I have always been attracted by the image of Babylon; as a historical city, the capital of a great civilization, but also as a metaphor of sin and the dark side of humanity, and by the allegorical value of the Tower of Babel, synonymous with the confusion of languages and human folly that dared to challenge God.
Babylon is a timeless concept. Since time immemorial, different races, cultures, religions, customs, have been mingling and coexisting in the same geographic space. Never have we observed such amalgamation of different ethnicities and cultures as in the past few decades.
The Babylon we speak about in this issue is the same as the historical one, and yet it is different.
Our Babylon is ourselves, it is the result of our lives, of our influences, flavors, colors, experiences that we carry inside ourselves after each journey.
Our Babylon is our neighbor, our co-worker, the people we meet on the street, who indifferently speak our and their own language.
They pray to a God different from ours, but which, actually is not that different at all, but merely called by a different name. Prayer, after all, is meant to unite people rather than divide them, touching the deepest part of us; our fears, our needs, our profoundest feelings and the shocks in our lives. We are all equal, under the sun …
If I think about the environment in which we work at LYF, I have a perfect example of a modern and wonderful Babylon. I was thunderstuck by the first image of the designers of L.A. Eyeworks, Gai Gherardi and Barbara McRynolds; smiling and with their bright colors. I think of Wim Somers with his colorful shirts and the world of Theo, of the très chic Anne Valentin, of the black- inside and out- of the brilliant Patrick Hoet, the styles created by Marion and Paris Frost, the world of ‘Leisure Pleasure’ of Shane Baum and Henrik Lindberg, the brand has a Danish minimal chic style but he is of South American origin.
And still, the refined Pascal Jaulent of Face à Face, the colorful and multi-ethnic Caroline Abram, the very French family Lafont, the ‘white helmet’ hair by Dominique Pinton, the ‘Eco & Nature’ Reiz world, snow sports fans at Rolf (Austrian ) and Orgreen (Danish), Thierry Gros (the most elegant man in his sector) and his beautiful family, Bevel’s American / English / French mix, and then all the Japanese with their discretion, their bows, their codes of conduct. I think of the dark Tibetan Sergio and Livio, the two souls of Kuboraum, the German Jutta and Wolfgang Thelen, fans of the Indian horn … and many other that I cannot mention because of space restrictions
– I sincerely hope they do forgive me – as they are equally interesting protagonists of ‘our Babylon’.
For the shooting, we chose a more conceptual rather than didactic setting, we know that our attentive and refined readers will not fail to get its meaning.
In the end, what is a modern Babylon, if not a place of infinite possibilities, a melting pot of contradictions, debates, and discussions that lead to profound reflections?
Diversity is enrichment. Whether it turns into Heaven or Hell it depends on us.