A taste for the picturesque attached to certain civilizations." This is how exoticism is defined by the Larousse. Ask around what this term evokes and you'll immediately get a flood of similar answers: a sandy beach, turquoise waters, coconut palms. Distant journeys, usually islands. By extension, anything that makes you dream. But if you dig a little deeper, it's not just the tropics that provoke fascination. "The country that struck me as the most exotic was India. People were thinking, envisioning, and living in ways that were so far removed from my bearings that I realized I would never be able to understand them.»
For Cédric Gras, author (winner of the Albert Londres Prize for his book Stalin's Mountaineers, Stock, 2020) and documentary filmmaker, this terminology refers to a way of looking at the world, more than a destination. "Quebec, where I studied, is a region that, a priori, has no exotic capital. Its inhabitants speak...
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