For me, it all started with Egyptian mummies, Irish bog bodies and shrunken heads. As a child, my parents would take me to museums, never hiding the inevitability of death from me when I stood fascinated by macabre artifacts. Because of this, death became less scary during my childhood, of course this didn’t change my sorrow when family and friends died. It did however, cultivate a deep desire to explore death through history. This passion followed me to university, where I studied archaeology and particularly enjoyed funerary studies. During excavations, I learned about how different cultures buried their dead. The experience of digging up bones myself was an incredible experience, one I treasure.
I’ve been observing the growth of the Death Positive movement for a while. I love seeing people engage with the subject of death, it is happening in all kinds of ways across the world. I’ve lost countless hours trawling the internet for French content. Hoping to find blogs and videos that educate and engage audiences with death discussion. Although it was surprising that I couldn’t anything, this discovery felt less like a disappointment and more of a challenge.
Le Bizarreum was born in the Spring of 2017. I wanted to create a platform for a French audiences, a place to introduce death topics and encourage discussion. In each video I choose a different death related subject. I always present different theories and perspectives, using my archaeological background to examine evidence from human remains and artifacts. France is not a country comfortable with talking about death, so I have been humbled by the response to Le Bizarreum. There is a desire to learn more about death through historical and archaeological cases. I am pleased to have curated a space where people can learn, share ideas and build a network. I still have not come across other death themed YouTube channels from France. There are some great ones exploring archaeology but never specifically death.
I like to create content that engages with my own local history and French heritage. I make a point of visiting places that others might not know of or be able to reach. When I was in the South of France I visited the Maria Magdalena relics and took pictures to show to my followers.
As my french audience grows, I can’t forget my first followers, who were English and American. Knowing people from other countries supported my work gave me the drive to keep going. I have met so many cool people through the virtual world who share my interests. I hope to connect with more as my project continues. My goal is to bring death positivity to France! When I’m not making YouTube videos, I’m creating miniature graveyard scenes. These little decorations act as the perfect memento mori, I am always looking for new ways to express and inspire.
To finish then, a fun fact for you:
Writing this in English meant every time I wrote “more” I found myself writing “mort” which is French for death.
Some things are inevitable.
Juliette was born in France, living for many years in Brittany, before moving to the South East where she still resides now. Her research interests include archaeology, history, art history and anthropology. Juliette has worked in tourism and currently works arranging scientific expeditions for customers all over the world to active volcanoes and polar areas. When she isn’t working, Juliette likes to explore too. She loves to talk death, archaeology and visit curiosities across the globe.
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