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Commitment is at the heart of their business. These men and women are inspired by the world to act differently and sustainably, making their environment a channel for expression, creativity, innovation and solidarity. Finance, culture, crafts, industry and the media are just some of the fields embodied by these personalities, who agreed to take part in the Proust questionnaire in La Mèche mode. What are their enduring secrets? As far as you’re concerned, they’re spilling the beans.

Production: Cornland Studio

Marius Diserens has been a queer activist for several years now, and was elected to the town council for the Green Party in the town of Nyon, where he works closely with the public safety department to open it up to issues concerning LGBTQIA+ populations. He responds to the pronouns we want to give him, defines himself as gender fluid and has intersectionality at the heart of all his struggles. He did a master’s degree in gender studies and specialized in queer theory, while doing project management to raise awareness and visibilize issues concerning LGBTQIA+ populations. Also a yoga teacher, it’s this contact with others, whether human beings or other natural entities, that lies at the heart of her words and actions. His perspective is, as he so aptly puts it, fundamentally ecofeminist: human liberation must necessarily go hand in hand with an anti-capitalist and planetary struggle to defend biodiversity, safeguard resources, protect natural environments and make visible the destruction caused by climate change.


Who are you and what do you do in life?
My name is Marius, I’m 25 years old, I’m a newly elected member of the Nyon town council, a yoga teacher, a specialist in gender and diversity, and a bit of an activist, mainly on social networks.
What’s your current state of mind?
Very proud and determined for the future.
What’s your main character trait?
I am very very persistent and will never accept a no for an answer if I would like it to be a yes.
What does it mean to be green today?
I think we all have our own ways of being green, and that starts with respecting each other’s ways of doing things and functioning ecologically. It’s a personal transformation and you have to accept that we don’t all move at the same pace. And we all have different commitments, as far as I’m concerned, both political and personal. There’s a certain perfection that I don’t think we can have yet, so we’re looking for maximum consistency, and for me that’s also perhaps what being green is all about, seeking consistency while always being a little imperfect.
Who inspires you and why?
My biggest inspiration today is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who is in the House of Representatives in the United States, because she’s a woman who fought for her values and really grew out of a “grassroots movement” as they say, from the ground up, and today is one of the most influential people on the American political scene at least. She’s someone I look up to with great admiration.
How did your desire for commitment come about, and what was the trigger if there was one?
I don’t think there was any real trigger, it all came very naturally, and it’s mainly the violence I’ve experienced that has made me so offended and angry at society, that I wanted to find another way of responding to it and stand up for its values and identities.
How does your commitment manifest itself on a daily basis?
I often tend to say that my gender, my identity and my values enter a room before I do, so it’s also just a matter of being me and having a discourse that allows me to act and be an activist already. And then it’s also about doing your research, backing up all your knowledge with real background and arguments when we have debates. This is what inspires and enriches me the most, but at the same time it’s the biggest challenge, having a discussion and meeting others and trying to debate constructively so that we can move forward together.


In your business how do you integrate the notion of sustainability?
I don’t have a background or expertise in ecology or sustainability, but from my political involvement I think it’s really an ecofeminist mix, a mix of struggles. Sustainability lies not only in the environment and in what we can put in place personally and politically, but also in how we respect others, how we walk together, how we advance all the different struggles and fights for different identities and values, and that’s really a struggle I’m rooting myself in and trying to promote.


What are the biggest challenges facing ?
It’s very simply to defend my reality and my identity, while at the same time detaching myself from it and freeing myself from it to show that I’m not just that.


What has the pandemic changed in your relationship with the world?
On the one hand, she encouraged me to get involved politically, which was already a good start, and on the other, she made me even more aware of the importance of mobilizing, getting together and respecting each other in all our different struggles and rhythms. It has enabled me to be much more tolerant of myself in particular, and to really go at my own pace. 


Tell me your fondest memory of nature.
When I came home last night from my swearing-in with my heels in hands, jumping into puddles of water in the rain. The coolest, let’s say, will be this one.


If you were a tree, which would you be and why?
I once read that the oak tree attracts lightning, but also symbolizes majesty and strength, so I might be a little bold enough to say that I’d be an oak tree.


What capacity of nature would you like to have?
Regeneration to recover faster from the spikes that are thrown at me.
If you were a source of energy, what would you be?
With humility the sun.


Your favourite season and why? 
Spring because nature is reborn and it’s really so splendid, inspiring and full of hope.
Your favourite landscape? 
Lake Geneva and, if possible, with the people I love out front. 


For you, preserving the planet means what?
It’s not only about having stricter political measures at the environmental level, but also about part forcing ourselves to
have the courage to make this personal transition
and then respecting people and tolerating all the people who live there.


What pollution can’t you stand? 

People who talk for nothing.


What solutions for the planet are you most looking forward to ?
A real awareness of the stakes environmental, that is really something that is transversal and that is understood by all of society and by everyone because we’re still a long way from that and we saw it just in the last votes on June 13.
The anti-sustainable gesture you find hard to give up?
Take baths because I really need them for my mental health.


What is it that you can no longer find in your kitchen?


What does the environment do for you?
Walking, even if it makes me sweat in summer.


Your biggest contradiction?
Advocate gender equality and myself wear clothing that subjugates the woman, typically heels.
If you had to have a green motto, what would it be?
Doing violence to yourself because a transition isn’t always easy and neither is change, but it’s so worth it.
What is your idea of happiness?

When someone looks at me kindly.

And your idea of pleasure?
To see the things I aspire to come true.
What can we do at an individual level to make a difference?
First of all listening to the social justice movements, I think that’s a very important thing. Voices are carried into the public and media space and we need to take the time to listen to them, to see them, to hear them, and to digest them too. And we need to listen to people who know better than we do, because I think we are all imperfect beings, that we all need to learn from people who can teach us. And even I have no background and no training whatsoever in terms of the environment, ecology, biodiversity but I’m in politics to learn and I know that there are many people who are professionals and experts and they are there to help me move forward.
How can we make a collective difference? 
A community is more than just being with each other, it’s taking each other by the hand and trusting each other, loving each other too, and I think we need more of that today.
What’s your utopia, Marius?
A world of crystal-clear communication.
What are the three things or the three essential steps to change the world?
I think the first thing is to change ourselves before changing the world, and that will come in four stages. There’s a quote I often repeat at the end of my yoga classes: 

“observe, accept, release and transform”.

What should the new world community look like?
It will have all sizes, all shapes, all colors, all possible identities, it will be flamboyant.
Thank you
With great pleasure

We’d love to hear your inspiring stories! If you’d like to try your hand at the Proust questionnaire, or share your experience, commitment, tips or gripes, go to the “Share with us ” discussion forum on the La Mèche platform, here:

Questionnaire de Proust

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