Charlotte Burnod – Awty International School

Texas and France are both diverse and rich places, sharing similarities as well as differences with each other. What better than Houston, the fourth largest city of the US, to represent Texas? What better than Paris, the city of light, to represent France?

Paris and Houston, diverse and rich. Paris and Houston…A “river” runs through both cities: for Houston, the Buffalo Bayou, and for Paris, the Seine. Both large metropolis, Houston and Paris are fragmented into various neighborhoods or “quartiers” are pieces of the puzzle that is the city. The Heights, Le Luxembourg, West University Place, le Marais, Montrose, l’Elysee, Midtown…

The door represents a non-proportional, non-linear map of both Houston and Paris. The map is fragmented, jagged, but shows the places and things that matter: what makes Houston Houston and what makes Paris Paris. By superimposing both cities one on top of another, the viewer can perceive the similarities and differences between Houston and Paris, at the crossroads of French and Texan culture. The door is a visual representation of both cities. The viewer observes both cities through a kaleidoscope. The door represents the merging of Houston and Paris, of

Texas and France, of two cultures… Frontiers do not matter anymore; it is the free flowing of different cultures and customs, of people, places and experiences. The city is perhaps one of the greatest inventions of all time. A gathering of people who must learn to coexist and live with one another… It is a microcosm of humanity as a whole…

I am interested in participating in Open the Door. My father is French, my mother is Taiwanese, however, I was born in Houston, Texas. My upbringing and travels have allowed me to experience different cultures and create my own culture based on the French, Taiwanese and Texan ones. By opening a (metaphorical) door, one can enter a new place and experience something new.