Jean-Paul Mari: The chilling aftershock of a brush with death
Jean-Paul Mari - Journalist and psychologist
Jean-Paul Mari has reported on conflicts in more than three dozen countries. Full bio
covering the war in Iraq.
started arriving in Baghdad.
in the Palestine Hotel,
outside our windows.
in black smoke and oil.
but we knew what was happening.
to be writing an article,
and something big happens.
every now and then
with half-ton missiles,
screaming in the hallways.
been hit by a missile.
I wanted to help out.
from sternum to pubis,
nothing at all.
shiny spot that blinded me,
and I could see his wound,
that stopped at each of the 15 floors.
that took him to the hospital.
who was on the 14th floor and also hit --
between the two floors --
I was supposed to write --
with my arms covered in blood,
I hadn't paid for 10 days.
"Clear your head, put it all aside.
you need to put it all aside."
my article and sent it off.
of having lost my colleagues,
I can't just not know what happened."
and it didn't only happen to me.
happen to others
that had an effect on me too.
I knew in Lebanon,
who had been fighting for five years --
with confidence --
knowing that we would be safe with him.
made him duck quickly under the table,
been able to get up and fight.
where I later found him,
so it was quite a suitable job.
any visible scars?
that some people knew about this --
was called trauma.
or traumatic neurosis.
an experience with death --
lying in a hospital bed,
the void of death.
no one is supposed to see.
can be looked at with a steady eye."
have to face the void of death.
that has entered your brain --
and your mind --
all the space inside.
horrible anxiety attacks --
the same nightmare every night.
who enters a building
with another soldier aiming at him.
straight down the barrel.
becomes enormous, deformed.
he is convinced that he is dead.
the guy left or didn't shoot, whatever,
of a mass grave --
and there's nothing you can do.
for weeks, months --
anxious and terrified,
of horror in your brain,
which is hiding something --
you lock yourself in, you become ill.
outside their house with coins inside,
like you want to die or kill
but you hate everyone.
You seem fine, you have no injuries.
your daily planner --
I might as well commit suicide.
others end up under the bridge, drinking.
that grandfather or uncle or neighbor
into alcoholism or dying.
to express the void of death.
from an assignment,
white tablecloth, candles, guests.
were giving me dirty looks,
I ruined the whole evening.
who died in Iraq --
who went to Iraq
from the First World War
in British psychiatric hospitals.
identified 102,000 --
from committing suicide.
than by combat in Vietnam.
but also ancient wars --
the evidence is there.
if you don't talk about it,
is that this is treatable --
that overwhelms, petrifies and kills you
that holds all of us together."
that obsesses us --
feel excluded from humanity.
and they don't want to see anyone.
I don't use the subway anymore
will see the horror in my eyes."
a terrible skin disease
going from doctor to doctor.
to a psychiatrist.
he told the psychiatrist
from head to toe.
"Why are you in this state?"
I'm dead, so I must be rotting away."
that has a profound effect on people.
we need to talk about it.
and talk about it again.
if we can talk about these things,
by working it out verbally,
our "unbearable lightness of being,"
that keeps us here --
like we're immortal, which we're not,
we'd say, "What's the point of it all?"
that feeling of immortality.
to look death in the face,
rather than keep quiet and hide,
Carole from Iraq, Philippe from the Congo
after a trauma.
who did not survive the trauma.
and mortal, mortal and human,
and identify it once again
of all mysterious places,
About the speaker:Jean-Paul Mari - Journalist and psychologist
Jean-Paul Mari has reported on conflicts in more than three dozen countries.
Why you should listen
Journalist and international correspondent, psychologist and physiotherapist, Jean-Paul Mari published several hundred reports abroad and several works.
He produced a documentary, Irak: quand les soldats meurent (Iraq, wen the soldiers die), as well as a movie, Sans blessures apparentes (Without Visible Wounds), based on his book of the same name, for which he won the 2010 Grand Prix et le Prix du Public. In 2009, he was the recipient of the Grand prix des lectrices de Elle
He is the creator and the manager of grands-reporters.com and has just published a novel, La Tentation d'Antoine (The Temptation of Antoine).
Jean-Paul Mari | Speaker | TED.com