Francesca Todde's "A Sensitive Education"
With A Sensitive Education the photographer Francesca Todde explores, through the figure of bird educator Tristan Plot, the possibilities of empathy between different natural species. The narrative, far from being naturalist documentation, is rather focused on the emotional sphere and sensitivity of birds and humans. The photographic research develops in resonance with the delicacy of this wordless dialogue.
Tristan is a bird educator specialist in soft methods. He prepares birds for participation in theatre and dance performances or film documentaries. He also works on the new concept of ornitotherapy and mediation through the animal, creating contact between birds and people with disabilities, the elderly, prisoners, in order to promote new sensations and create a deep reconciliation between birds and humans.
When he was a child, in the forest behind his parents’ house in the Touraine, Tristan noticed that, if he remained still for a long time, the animals came out of the vegetation and it was possible to observe them. Even today, this practice of slow approach, respecting the rhythm of nature, remains essential to his educational method. Since he studied ecology, biology and ethology at the university, he developed an educational technique at the intersection of imprinting, traditional training and positive training. His method is a set of observation and predisposition of mind in harmony with the environment, according to the sensitivity of the other and in relation to expression and behavior codes which are different from the human ones. Tristan, through the intuition of animality as something delicate, subtle and minimal, defines the relationship with birds as an exclusive bond able to reconcile the rhythm of the species with the individual one. His research is based on the understanding of the sensitivity of birds and aims to recover that ability, which got lost over the course of evolution, of perceiving the minimal variations and micro-movements that are the expressive world of animals.
A Sensitive Education is published by Départ Pour L'Image.