Maxime Retailleau’s editorial for the new issue of Antidote

Article publié le 13 octobre 2021

Text by Maxime Retailleau taken from Antidote’s Karma Issue, Winter 2021-2022. Photo : Ferry van der Nat.

“Shantih shantih shantih”

This “Karma” issue steps back from a world marked by the often blind and obstinate quest for productivity and efficiency, a world that still pretends it can control everything so as not to call itself into question. Founded on false assurances, capitalist logic pursues its frantic race, while the myths it has engendered collapse a bit more each day, announcing a crisis of disembodied rationality spurred by growing awareness of the effects of climate change.
“We reap what we sow,” warned one of the main laws of karma several millennia ago. However, each period of great upheaval also heralds the dawn of a new era full of possibilities. The one to come, then, could abandon the obsessive pursuit of profitability to seek out instead fulfillment and harmony between humans, the Earth, and all the beings that inhabit it. This, at least, is what Corine Sombrun – who began learning shamanic practices after suddenly entering a trance during a ritual ceremony – dreams of. She considers this Dionysian mental state as a gateway to challenge egocentrism. An aspiration she shares with today’s Radical Faeries, members of a gay movement born in the late 1970s, which drew inspiration from paganism and camp to rebel against patriarchal values and encourage a more ethical relationship to the environment.
This issue also features singer Kali Uchis, actress Agathe Rousselle – the female lead in Titane, winner of the Palme d’Or at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival – and model, actor, and dancer Alton Mason, who discuss their individual relationships to the notion of karma and explain how it drives them to surpass themselves every day. The iconic Béatrice Dalle, interviewed by Canadian director Bruce LaBruce, evokes her unique relationship to Christ, while writer Simon Johannin pens an exclusive short story about the spiritual awakening he experienced over the past few months.   
This theme has also inspired several designers, who deploy esoteric motifs and references in their collections like so many fragments shored against the ruins of a world under construction, to paraphrase the poet T. S. Eliot, whose modernist masterpiece, The Waste Land, finds new resonance today.
The attraction to spirituality is also at the heart of this issue’s photographer, Lee Wei Swee, who attempts to surface a form of collective excitement in each of his shoots by voluntarily abandoning his ego. A collaborative outlook recalling, in part, that of rapper Laylow, whose long and generative collaboration with director Osman Mercan has played a determining role in his exponential success. Virtuous circles that promise good karma?

Les plus lus

Nabilla Vergara : « Je ne pensais pas que j’allais réussir »

Alors que sort Nabilla : sans filtre, le premier docu-réalité dédié à l’ex-candidate de téléréalité, celle-ci se livre sur ses business, sa vie de famille à Dubaï et les épreuves qu’elle a dû traverser. Longtemps méprisée par l’intelligentsia parisienne, Nabilla Vergara est désormais détentrice d’un petit empire reposant sur ses près de 7 millions de followers sur Instagram et sa marque de cosmétique. Devenue l’une des plus puissantes influenceuses françaises, elle est parvenue à faire de ses rêves une réalité. 

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Les Radical Faeries : à la recherche du « Gay Spirit »

À la fin des seventies, deux militants gays lancent le mouvement Radical Faeries, mélange de paganisme, d’idéologie marxiste, des balbutiements de l’écologie, de New Age hippie, d’empowerment, de psychédélisme, de spiritualité et de sexe libre à gogo, qui s’exprime au travers de grands rassemblements et renoue avec une sorte de transcendantalisme homosexuel. Une idéologie hybride et foutraque conviant à explorer le spectre du genre par-delà le binarisme normatif, qui a essaimé tout autour du monde et reste encore vivace aujourd’hui.

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Radical Faeries: in search of the “Gay Spirit”

In the late seventies, two gay activists launched the Radical Faeries movement – a blend of paganism, Marxist ideology, early environmentalism, New Age hippydom, empowerment, psychedelia, spirituality and sexual liberation a-go-go taking the form of big gatherings – and renewed a sort of homosexual transcendentalism. A zany, hybrid ideology that urged us to explore the gender spectrum beyond cis-normativity, spread throughout the world and thrives to this day.

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Interview with Corine Sombrun, defender of the virtues of trance

In Mongolia in 2001, Corine Sombrun received the “shamanic spark” when she suddenly entered a trance state during a ritual ceremony. A totally unexpected revelation, followed by a long training process that she continues to this day, while collaborating with researchers in order to demonstrate that trance is a cognitive phenomenon. Beyond the quest for its therapeutic virtues, the author also questions its impact on our relationship to the living and the sacred.

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Rencontre avec Corine Sombrun, défenseuse des vertus de la transe

En 2001, en Mongolie, Corine Sombrun reçoit « l’étincelle chamanique » alors qu’elle entre subitement en transe lors d’une cérémonie rituelle. Une révélation totalement inattendue, suivie d’une longue formation qu’elle poursuit tout en collaborant en parallèle avec des chercheur•se•s afin de démontrer que la transe est un phénomène cognitif. Par-delà la quête de ses vertus thérapeutiques, l’autrice s’interroge également sur son impact à l’égard de notre rapport au vivant et au sacré.

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