A linguist in Melanesia


My first fieldwork in Vanuatu

A few pictures from yesteryear

My very first trip to the Pacific, in October 1997, took me to a small island in the north of the Vanuatu archipelago, namely Motalava. The months I spent there, until July 1998, were rich of discoveries and emotions.

From that first fieldwork trip, I brought back many memories, lots of audio recordings, and quite a few photo slides. In 2013, my colleagues Céline Ferlita and Franck Guillemain – from the multimedia unit of the CNRS team “Cultures, Langues, Textes“ – offered to create a video with these photos, along with my comments (in French). The fruit of this work – initially presented on this page, and reproduced below – brought back in me the memory of many heartwarming moments. On this occasion, I was also able to see again the younger faces of so many people who kindly helped me learn me their language. Let me thank them here again.


If you liked this video, you may want to check out my fieldwork photos, or watch excerpts from the 2009 documentary “The Poet’s Salary”.