“Changer d’air” by Jeanne Macaigne selected for the 2022 Pépites internationales

With Changer d’air (Editions les Fourmis Rouges), Jeanne Macaigne has created a flamboyant and poetic picture book. We follow the fate of a house that tries to defuse the conflicts that threaten the harmony of its inhabitants.

The book is part of the Pépites internationales 2022 selection, a program supported by the Montreuil Book Fair and the French Institute.

What the jury said:

Here, Jeanne Macaigne addresses the issue of ecology through the metaphor of a house whose inhabitants gradually stop taking care of it. The book opens with a portrait of an ideal and harmonious world, where the house is an entity that cuddles its inhabitants and offers them refuge and comfort.

But the inhabitants gradually begin to get along less well with each other, to the point where their conflicts threaten the integrity of the house itself. The house then decides to leave at night to “change the air”, and to take its residents to another environment, in the hope that they will come to their senses.

A powerful ecological metaphor

Jeanne Macaigne’s style, teeming with detail and colour, is the perfect setting for illustrating how every house has a soul made up of nooks and crannies, objects and memories. By transforming a place into a character, she offers the reader an opportunity to project himself into each page as if into a catalogue teeming with wonders.

The natural spaces, the fauna and the flora constitute a living whole here, arranged in such a way as to form a powerful threaded metaphor. Carried by a sober but always poetic text, Changer d’air then takes on the appearance of a fable about the fickleness of humans and their difficulty in preserving the planet that serves as their home.

An invitation to travel

As part of the exhibition “On se bouge pour la planète”, the original plates of Changer d’air were shown in the form of an interactive exhibition at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France in 2021. This work of generous drawing with a universal theme is also available on Culturethèque, the French Institute’s digital library available to the French cultural network abroad, its audiences and its partners. This is an opportunity to take a story on the road that attempts to decentralise our vision, and that calls on us to “change air” in order to better find ourselves.