Number 21. A special issue as the Acharnœur takes a trip beyond our own borders to explore the culture and daily lives of other countries. And it is worth it! The results are beautiful, very funny, joyous… So, we wish you "bon voyage" through the articles. Another out-of-the-ordinary edition comes out on August 7th!



  • 21-News qui court 01

    24 juillet. Il y a le monde. Et il y a ses records. Parfois étonnants. Parfois drôles. Parfois absurdes. Parmi eux, celui du domino humain. C'est totalement absurde mais c'est très drôle. Ça finit presque par être étonnant! Voir la vidéo

  • 21- Respect

    Photo © S.M.


“Eating like the Spanish”. Proof of a certain nonchalance for some; synonymous with freedom for others. And what if it simply summed up a relationship to time, even to people, that we no longer know how to appreciate? A relationship to time and people that exists in other Mediterranean countries but that here has a deeper meaning?

It must be said that this is a real way of life. Our Spanish neighbours actually sit down to dinner around two hours later than most other countries in the world. And the further south you go, the greater the gap. Why is that? Because of the heat? Perhaps. Spain is particularly exposed to the sun due to its geographical location. But it is not the only country that experiences peaks in temperature where the air feels like it is on fire. Nor is it the worst. So what is the reason? 

So “Eating like the Spanish” means living. It goes beyond the simple notion of eating at times that seem a little odd to us. It means, for example, knowing how to switch off from 2 pm to 5 pm before going back to work. It means appreciating down-time, letting oneself be guided by the impromptu. It means making the moment count rather than counting the minutes going by. It means longer days that aren’t split into work, chores and sleep.

More than anything, it means spending time with one’s friends and family. Sitting down around a table and interacting. Having a family life that doesn’t take second place, even though the working day begins at 8:30 am and ends at 9pm (yes, if you add it up, the Spanish work a little more than our official 35 hours). It means being together. Sharing tapas and witty conversation with everyone joining in at once, or sticking together in tough times. Spending time with mates with the kids nearby. The others have it in their blood.

There is a downside of course: a certain lack of punctuality or organisation. But as we have found out, rigour and meticulousness don’t always guarantee stability so we can certainly start to enjoy what we have. 

Marie Veyrier


  • 21- Beurk

    Photo © S.N.


When the average tourist hops gaily on to the Eurostar to go visit friends across the channel, the intention is clearly not to tour morose suburbs, but to see the London we know from postcards. The one with the wide avenues lined with Victorian mansions, the green parks, the little paved streets with pretty mews that are so typical of London. The one with the bright red, shiny phone-box, with a bonus “Bobby” on hand looking suitably serious. The one with trendy neighbourhoods like Soho and Notting Hill where the tourist can go to soak up some British eccentricity.
But. To stop the myth from crumbling, the tourist should be told that a day trip is the better option, and preferably on a Monday or a Friday. And that’s it. Because if this is not an option, the tourist will have to face the shocking reality of a capital city that attracts millions of visitors each year: it’s dirty.

They won’t be able to escape the mountains of rubbish that pile up on the paths for days and have done for years… As, surprising as it may seem, rubbish collection in London is a real issue for the city’s inhabitants. There are no bins available for their waste while waiting for the bi-weekly pick-up, even in tourist areas. 
While the legendary British phlegm might be admirable in some circumstances, their passivity regarding this subject leaves us a little dubious. The ultimate irony is that the recycling guidelines are incredibly strict. Leave your bins on the pavement by all means, but please be elegant about it: paper and plastic in orange bags, the rest in black bags, thank you.

The sorry sight of young mothers slaloming between piles of filth with their pushchairs on the way to school changes nothing. Neither does the pestilential stink in the summer, or the rat invasion that is becoming a real public health issue. The distinguished professor Stephen Battersby, a specialist in this area declared recently: “There is now a rat per person in Great Britain”. Comes as a shock?

Stéphanie Norris




While Nelson Mandela hovers between earth and heaven and the country that owes him so much waits with bated breath, a South African wears the yellow jersey in the Tour de France for the first time ever. A black man leading the Grande Boucle. A black man at the head of the world’s most famous cycling race. 

Until the very last, the champion Mandela will have helped his compatriots demand respect worldwide. The cyclist in question is Daryl Impey, he chose his moment well. Not just the hundredth Tour de France, but also the year when South Africa is being celebrated in France.

The Maison rouge, near Bastille in Paris, renders an appropriate and colourful homage to the city of Johannesburg. An exhibition of almost fifty artists with themes often linked to the people’s history.
This is another way of making a mark in this before and after period, hanging on a last breath. In fact, the after-Mandela period has already begun with a yellow jersey and creations full of life. Good vibrations.

Maurice Achard


A book, a film, a piece of music... a few years, decades or centuries later. When culture never stops blooming.
  • 21- Floraison

    Nobuko Otowa in "Naked Island"


To begin with, there’s the music. A pulsating tune that is impossible to forget. If you ask viewers from the sixties to tell you about “Naked Island”, the Japanese film by Kaneto Shindo that came at us like a meteorite, they will all tell you they remember the music, not really the film, a few beautiful black and white images: a boat, a woman in a conical hat, a hillside… A feeling of slowness, of repetition in time; a sense of original humanity, of a very simple life, lived in harmony with nature. Absolute exoticism compared to our busy lives. A return to the source – to the source missing on this arid island where there is no fresh water. 

Better than a yoga class or a pilgrimage to a holy place, here the feeling of “letting go” is an absolute guarantee – with a real change of scene, more due to the archaic lifestyle (tubs of water being transported up a steep hill), rather than the few moments of Japanese folklore or traditional ceremony. 

Today, the film retains nothing of the aesthetic facility it was criticised for when it first came out. There are no sophisticated effects. On the contrary, the images are sober, clear. They capture the movement of nature and the actions of men over time, providing us with moments of real life. Nothing is said but everything is lived. It is a story without words but with significant noises: the water lapping on the edge of the boat being steered by the scull, the wind through the trees… quiet sounds once interrupted by shouts of joy, once by wails of distress. The film does have a tragedy. An unhappy event that upsets the flow of existence. A moving moment when a mother hits the ground in anger. But when the revolt has passed, the humans go on carrying their daily burdens. 

So, is this a Japanese version of the myth of Sisyphus? This timeless film is less pessimistic, a beautiful metaphor for the human condition carrying the promise of the fertility and harvests to come. Season by season…

Bruno Lancelot

• Watch the exquisite trailer



Men mark their borders, at times in a derisory fashion, but the earth knows no frontiers. This is what we learn from this magnificent series signed Valerio Vincenzo who has travelled across all of the countries that opened up since Schengen. Extracts.

Photos available in a limited edition of 20 prints in 50X50 and 100X100 format.
For more information: valerio.vincenzo@gmail.com

  • 21- Foodoir

    Photo © Odile Berthemy


If there’s one dish that has really travelled, it’s couscous. It left North Africa to travel across the entire continent, then went on to conquer Europe where it has diversified so well, it has totally integrated. Here and there, there are plenty of variations: Bidaoui with seven vegetables, Belboula made from barley, Masfouf with broadbeans and peas, Seffa, etc.

The term itself has travelled enormously since the 16th century and the origins are not easy to find. From Berber to Arab, “kouskous” may come from the verb “kaskasa” meaning “to mill or crush” like the little grains of semolina. The gargantuan novelist Rabelais, wrote about “couchou” in 1505, before the arrival of “coscosso” in 1534. Today the term designates both the hard wheat milled in fine or medium grains as the dish itself with its multiple ingredients, and is even used to refer to North African restaurants. Who doesn’t know a good “couscous” in their neighbourhood?

In North Africa, the couscous is a convivial dish to be shared, always on hand for celebrations. Women prepare it on Fridays after prayers. They lovingly knead and air the semolina, wetting it with salt water now and again, before rolling it in butter as it steams over the vegetable and meat-filled stew. Traditionally, each guest picks the semolina out with their hand from the heart of the central dish to make balls to eat. It is said that the “Fez couscous”, from the old imperial city, is the father of all couscous. According to the purists, it is recommended to only cook one type of meat, lamb preferably, otherwise chicken. In Morocco, they use many different types of vegetable accompanied with raisins and preserved onions; in Algeria they prefer turnips and chickpeas; while Tunisian couscous is made with fish.

Finally, as the Haitian writer Jacques Stephen Alexis said in compère Général Soleil, “The sky was a couscous of stars”. And that’s one recipe we hope you will get this summer.




France is best described by foreigners.
By foreign correspondents based here who comment on French current affairs, to be more precise.

In «Vu d'ailleurs », every week on LCI during the year, they take turns in taking an English, German, Spanish, Italian, American, Belgian, etc. look at us.
And every time, the same thing happens: these diverse viewpoints, analyses, observations, enlighten us differently, in a language that is the total opposite of the party line, of the expected commentary.
The reason being that international foreign correspondents obviously have a certain distance that our journalists cannot have with their noses pressed against the window, trapped in their bubble. 
And it works both ways… Foreign journalists are conditioned by their practices and customs in their domestic political sphere, by the way difficult situations and crises are handled so these journalists are in a position to pinpoint the differences with the way they do it, what they notice first of all, and things that we have stopped noticing for years.

So we get an impression that the debate is fresh. The same issues are covered but differently. From a perspective that takes us on to higher ground, it would seem.
So it’s not a question of «Vu d'ailleurs » (As seen from elsewhere), it is more a question of “As seen from above”.



To access more informations about the one-off
or limited edition items, click on the different windows!

Let It Be Men - 54€

Created by two jewellery fans (including the ex-founder of Mercerie Moderne), Let It Be is a Parisian brand that is still quite low key. The charm lies in a collection of cheeky, sometimes ecumenical pieces but are not worn just as symbols. On the contrary: Let It Be is aimed at the liberated men or women who have decided to be themselves, instead of defining herself relative to others… Who wear Let It Be lay claim to nothing, except beauty!




This bracelet is a key piece in the collection. It is made from leather and white magnetic metal, it is both male and chic, elegant and rock and roll. Perfect alliance between sobriety and confirmed style. A stand-out piece sold exclusively on l’Acharnœur.


Price: 54€ 


- Leather bracelet with "piqûre selleir"
- Magnetic clasp in silvered Zamac 
- Sizes available: 20cm or 22cm (made-to-measure on request)

Aline Lang - 80€

Aline Lang is a photographer and graphic artist who one day, for fun, drew a bracelet watch like a piece of film. A designer at Cartier, Omega, liked it and oriented her into watch face design. Her first watch was for the bicentenary of the French revolution. Since then she has designed over forty watches, including one for the Bibliothèque nationale. Her rare and unusual creations are born from her inspiration and are produced as limited editions.




The Gallops watch. An homage to chronophotography (the decomposition of a movement by a succession of photographs) and to Muybridge’s work that in 1878, proved that the four legs of a horse leave the ground at the same time when the horse gallops. This watch was first made by a big luxury house before being edited by the Musée d’Orsay. Its leather bracelet and particularly flat face makes this version timeless.


Limited edition. 10 pieces available.
Price: 80 €.

Gallops Watch


- Case in chromed brass
- Black leather bracelet 
- Quartz movement
- Made in France, Alsace.


Cyrto is extremely shy and prefers the shadows to the light. She is an illustrator and graphic artist and is spending more and more time on her true calling: creating fantastic worlds from her own emotion, impulse and imagination. She invents but does not reinvent. She follows no trend or influence but instead takes all her inspiration from her inner self. Her uniquely artistic approach will soon be visible through her writing and directing.




The whole idea comes from the glove as second skin. Cyrto creates indelible designs on gloves evoking ramifications, sketches… connections. Each piece is unique and comes only from her imagination. There are no rules, no hierarchy, the cells form every instant and grow together through paths and encounters. Her lines tell of a fantastic world that is almost invisible to the naked eye. Between tattoo art and a pseudo-botanic vision, the lines of the hand take on a new meaning.


Gloves made to order. 


The approach is entirely artistic. The final piece is handed over in exchange for an envelope in which the client « gives » the amount they wish.


The Acharnœur will act as intermediary but takes no commission. For more information: avenue@acharnoeur.com

Illustration from Cyrto Art.


- Light-coloured gloves supplied by the client
- Unique drawings done in indelible ink 
- Time required: two weeks
- Price of piece fixed by the client
- Delivery costs extra (6€ minimum for France)

A venir


Let It Be - 63€

Created by two jewellery fans (including the ex-founder of Mercerie Moderne), Let It Be is a Parisian brand that is still quite low key. The charm lies in a collection of cheeky, sometimes ecumenical pieces but are not worn just as symbols. On the contrary: Let It Be is aimed at the liberated men or women who have decided to be themselves, instead of defining herself relative to others… Who wear Let It Be lay claim to nothing, except beauty!




This bracelet is a key piece in the collection. It is made from soft leather and white metal, it is both chic and gothic, ultra-precious and rock and roll. The clasp dresses the wrist with a refinement and originality that attracts all women, regardless of their age or style. A stand-out piece sold exclusively on l’Acharnœur and also available without the skull.


Price: 63€ with skull.
58€ without skull.

Without skull item or with a bow also avalaible.


- Leather bracelet
- Bracelet chain in plate silver
- Skull clasp in stainless Zamac 
- Sizes available: 32cm, 34 or 36cm (made-to-measure on request)

Gabriella de Galzain - 125€

She used to work under the name «Frénétik». Today Gabriella de Galzain is coming out of hiding and is launching her eponymous brand. She makes baroque, romantic, rock n’ roll jewellery that expresses a bohemian spirit of elegance and freedom, paying homage to the most beautiful icons. Her undeniable talent can be seen in brooches, necklaces, earrings, cuff-links… She counts many stars among her greatest fans and some of her pieces tell the most beautiful stories. 




We requested an homage to the Eiffel Tower. Only for l'Acharnœur, Gabriella de Galzain came up with this timeless yet contemporary brooch. The blend of off-whites means it can be worn at all times. Pearls, chains, crystals, ceramic flowers… The codes of elegance and femininity with an essential touch of impertinence. All the audacity of the “Grand Dame” herself.

Item made to order. 
Special price: 125€ taxes inclued

«La Parisienne» brooch


- Resin beading and icons
- Resin flowers, glass cabochon, crystal Swarovski rhinestones
- Base in silver-plated copper
- Silver-plated brass chains
- Icon high : 10cm
- Total high (with chains) : 24 cm 



Whether you want to revise your geography or you dream of travelling the world, this cushion will guide you! You only need to rest your head…

15,30€. “World map” cushion, handmade large size. To order, available on www.alittlemarket.com


Station 51st/53rd St. (Hyde Park)

You have to be Chicago born and bred to know this place. One says that Barack Obama used to come here in search of “good music” before he became President. It was taken over in 201X by a French man (Eh oui), Alexis Bouteville and more than ever remains the essential stop for its Jazz, Blues, Soul, Gospel and more recently Rock or Hip-Hop selection. People come to buy and sell, among other things, rare vinyl, difficult to find CDs and limited edition DVDs. There are regular live gigs with an atmosphere that is hard to find elsewhere when you want to hang out and flick through records for the hidden gem.

Hyde Park Records
1377 E 53rd Street, Chicago

  • 21- Station
  • 21- Quotibien

    Big Bertha © John Byrne. Marvel Comics


Nietzsche may have invented the myth of the superman, but Germany has invented that of the super mother! Blonde, muscled calves, traditional costume and huge breasts (the Big Bertha myth comes from here! A real bombshell!).

But seriously, being a mother in Germany is to truly be a “Mother Courage”! Children are neither kings nor tyrants, but they do take over. Conversations, actions, time… it must be said that bringing up children remains the “duty” of the mother in Germany. Whether you are a doctor, lawyer or engineer, you are expected to take parental leave of at least three years (per child) and swap the power suits and heels for an apron and clogs. And when the time comes to go back to the office, the race is on! As it is out of the question not to be home by lunchtime to take care of the kids after school. Those who fail to do so are referred to disparagingly as “Rabenmutter” or “Raven-mothers” which we might translate in plain old English as bad mothers. 

The average German woman is terrified of being dubbed a Rabenmutter. So without playing the victim, she starts knitting, painting, building, telling stories, making play-dough sausages, learning Latin, catechism, and onion soup all over again. Her living room becomes a playroom, her kitchen a canteen and her bed a trampoline while the term babysitter is foreign and only exists in dictionaries. 

It’s simple, kids are only happy inside the family circle. But it is true that the results are there: Germans in general are not good-for-nothing, everyone knows. They are well brought-up, well educated, cultivated, tidy, talented musicians and sports-people, precise, disciplined, and so on… To cut a long story short, they are naturally arrogant but extremely effective.

As a result, between the Germanic ideal and the reality of modern Germany, women have yet to find their balance and tend to go one way or the other: either they give up their job and career or they don’t have any kids. The thought of putting their children in a crèche breaks their hearts. Having said that, this is a good thing, there are no crèches, or not enough.

Céline Koller


What the wardrobes, walls or drawers of our teenage bedroom
say about who we are today.
  • 21- Junior Suite

    Matriochka. Source internet.


We often say that we don’t have many memories of one’s early childhood. For me the opposite is true! Bosnia-Herzegovina (ex-Yugoslavia) where I was born and lived for the first five years of my life, is my favourite album in my memory.

I lived in Tusla. It was the seventies. There was something in the air that I would later understand to be bohemia. My parents and their musician friends played gypsy songs. My grandmother made Cevap Cici in the kitchen, my Aunt came and went leaving a trail of strong but always bewitching perfume in her wake… And all of this came to me in dribs and drabs in my huge bedroom. Well, it seemed huge to my child’s eyes. 

It was a fantastic room. All of these atmospheres filtered up and rocked me to sleep. When I wasn’t in the garden eating strawberries, I was there, on the Persian rugs in bright greens and reds that covered the floor. That red, I was half in love with it! What did I do? I would play with my Russian dolls. I remember when my grandmother showed it to me for the first time. It was hand-painted with red clothes! I was entranced. Then my grand-mother started to open it slowly, to take out the dolls one by one. I admired the little replicas, each one smaller than the previous one but just as precious. The doll became my favourite object. Sitting on the ground on my rugs I took it apart and put it back together, I combined and aligned, I played with colours… I was composing without realizing it.

Then I moved to France. It was much different, more Western, modern and agitated. But great too! Today I am Slavic with a rock and roll spirit. I collect Russian dolls, walk barefoot on my rugs and drink rose tea listening to Dylan or Bashung. I miss the oriental life but it feeds the romantic side of the jewellery I design. There is a lot of red in my workshop. Otherwise, my designs associate icons, stars, flowers, guns… A blend of styles that all fit together. My signature…

Bianca Alberti in conversation with Gabriella de Galzain



  • Publisher/Editor
    Virginie Achard
  • Artistic Director
    Perrine Lebas
  • Web design
    Franck Biehler
  • Contributors
    Maurice Achard, Bianca Alberti, Bruno Lancelot, Elido, Marie Veyrier, Stéphanie Norris
  • Translator
    Tresi Murphy


Valerio Vincenzo

Odile Berthemy

Céline Koller