Whenever I find myself reflecting or thinking about migrants, refugees – or whatever noun has been chosen to describe one’s journey by the media – I cannot help but think about my grandfather, who I am and where I am today.
The question “But where are you really from?” has become part of my identity and undoubtedly cannot be separated from my grandfather’s origin from The Congo- Brazzaville, a former French colony. Through this creative piece, I wanted to illustrate his journey, from the small village Monpasqué to Drancy, a Paris suburb town.
I started this creative piece with a picture of my granddad that I loved very much because the day I took that picture was the day when I started to interview him about his past and his journey.
Starting from his bike which he bought from selling wooden carving, onto the famous train Michelin of the Congo-Ocean line to a boat from Point-Noir to Bordeaux, France; he finally reached another train to Paris on the 2nd of July 1958 at 7:31pm
Arrived in Paris, this young black Congolese man was surprised to realise the sheer number of white people present at the station, in the capital of the French metropolis.
“But where are you really from?” – A question so often asked to citizens of a former colonial power who do not represent full whiteness but rather illustrated this colonial history through their skin colour.