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L'âme de l'Amérique

Au coeur des grands espaces de l'Ouest

The Soul of America
Into the Wide Open Spaces of the West

Land of adventure and freedom, the American West fascinates with its wide-open spaces, the traditions of its emblematic tribes and the eternal myth of the cowboy. It is where America has forged its legend and reinforced it through movies, television and literature. Montana is at the heart of this great legend.
From the Rockies to the Great Plains and from Yellowstone to the Little Bighorn, distinguished author and journalist Sylvie Brieu leads us on a captivating road trip to encounter Native Americans, rodeo champions, authors, artists and wildlife specialists. Their unconditional love for a now threatened but exquisite natural environment fuels their deep sense of community and resilience. Far from the clichés of an individualistic nation, these colorful personalities join together to create a new environmental age. Is it possible that the future of the United States is being played out on the wild frontier?
In this heart-warming and insightful memoir, Sylvie Brieu brings the seasoned eyes of an experienced outsider to capture a portrait of a rebellious America where women play a prominent role and where natural beauty is the best antidote to despair.


"The complexities of American history, the contradictions of American identity, and the many layers of American mythology are played out in the endlessly fascinating landscape of the Wild West in L'âme de l'Amérique. Taking Montana as her object, considering our relationship to the land and to each other, Sylvie Brieu has located the heart of Americana." 

The American Library in Paris. 


« In L'âme de l'Amérique, Sylvie Brieu has provided the literary equivalent of the sunlight, the moisture, the scents and sounds that dominate and define the American West but natives like me often get too busy to appreciate. Her years of research included endless miles on dusty roads, going horseback through sacred Blackfeet lands, kayaking the Yellowstone River, and wearing out a few pairs of shoes. Now distilled into this fine book, Brieu’s fresh approach will give pause to Montanans and other Westerners... » 
The Montana Quarterly

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 program 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 Zapotec of Mexico, the Maori of New Zealand, 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 Gens de Lettres, established in the 19th century by Honoré de Balzac among others. She's also a member of Société des Explorateurs Français (French Explorers Society).



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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, North America, South America,  Asia, Oceania and Africa.

Today she gives workshops, speeches and teaches seminars on cultural diversity, gender equality, environmental justice etc. Her audiences have included primary schools, high schools, INSA-Bourges, Oxford university (St Anthony's College, St Hugh's College), UNESCO, National Geographic Society, Women’s Forum for the Economy and Society.

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.

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Created by Sylvie Brieu in 2023, When Our Voices Rise is a non-profit organization. Its goals are to promote the beauty of cultural diversity and biodiversity worldwide and to inspire the desire to protect wildlife. To shine a spotlight on women and men change-makers’ voices who innovate in different fields to solve contemporary issues. To offer a plateform to artists from Indigenous and under-represented minority cultures so that they can share their visions of the world and fight against stereotypes and discrimination. To foster intercultural and intergenerational dialogue and to weave links of solidarity between people from different backgrounds, beliefs and genders. To imagine and build together tomorrow’s world. 


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