the strong and moving testimonies of seven women with troubled lives

They are individually freedivers, glaciologists, aviators, associated with Kurdish fighters or with a humanitarian organization, all listening to the world. Collected for the first time in the book adventure girls, seven women recount their journey and the beginning of an extraordinary life.

In between the story of a significant experience and reflections on choosing a life that deliberately follows the paths, Aurore Asso, Daphné Buiron, Katell Faria, Mélusine Mallender, Catherine Maunoury, Justine Piquemal Muzik and Priscilla Telmon take the reader to worlds where comfort is always absent, difficulties are repeated, but the desire for discoveries is always exciting and unforgettable encounters.

Katelle Faria, Aurore Asso, Catherine Maunoury, Cécile Boyer-Runge (CEO of Editions Points), Patrice Franceschi, Justine Piquemal Muzik, Priscilla Telmon, Mélusine Mallender, Daphné Buiron (©Aurore Asso)

If there is a term that is overused today, it is adventure, embellished with all the sauces, in the advertisements of tour operators or in some television shows. “True adventure involves ideas of responsibility, commitment, duration, risk, said Patrice Franceschi. The Points-Aventure collection director, book publisher, did not randomly choose these seven women who “offers an almost complete panorama of what adventure has to offer today“. Without forgetting the literary dimension of their stories, “very principle of collection” which also publishes famous writers and will celebrate the 10th anniversary next May. Two of them agreed to give themselves a little more to us.

For too long I have left the reins of my destiny in hands other than mine.

Katell Faria

One can only be moved by the testimony of Katell Faria, associated with the Yapajas battalions in Syrian Kurdistan, in the fight against Daesh and against the Turkish army that considers them terrorists. These women with long black braids willing to sacrifice their lives for freedom used to make the covers of Western newspapers. A conflict that chases the other in the course of daily information and geopolitical priorities, they disappear from the front of the stage. And yet, their fight is far from over. on Adventure Girls, Katell recounts their daily lives made up of laughter and drama, physical and intellectual courage, unwavering commitment, cruelty and death. A cause that has become his that has him”completely transported“by giving meaning to his life.

Ea high school student, a graduate of commerce and communication, hired by companies whose moral values ​​are far from his own, Katell buries the dreams of a literary and adventurous life where the romantic girl he taken care of.

An army reservist, he did his first Sentinel mission in Paris in 2015, after the Bataclan attacks, and was aware of the threat of Islamic terrorism. He discovered at the same time the fight with the Kurds in Syria while reading the book Die for Kobane by Patrice Franceschi. A decisive read for the young woman in uniform who knows little about the warriors she promises to meet one day. until”taser“Who woke him from him”moral lethargy” in March 2018, after the war in Afrin against the Turkish army.

Katell and his Kurdish colleagues from Syria (©Katell Faria)

What I talk about in the book is all this intellectual journey that led me to join these women. It was a long and sometimes painful process but one day I found myself at a crossroad and I said to myself that I have to leave the highway and live my real life, which maybe not always easy but more enjoyable and more in line with myself, more useful.

As of 2018, Katell has remained in several women’s battalions. He left in September with the wish to write an entire book dedicated to his comrades, many of whom fell in the war. “I chose a path of uncertainty. I don’t idealize the adventure life, I don’t sell it as a permanent dream because there are constraints but I chose them and I know what I get in return, that is – say to be an accomplished woman.”

The constraints of adventure, scientific at this time, Daphné Buiron also met them even if her life did not depend on them. A trained glaciologist, the 38-year-old young woman, recently returned from the North Pole, was fascinated by the polar regions she had surveyed for years. First in his specialty, now as a guide on cruise ships with a strong taste for scientific mediation that he wants to develop. He also writes articles for the press on his favorite subjects. A heart scientist but unemployed, he has “rfound the esteem of [sa] no label situation“understood that”the profession of researcher is not a real profession, it is a state of being.”

Rhythm of life thrown between two ships without a real home, incompatibility to build a life on earth, tug of war between ethics and the right of people to discover the world, financial difficulties… Daphné did not avoid any of the issues related to her activity. “It is one of the meanings of life to see our world and get things from it. It is a choice that has its positives and negatives“, he relativized. This is the price of freedom“.

A trained glaciologist, Daphné Buiron, has just returned from the North Pole, overcome by the allure of the polar regions he has surveyed for years.  (DR)

But what characterizes most of all the adventure he says, “is to have a constant desire to explore life and its mysteries“. As a child, he wanted “know the names of the trees, why they change color, the birds that live in them..” He, who dreams of becoming an astronaut, fights the reality of studies and physical abilities when a new star appears to conquer him: Antarctica. Adventure GirlsDaphné recalls this not so classic journey that took her 13 months to Adélie Land or the Greenland ice cap.

This sensitivity, this commitment, this love that pushes you to reach out to others, to surpass yourself, is what emerges from the strong and moving testimonies of five other women who also signed the book.

Let’s read their testimonies for what they are: a constant desire to do a person what one decided one day – and nothing less.

Justine Piquemal Muzik, project manager of NGO Solidarités International and mother of four children, finds her motivation in “impossible”. Between South Sudan and Afghanistan, he always thought “how to do better to help more” in constant firework places. Priscilla Telmon, whom we follow on horseback with Sylvain Tesson in Riding the steppes, took us to Peru, in the middle of the Amazon rainforest. “Clothed in fire to consecrate [sa] life to better understand this world, experience it, experience it and pass it on [ses] research”, he presented his “spiritual mother“, a shaman who introduced him to the world of spirits and ancestral medicines.

For her part, freediving champion Aurore Asso discovered the beauty of Greenland’s frozen waters and wants to pass on her story to better preserve it. His strength of character and the encouragement of his friends immediately helped him overcome suffering from cold and fear. His dives are not only meant to be records, they also serve to tell the story of places, the beauty of nature.

This book alone is an adventure whose depth we did not imagine. A positive chemistry is created naturally, each is amazed at what the other is doing!

Catherine Maunoury, the dean of this book, two-time aerobatic world champion, asks the meaning of his career and returns to the anecdotes, sometimes funny, that mark his life as a pilot, he who knows, from at the age of 8, that he would fly on his own. Finally, Mélusine Mallender, director and author of the book The roads to freedomtravels around the world on a motorcycle and questions the meaning of the word ”Freedom” in places where people are denied it, like Myanmar.

May these images of inspiring women lead us to the path of freedom, equality and fraternity or sorority” wrote the navigator Isabelle Autissier in the introduction. Perhaps they will awaken in some people the desire to give another meaning to their lives. As Daphné Buiron pointed out, “there is no hierarchy of interests in human pursuits, only the ability to trust each other is important“.

Adventure Girls (Editions Points-Aventure), introduction by Isabelle Autissier – Published June 2022 – €12.50

To also discover:

The adventuresheaven by Katell Faria (Edition Points)

The Astrolabe: the ferryman of Antarctica by Daphné Buiron and Stéphane Dugast (Editions EPA)

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