“Barcelona has an authentic culture of creativity”

The journalist François Musseau has launched a completely original new genre of entertainment in Spain: true stories told in the first person. live diary will premiere in Barcelona on Monday, May 16 at the Teatro Apolo. Meeting with an enthusiast.

Photos: Clementine Laurent/Equinox

Based in Madrid since 1999, François Musseau is a correspondent for the French media Release, Point Y RFI. You can also read it on Time, GEO Where the XXI Magazine. He knows Barcelona well, where he has already come a hundred times for reports. But this time, it’s to promote live diary who spends a few days in the Catalan capital. The show, which can be translated as live diary, stages 6 to 9 stories of less than 10 minutes each, told by those who lived them: journalists, bloggers, photographers, writers or youtubers. The show has been a success in Madrid for 5 years, and will soon be held for the first time in Barcelona.

How did the idea of live diary ?

After several years of journalism abroad, India, Brazil and then Spain, I began to feel the “correspondent syndrome”. When we’re correspondents, we meet a lot of people during our reports, and then we write, we send, and we don’t really get any feedback. We do not know if it pleases, if it makes us react. After a trip to Cuba, where all communication is very direct, I told myself that I liked it. Technology is great, but it’s important not to lose direct communication. So 16 years ago I created the first Philo café in Madrid, one Sunday a month, which still exists. Then I organized “pasta Wednesdays” at my house. The concept was to always come with someone unknown. And it became a cabaret, each with their own talents: poetry, music, acting. I was composing shows and I realized that I really liked the stage, where you can share a lot. In 2016, I saw a show in France live magazine, live journalism with 8 people telling a story. It really moved and impressed me. I had 25 years of journalism behind me, a passion for the stage, I told myself “this is for me, this is my vocation”. And I really wish everyone finds their calling one day, it’s a bit like falling in love.

How was the launch of the first show in Madrid?

I created an editorial committee, with a team of journalists, including Julien Cassan, correspondent for La Dépêche du Midi, Michael Cancela, then head of the AFP newsroom in Madrid, Vanessa Rousselot, documentary filmmaker and journalist Marta Núñez. Because live diary, is journalism above all, but in a new format, a new expression: theater. It is an embodied and subjective journalism, always with honesty and an effort of neutrality. To give the show credibility, I sought out big names in local journalism and we worked on the stories for weeks and months. The first was held in Lavapiés (Editor’s note: Madrid district comparable to Raval), with pieces of rope, but still gathered a hundred people. Since then, we have held 17 editions and in each of them the tickets were sold out, with 680 people.

How do you explain so much success?

I think it’s the journalism + emotion duo. Authors who tell the story take risks, open up and offer themselves as narrators. They are no longer behind their keyboard or behind their microphone, but in front of the audience. Some may break down crying. The public doesn’t want us to be actors, they want us to be human. Understand and accept everything, live the emotion transmitted. In the last function in Madrid, the public applauded standing up, the applause did not stop.

Why start the live diary in Barcelona ?

Barcelona has an authentic culture of creativity. Despite the dark periods, it always blooms again. And she is, I think, currently in this period of renewal, of great creativity that attracts so much. I think that live diary there is therefore all its place.For this first show, the former director of The vanguard Marius Carol will tell us a completely new story, Giovanna Valls, Manuel Valls’s sister, will tell us a story that has nothing to do with her family, the journalist from The vanguard Xavier Mas from Xaxas, documentary filmmakers Teresa Ruriera and Justin Webster, and French journalist Diane Cambon (RTL) and Jean Décotte (AFP).

You have often come to Barcelona to cover news, what is your vision of the city?

It’s one thing to come here often, another to live there. I don’t know Barcelona in depth but I feel something very specific here. It is a city worked by the opening and the closing, the opening of the Olympic Games and the closing of the court case (Editor’s note: the political path towards obtaining the independence of Catalonia between 2012 and 2017). He may have empty passages, moments of depression, but thanks to his dynamism and his creativity, he inspires and generates Antoni Gaudí or Lluís Domènech i Montaner. It is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, I could stop every thirty meters, there is beauty everywhere. And then it has specific colors, like few cities in the world, pinkish browns, ocher forms, colors that only exist here.

Do you have a favorite address?

I always return to the Raval, a mixture of art and popular, which globalization has not killed. I go to the Filmoteca, the Taller de Mùsics, the Marseilles, in the restaurants of the Raval or on Carrer Blai del Poble-Sec. I also like the neighborhoods of Gràcia, Clot, Guinardó. There are still places that have not lost their soul. And then, of course, Park Güell and Parc de la Ciutadella.

More information at Diariovivo.es and reservations on the Teatre Apolo website.

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