 27, 2017

Le Procope is one of the oldest restaurants in Paris, which was created in 1686 by Francesco Procopio, a Sicilian immigrant. He arrived in France in 1670 and named his restaurant after his own name. The place quickly became very popular, particularly with the great literary figures of that time.

The philosophers Voltaire and Rousseau used to often go to the restaurant, and their respective tables still remain today. Other philosophers such as Diderot and Montesquieu went to the Procope. The legend says that Benjamin Franklin wrote some articles of the American Constitution in this restaurant.  During the French Revolution in 1789, a lot of revolutionaries went to this place, such as Danton, Marat and Robespierre. This is where the Phrygian cap was first exhibited. Rumor has it that Napoleon I, when he was a soldier, gave his hat in exchange for a coffee in the restaurant. That hat is still exposed at the entry of the restaurant. The Romantics used to go a lot to this place, such as Victor Hugo, Alfred de Musset and Théophile Gauthier. After that, a lot of literary figures went to this place, such as the poet Verlaine, or Anatole France.

Now, the Procope is a beautiful restaurant full of history with a lot of revolutionary documents, paintings and pictures of important figures of the French history and literature. It is a lovely place, and the food tastes amazing. It is an incredible experience to have, being in a place where so many important people went.


Chanel Fashion Show Autumn-Winter 2017

March 29, 2017

#ChanelGroundControl. The hashtag printed on the invitations set the tone of what was going to be the next Chanel show. Karl Lagerfeld made a rocket take off under the glass roof of the Grand Palais for a  Chanel fashion show strong in glitter, metallic surfaces and astronaut prints. Karl Lagerfeld seems to have been inspired by the spationaut Thomas Pesquet for the Chanel autumn-winter 2017-2018 fashion show, which was held Tuesday, March 7 in Paris, at the Grand Palais. From the launch center N ° 5, the guests were embarked on a one-way trip to the stars. Around an immense rocket, sixties babydolls with the appearance of pretty cosmonauts presented the pieces of the collection ready-to-wear autumn-winter 2017-2018 designed by Karl Lagerfeld.


Unlike the futuristic style of Courrèges or Cardin inspired in the 1960s by travels to the Moon, the models’ outfits were nothing revolutionary but managed to evoke the journey into space in full respect of the Chanel codes.The prints offer a space journey: patterns of cosmonauts passed on X-rays as well as skillfully polarized planets affixed on the muslin of an evening gown or on the fine mesh of a sweater round collar. Quilted and enveloping sets, stoles, also padded and iridescent, like survival covers were wrapped around the models.

And for the classicists, there were essence-of-Chanel tweed suits aplenty, albeit worn over strange little tweed shorts. What’s not to love about an impeccably cut ivory wool pea-coat (for most Chanel clients, that means it will be a perfect fit) or a black mohair jacket piped in white? The closer you looked (tricky as Chanel’s grand spectacles place even the front row some distance from the action), the more there was for Chanel aficionados to wear.


The winter bermuda takes advantage of all this fleece to make a remarkable return; Quilted, leather, tweed, under skirts, suits, associated with glittery tights … It creeps in everywhere, imposes itself like the neo-skirt and matches perfectly with the high boots almost completely covered with glitter. Black tips and heels, declined in gray, pink and gold pay tribute to the iconic Chanel pump shoes; a tribute that is not surprising as the brand celebrates its sixtieth anniversary this year. A small step for some, a big step for the fashion sphere. The pivotal modernity might have been the twist done to  stand-up collars, or pencil skirts which were turned into minidresses.

Vanessa Paradis and her daughter Lily-Rose Depp responded favorably to the invitation as well as her first-class neighbors Cara Delevingne and Pharrell Williams, but also actresses Clotilde Hesme, Elodie Bouchez (seen at the beginning of the Fashion Week at the Saint Laurent fashion show), Karidja Touré, Ludivine Sagnier, Marie-Ange Casta and Mathilde Warnier, and the director Sofia Coppola. Models Alice Dellal, Audrey Marnay, Caroline Maigret, Erin Wasson and Lottie Moss, and singers Lily Allen and Rita Ora completed the prestigious list of guests at the Chanel “take-off center”.


The Chanel Fashion Show was Cara’s first proper public appearence of her newly platinum blonde hair- a big moment, I think we can all agree. Proving her inimitable sense of personal style is as keen as ever, Delevingne is cleverly juxtaposing Supreme shorts (the stuff of teen boys’ dreams) with a prim Chanel cardigan and slack white trousers.


Rihanna receiving the Harvard Humanitarian award 2017

March 27, 2017

Each year, the Harvard Foundation of Harvard University presents the Humanitarian Award to an individual whose works have served to improve the quality of our lives and have inspired us to greater heights.  This award is given in the name of the Reverant Professor Peter J. Gomes, Plummer Professor and Minister in Harvard’s Memorial Church, and is authorized by the Dean of Harvard College and the President of Harvard University.

This year, the singer and philanthropist Rihanna was chosen to receive this prize. Indeed, in 2006 Rihanna found the organization Believe which aims to help children all around the world. The organization provides education, financing and medical support when and where children need it. Each year the organization permits the healing of 10 000 people in need of transplant for the bone marrow.

In the speech she made at Harvard, she reminds us of her origins; indeed she is from the Barbados and her grandmother was taken away by cancer. That’s why she donated more than 3.5 million of Barbadian dollars to the cancer service of the Queen Elizabeth hospital and the service took the name of her grandmother. She visited the hospital several times and sometimes with Prince Harry of England.

Apart from this, she often gives charity shows like in 2013 to collect funds after the tornado in the Philippines. She also participated in campaigns about the Global Warming. Last year, she tweeted the French President François Hollande about a letter she sent to him dealing with the subject of education in the world.

The ceremony for the award of Humanitarian of the year took place in a conference council at Harvard and several people spoke. First, the Reverant of the college who said a prayer for the assembly. Then, four students made speeches in honor of Rihanna and her commitment in the humanitarian cause. After  the songs of the choir, the President of Harvard and its foundation gave her the prize introducing her with a short speech in her honor. In her speech, the famous singer  reminded us of the importance of being a humanitarian and of helping people in need no matter if you are rich or not. She also insisted on the honor it was for her to receive this award, but still by being funny as she started her speech by saying “Well, I finally made it to Harvard !”.

I personally think it was interesting to choose her because she’s also well known for her escapades which make her closer to the people and can thus give her a greater chance to sensitize everyone, and notably the young people, to humanitarian causes. Moreover she has a huge audience all around the world; indeed, before she received it I had never heard of this award. She used her fame to attract a larger audience to humanitarianism.





March 25, 2017

This summer I went to Malta, an English speaking country. Landscapes are beautiful.

At the beginning I was a little bit disappointed concerning  the beach because I was expected sandy beaches as other islands in the Mediterranean sea (Corsica for example) which is not the case. In fact, in Malta,  sand is very uncommon and there are not really beaches as we know them;  it is hard to describe as it is made of some rock formations.  Finally I found it better because you don’t have sand everywhere afterwards, so it is practical.

The main city is Valletta. It is interesting to visit because it is really different from the other places and there is kind of a medieval aspect and a great view on the countryside.  Though Malta is a little island, we can have several landscapes which is a good thing.

Moreover,  Malta is known for its parties and night clubs. There is an area in St Julian named Paceville where we can find a street just with night clubs and there are free.  During the summer, however, I would not recommend it for people who are about 30 years old,  because there is a lot of teenagers.  In order to enter the club you have to be 17 years old, consequently people in it are “young”.  We can also find some other more selective parties where the age is not so low: boat party, pool party… It is very exciting and in all the parties (even in night clubs) I mentioned, the atmosphere is good and we can easily meet other persons.  But you have to pay attention if you are a girl, and above all it is important to be careful and reasonable with the drinks.

If you travel to Malta, I really advise you to go to Comino. It is the most beautiful place I have ever seen. On the one hand you can see the clear blue water and when you turn around you can observe an arid area with cacti: it is amazing and wonderful.  You can also visit Sicily for a day because it is not far from the Island.

As far as food is concerned, the culture is close to Italy because of the geographical aspect: the food is delicious and not very expensive. Actually, the life in Malta is not as expensive as the life in France or in England for example.

To conclude, I really advise you to visit the country because it is not expensive and honestly very amazing.

Have a nice trip!!!


LA LA LAND, a story of fools who dream

March 23, 2017

La La Land is a movie directed by Damien Chazelle ( Whiplash) which came out in 2016 in the US.

It tells the story of Sebastian, a pianist who wants to open his own Jazz club and Mia, a young woman who dreams to be an actress. The fate will bring them together but they will have to choose between their love and their career.

This plot seems to be quite common, but in fact this film is completely original. We can say it is a musical because the songs appear between the scenes but the way it is directed makes it very realistic. Chazelle was inspired directly by the great American musicals of the 50’s (Singing in the Rain, An American in Paris), but also by the musicals from the French new wave like Les Parapluies de Cherbourg or Les Demoiselles de Rochefort by Jacques Demy. The director made a tiny reference to Les Parapluies by adding, in front of the cafe where Mia works, an umbrella store, with the word Parapluies written in bold letters.

The musical scenes are  taken in one or two long sequence shots, and everything is filmed in real locations. This movie is a tribute to the city of Los Angeles, to the dreamers who did auditions and always tried to get to success. I think one of the most beautiful scenes is probably when they are in a park, and they have a wonderful view on the city when the sun goes down.

Damien Chazelle had the idea of this movie when he was in college with his best friend, Justin Hurwitz. They were both in a band, Chazelle was playing the battery while Hurwitz was playing the piano. Chazelle first wanted to direct La La Land but all the producers refused his idea so he made Whiplash with a very low budget compared to big Hollywood movies. As a result, they won three Oscars ! Not too bad to begin a director’s career. Hurwitz scored Whiplash and La La Land. To do La La Land‘s music, he started with Mia and Sebastian’s theme which is played on the piano by Sebastian. He proposed to Chazelle 34 versions of it before finding THE good one which shows well the melancholy and the poetry of their relationship. This song is called “Late for the Date”.

Late for the Date :

The characters of Mia and Sebastian are played by Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. Emma Stone has a very expressive face and her acting skills are brilliant; she gives a lot of emotions in every scene and she really shows her character’s evolution, the way she gains self-confidence and the way she makes her voice evolve is amazing. At the end of the movie she has a very emotional scene with Gosling when she tells him she is tired of doing auditions and failing over and over, and she really transmits beautiful emotions to the audience. There is also the moment she sings for the last time in the movie and she is completely astonishing. Hurwitz said in an interview that during the shooting of this scene, she had to sing in live, and she was able to give the same emotion at every take so much, that he was afraid to ruin the take because he was playing the piano at that moment. She really is an inspiring actress who auditioned for six years before getting the part of Olive in Easy A, which was her first big part who made her known worldwide.  Then she had a lot of success with The Amazing Spider-Man, Birdman, Crazy, Stupid, Love and The Help.  For La La Land, she won the Oscar and the BAFTA for best actress.

Ryan Gosling is also wonderful as Sebastian, a pianist who wants to open his own club but can barely keep his pianist job in a little bar. His interpretation in “City of Stars” is really melancholic and beautiful, and he is great because he only had 6 weeks to learn to play the piano, and his interpretations are gorgeous, especially in the end.

This film is really inspiring, beautiful, poetic and it was like a revelation to me. It explores the power of the cinema. How can an image bring happiness or sadness to an audience ? I cried a lot in the end, the first time I saw it. But when I got out of the movie theater I had a big smile on my face.  When you get out,  you wish you could live in a musical.

It is sad La La Land didn’t win the Oscar for best picture, because they totally deserve it. At least, its success around the world is completely deserved.

Here is an extract from the Making of the movie :