Sandraexpat interviewed Ragnar Chacin, a French filmmaker who presently lives in Jerusalem.
Ragnar Chacin is a French filmmaker, multi media artist, photographer, choreographer, performer and director who explores the integration and interaction of body, dance and moving image through cinematic form, theatre, performance, screen, sound, installation, painting and online work.
Ragnar graduated in 1999 from the School of Superior Studies of Cinematography (ESEC) in Paris. Later in 2001, he obtained a specialization master degree diploma in audio-visual memory and patrimony preservation with the University of Paris VIII. At this time he attended the documentary workshop for directors delivered by filmmaker Claire Simon.
He is the co-founder of the multidisciplinary art platform StilL in Mexico as well as a performer video artist in the French theatre company Zumbó.
Where are you currently living and in which countries have you lived before?
I’ve been living in Jerusalem for the past year. I have been abroad for a while, some of the countries that we have lived in are: Angola, France, Spain, Cuba, Colombia, Venezuela, Panama, Mexico, United Kingdom and United States of America.
How many years have you lived abroad?
Around 25 years
What are your qualifications?
I’m an artist who believes in creating collectively and sharing artwork with others.
What kind of job do you do?
I’m doing today several artistic projects in Jerusalem but mainly film-making, directing contemporary dance with theatrical performances and audio-visual installations.
Can you tell us something more about your job in Jerusalem?
I’m working today as a multimedia artist and filmmaker. We are developing a sound installation for an international festival in Jerusalem and working as well on a documentary film about how theatre can reinvent identity.
Have you always accompanied your wife?
Since we are together, yes, I’ve been accompanying my wife, so it will be more or less 23 years.
Have you ever had moments in which you didn’t feel fine in your position of accompanying spouse? If yes, how did you cope with that?
No, I have never felt that way.
How did you cope with moving locations and adjusting to a new environment?
So far it has been a process that I’ve undertaken slowly and tried to be as open minded as I can about the new places we go to. At first, we’d welcomed in our minds all the places we have been in and the first couple of months are moments that redefine very much how I’m going to feel after that adjusting time. My way of dealing with these changes has always been to find an artistic project that I can develop locally and, from there, keep connecting to others by using this approach.
How did you cope with the arrival of your children?
For me, having children has been so far a real amazing trip. I feel so alive because they have become the centre of what I do in and with art today. They have redefined my way of seeing things and I feel very lucky to be able to be around my kids to accompany them through their growing process.
What are your future plans?
I don’t really know what we will do next because we just got to Jerusalem but it will always be about where the kids can develop their inner strengths, feelings and identities in a loving environment, at least home wise.
What advice can you give to other expat men coping with all these career/life changes?
I am not much of an advice giver, but I guess like everything in live, be yourself and be open to new things and people. I have found that being an accompanying partner has given me other tools to understand better the spaces that we move in and I feel good about changing situations and life changes.
Thank you very much Ragnar and good luck with your future!
Interview collected by Alessandra Perini (Sandraexpat)