Journalist, Author & Lecturer
Les chemins de la liberté
The Roads to Freedom
After fifty years of isolation under the rule of an oppressive military regime, Burma is finally opening up in a wave of euphoria. Despite the recent landslide victory of Aung San Suu Kyi’s political party in the country’s first free election, the situation remains explosive. In a country torn by deep ethnic divide and prolonged armed conflicts, women are taking the lead to pave the road to peace, freedom and democracy. These include a laureate of the « Asian Nobel Peace Prize », a visionary social entrepreneur, a feminist buddhist nun, and even an ecologist princess (a descendant of the last King of Burma). A number of men support them on their long march to freedom. Moved by their stories, Brieu set out to gain some insights into the reality of Burma today through the incisive visions and the positive actions of its women. The book is divided into three parts. Each part opens up with inspiring quotations promoting the voices of change-makers from different ethnic and religious backgrounds advocating for change, resistance and peace.
Quand s'élèvent nos voix
Des Andes à l'Amazonie,
une odyssée en terre indienne
When Our Voices Rise
From the Andes to the Amazon, a journey through Native lands
During an intense year-long journey from the Andes to the Amazon via Easter Island, Sylvie Brieu traveled solo on the trails of South America. Forgoing a rigid itinerary, she set her sights on seeking out some of the most creative native communities linked to great civilizations – Quechua, Rapanui, Mapuche, Xavante, Surui, Uru-eu-wau-wau, Guarani. Through these modern descendants, she explored how their ancient wisdom and original high-tech strategies could inspire Western societies. Thanks to both serendipity and exceptional access, Brieu immersed herself in the daily life of warriors, shamans, artists, peasants, filmmakers, poets, and singers, recording their appeal for transborder solidarity. Her expedition even led her to the first territory in the world ever to be demarcated for an uncontacted tribe. Cutting through clichés, she makes a plea for tolerance and celebrates diversity while bolstering her convictions with economic, political, scientific, and historical underpinnings.
A graduate of the Sorbonne and UC Berkeley, Sylvie Brieu is an award-winning journalist, a founding member of National Geographic France and a former Advisory Board member of National Geographic Society’s All Roads Film Project - a leading programme that provided a platform for underrepresented minority-culture storytellers from around the world to showcase their works. Her articles - about the Lakota Sioux of South Dakota, the Kawaiweté of Brazil, the Zapotecs of Mexico, the Maori of Aoteaora, the Kalash of Pakistan etc. - and acclaimed books mainly focus on Native peoples who are working creatively for social change and environmental justice. UNESCO has granted its patronage to When our voices rise - Diversity, Dialogue and Solidarity, her long-term editorial and educational project focusing on inspirational Indigenous game-changers and peace-makers worldwide. She's a member of Société des Explorateurs Français (French Explorers Society).
When she is not on assignment, Sylvie Brieu loves to share her field experience with school children, students and audiences from different cultural backgrounds in Europe, South America, North America, South-East Asia etc.
Today she gives workshops, speeches and teaches seminars. Her audiences have included primary schools, high schools, INSA-Bourges, Oxford university, UNESCO, National Geographic Society, Women’s Forum for the Economy and Society.
UNESCO has granted its patronage to « When our voices rise - diversity, dialogue, solidarity » - her long-term multimedia and educational project with inspirational Native women and men change-makers worldwide.
Her childhood passion influenced her destiny. Born in southern France, she was exposed to different cultural backgrounds and ways of thinking at a very young age. She developed a passion for the beauty of cultural diversity. At nine years old, her dream was already to explore the world and to fight for social justice. At primary school, she authored two plays and acted in them with her fellows.
Her love for intercultural dialogue led her to study six languages (English, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, Mandarin Chinese, Burmese) ... and Maya Hieroglyphics writing.