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COUSIN Christophe

France

Sur la route des utopies (Arthaud, 2007)

Christophe Cousin is a traveller writer. He decided to devote his life to adventure, writing and travels. In search of his own geography, the mystery of distant countries is his playing field, the slowest vehicles, his chosen means of transportation, and the diversity and the wealth of the human beings are the source of his works.

80 days to go round the world by bike is a little bit short, that’s why 40 millions of pedal strokes and 883 days became necessary between 2002 and 2004 to cover all 30,000 km. He eventually accomplished his bicycle world tour, a sort of tour for universal happiness. But whatever, Christophe Cousin faced prison in Syria, crossed the Indian Himalayas and the Sinai and also met monks at the Phuktal monastery.

Christophe Cousin was desirous of sharing his experience so he took tons of pictures of places he discovered and people he met and published a travel notebook Le bonheur au bout du guidon (Arthaud, 2005). During his trip, he combined work and feats. He kept in touch with children in French schools and collected money for a Unesco mission which aims at helping street children integrate in society through sport.

Then he left again, travelled the world looking for the lost paradise, from communities to Utopias and met people intent on building a better world. These many trips which took him from Freeport, Maine to San Francisco, California, from Auroville,Indi to Christinia, The Netherlands were the onspiration for his last book Sur la routes des utopies (Arthaud, 2007).
Christophe Cousin is now shares his time between Paris, his native Gatinais and the end of the world. He is the co-broadcaster of Les nouveaux explorateurs on Canal +, in the context of the series of documentaries Nomades Land. He regularly leaves to go from Siberia to Ladahk, from the Sahara to the Celestial Mountains, looking for the last nomads. He has also signed a series of reports in the specialised press.

He is now planning other book projects, with the same desire to write, share and dream.

En Français


Bibliography

  • Sur la route des utopies (Arthaud, 2007)
  • Le bonheur au bout du guidon (Arthaud, 2005)

Synopsis of Sur la route des utopies

From Madagascar to California, via Denmark and Lithuania, communities create a "better world" with rules for living different from those of our societies ; for better or for worse. Christophe Cousin lived in these parallel worlds. Some of them deserve to be respected, like the libertarian squat of Christiana in Copenhagen that annoys the conservative Danes or the bohemian district of Uzupis in Vilnius. Others confuse us, like the alternative Mecca of Auroville in India, or make us shudder, like Celebration, the "Mickey Mouse city" in Florida that recreates the "ideal" world of Walt Disney.
The exploration of these utopias makes us think about the values of our old occidental society. In these exceptional places, environmentalism, non-violence, equality of human beings and frugality rule unchallenged.
Sometimes, the assurance of a better world leads to a deadlock. But the short cuts are often full of promises for those ready to invent, like the celestial hitchhikers so praised by Kerouac and to whom Christophe Cousin pays homage at the end of his own route.