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42 Boulevard du Maréchal Foch

77300 Fontainebleau

01 64 31 51 33

Interview de l'éco-acteur

Geneviève Dumant, éco-acteur
Geneviève Dumant

I am from the forest! I was born in Fontainebleau. My motivation stems from the passion for the forest. I would call it an innate passionate, because my parents moved to Fontainebleau to raise their children. They considered it a treasure to have Fontainebleau as a city of birth. My parents walked with me in a pram. I laid in a pram with my first visions being of the forest, the leaves, the trees as seen from below. I like to think that I was impregnated with the forest.

How did you become a storyteller ?

I studied science, I'm a mathematician. Then I met a librarian in Fontainebleau in the 80s. It was the great revival of storytelling. With this librarian, we sought to do something that regards the forest that does not involve consumption.

As we had been to storytelling shows, we decided to bring storytellers to the forest. It was the beginning of the Forêt qui Parle (the talking forest), which was an association. It was extraordinary, a real hit. Since 1995, 30,000 children have come to the Gorges de Franchard. I gradually learned the art of storytelling, and I became an entrepreneur over time.

What do you offer your audience, and how do you adapt to it ?

For me, the originality of my work is that the story is a medium. The focus is always on the forest. I want to be an intermediary between people and the forest. We open doors as we walk, until we arrive at the story and the clearing of silence at the end of the trail.

In addition, I said that I had a scientific education. Even if what I do is not scientific, I never lie. I don't expect that we will find an elf by lifting a leaf. I try to stay close to my experience of the forest. The forest is enchanting when we let it make its way to our heart. That's what allows me to talk to children and adults, even if I do not use the same words.

How did you come to sign the charter with the Biosphere Reserve ?

Essentially, it is quite far from my professional life. I am an environmental activist at heart, so for me it was great that there was a Biosphere Reserve, but it had nothing to do with my profession. I didn't realise that I could be a part of it. It took place by word of mouth. I was a partner in a nature discovery activity during the last bike ride. Jean-Michel Martin, the director of the Biosphere, came to me at that time.

How does your commitment concretely translate into your work ?

I had very little changes to make to participate in the Biosphere! Deep down, the forest has always been the focus of my work, and I spent 20 years constantly telling myself, "Does this tale speak of the connection with nature"? The story of Midas, for example, talks about ecology. The secret that is given to the earth in this tale, and which finally comes out, is like the waste that we bury; we think we have found the solution by entrusting it to the earth. In the end, my stories are always related to ecology, and that's what makes my work fall within the Biosphere Charter.