TRISTAN. A sensitive education

“Yet it can happen, suddenly, unexpectedly, and most frequently in the half-light-of-glimpses, that we catch sight of another visible order which intersects with ours and has nothing to do with it.[…] We come upon a part of the visible which wasn’t destined for us. Perhaps it was destined for night-birds, reindeer, ferrets, eels, whales…” John Berger

Tristan is a bird educator, he prepares birds for theatre and cinema and develops their positive contact with humans in “ornitotherapy”. As a child, in the forest behind his parent’s house he realized that, while remaining still for a long time, the animals came out of the vegetation. The approach in respect of the rhythm of the other, remains the basis of Tristan’s method. His technique is based on the understanding of bird’s sensibility, that is more extensive than ours, moving to areas we have partly forgotten in the course of evolution. Body position, intensity of the look or even the intentions that animate us, have for birds a great deal of importance. Following Tristan, we can enter their world made of minimal, subtle and incorporeal events.

France 2017/ongoing



1- The starling named Firmin (9 years old) on the hand of Tristan. Starlings have a great group intelligence, but also as individuals, and Tristan uses them in sessions of “mediation through the animal” with inmates and people with disabilities. France 2018

2- Behind Tristan’s home, the forest descends to the Vienna River, which runs through the region. The photo was taken from the bridge leading to one of the nearest villages, Bonneuil-Matours. France 2017

3- The necked parakeet named “Belle-Bete” returns to her lodge. France 2017

4- The stork called “Mildred” returns to the nest that she built on the roof of Tristan’s house. She bring twigs in the beak to continue the construction of her nest. Mildred has been living with Tristan for many years, she perceives him as her companion.  France 2017

5- Pigeons in the aviary. The relationships within the group are governed by precise hierarchies, even if some of them change from dominant to passive (and from male to female) depending on the circumstances. France 2017

6- Every morning Tristan weighs all his birds. The pigeons spontaneously take place on the balance, and they even queue up onto the wooden bar. Everyone has a “flying weight”, if it weighs too much it does not fly anymore, if it weighs too little it is an indication of weakness and could be sick. France 2017

7- The stork called “Mildred”. France 2017

8- Inside the house of Tristan, between a forest and another. France 2017

9- A small group of swans “play” in the pond while Tristan and I are visiting them for the feeding moment. The swans used to work in a dance show at the Lido in Paris before the attacks of November 2015. France, 2017

10- Bayo is the crow who has lived with Tristan for 14 years, is the most long-lived bird and he has participated in something like 300 shows and films. The relationship between them is like between two brothers. France, 2018

11- Tristan enters the aviary of the barn owl Boubo. It is a very intimate moment, Tristan has a special relationship with each of his birds, but in the last year he is working a lot with Boubo for a theater play where Boubo is co-protagonist, they are therefore in contact for a long time. France, 2017

12- The golden feathers of the back of the barn owl Boubo. While I was sitting on the floor, taking pictures of Boubo with Tristan during training, he spontaneously flew over my foot. I could thus see closely the wonder of his plumage. France, 2017

13- Boubo walks around the room looking for some indication from Tristan, who is sitting on the stool. Small and precious, the barn owl has an expression that reveals all his trust in Tristan. France 2017

14- These images was taken at the 104 in Paris, France, during a training session for the theatrical performance “La Rive dans le Noir” by Pascal Quignard. Boubo and another bird of Tristan, the crow Bayo, played in the show. France 2017

15- Tristan with Firmin come back home. France 2018