Jessica Oublié, on the transmission side

For two weeks, Jessica Forgotten stayed up late and got up at dawn. From September 8 to 24, the National Days of Action Against Illiteracy, for which she was responsible, took place in Guadeloupe. On the archipelago, one in five adults aged 16 to 65 has difficulty reading and writing. She tackled the task with energy. When you meet her, the subject is mastered, the vocabulary effective. It makes you wonder how, despite fatigue, a mind can remain so quick.

Jessica Forgot is what is commonly known as “a well-made head”. At almost 39 years old, she can claim two masters in art at the Sorbonne, another in training engineering and skills development at the National Conservatory of Arts and Crafts, countless missions in France and abroad, in the private sector. and in the audience. “Permanence and routine frighten me, so much so that I have avoided permanent contracts for a long time”she justifies.

From experimentation to investigation

For five years, before her thirties, she traveled through Benin, Togo, Gabon, Tanzania… As a chameleon, she immersed herself in local cultures, learned to weave, to brew beer (which she however appreciates little), and is exalted, even today, by thinking about it.

Back in Paris, when she was a consultant in nursing homes, she decided to experiment with all the professions, “to better understand the reality of the establishment”. One day she changes patients, the next day she is a night watchman or a cook. It was during the same period that she returned to writing and her West Indian roots. Her maternal grandfather falls ill, she pays him frequent visits and realizes that she does not know his story: why did he leave Guadeloupe in 1974?

Thus begins his investigation into the institutionalized migration of young West Indians to France, then overseen by the Office for the Development of Migration in the Overseas Departments (Bumidom), which moved more than 160,000 Ultramarines between 1963 and 1981. . “It’s a founding subject of the contemporary West Indies that no one had spoken to me about at school. I wanted young people from overseas, that my cousins, young and old, could learn more »reports Jessica Forgotten.

Comic strips, a tool for relaunching dialogue

It adopts the form of documentary comics. After all, what better than the image, to speak to everyone? His first album, Peyi An Nou, illustrated by Marie-Ange Rousseau, was published in 2017. The following year, the author moved to Guadeloupe and discovered the extent of chlordecone pollution. His second comic, Toxic Tropics, appears in 2020, after two years of investigation and a hundred interviews.

“I wanted all the actors who make up this story, whether they are representatives of the State, banana farmers, scientists or citizens, to find a unique place in the book”, she explains. Let no one come and tax her as an activist: she rejects the term, whose etymology – Latin military means to be a soldier – does not correspond to him. “I do not choose subjects for controversy, but for their complexity, she insists. I hope, by restoring the facts, to succeed in broadening the points of view and relaunching the dialogue. »

From curiosity to transmission

Jessica Forgot, in a modest understatement, considers herself “simply curious”. In reality, she enjoys an uncommon strength of character. She was born in Clichy-sous-Bois (Seine-Saint-Denis), October 13, 1983, and grew up “among the 17-storey towers”.

Arrived at college, she asks to derogate from the school card, to get closer to the volleyball club that she likes and where her seventy meters, at only eight years old, gives her serious advantages. The admission interview goes wrong: “My mother was told that my 16 average in Clichy was barely worth a 12 there”, she recalls. For the first time in her life, she faces social discrimination, “and maybe racial”she admits.

The mobilization of the parents of students of the volleyball club finally allows him to integrate the establishment. There she meets teachers of whom she keeps fond and very admiring memories. “In the pantheon of people who built me, there are a lot of teachers. They allowed me to see beyond the ring road barrier. »

Since then, Jessica Forgot has given herself a “mission of life” : “To honor the work of my teachers by being myself on the side of sharing and transmission. » His position within the National Agency for the Fight against Illiteracy thus resembles a consecration. She has, moreover, a notable fact, signed for an indefinite period.


His inspiration. “Sophie’s World”, a lesson in pedagogy

Sophie’s World, novel published by Norwegian writer Jostein Gaarder in 1991, was the first philosophy book I read. It allowed me to discover the great concepts of Western philosophy, doubt, love, beliefs, death… I really appreciated the epistolary side, the narration is fluid and simple while the themes addressed are very complex. That’s exactly what I’m looking for through my comics: to deal with dense subjects in a pedagogical and understandable way for everyone. »

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