They are called Colas, Camille, Ysabel, Pilou… children of the Middle-Age to be presumed innocent. The story revolves around Colas, twelve years old, who fled from a bosom of the family violent. Its not the lead you to a brewery where other kids, like him, have fled the misery.

Exploited and enslaved, their only distraction is to go to church on Sunday. One winter evening, Colas has a vision: Jesus appears to him and asks him to go deliver his tomb in Jerusalem. He convinces the others to launch out in this adventure, without the help of adults, convinced that he will not anything happen to him, thanks to their pure heart.

“This album is designed to awaken a part of a critical sense in each of us”

Chloe Cruchaudet

The story bitter Chloe Cruchaudet is inspired by a historical fact rather little known. The expedition to the holy Land, in 1212, named the Crusade of the children. A popular movement of a spontaneous born in France, in Germany and in Northern Italy, which led to thousands of poverty-stricken up to the shores of the Mediterranean.

“What interested me in this story, it is to put in the scene of children in a survival situation, to fend for themselves with the idea that it will never happen to them because they believe themselves to be innocent, and that, in reality, with the hardness of the journey they are no longer able to control their initial idea. It turns tragic,” says Chloe Cruchaudet.

poverty-stricken and abused by life, their only salvation has been the power of their imagination. Their mystical quest symbolizes first of all the hope for a better future: “When you live in extreme conditions, as its children, it must be a part of idealism to take. But he should be wary of the dogmas and not to blindly believe everything we are told. This album is designed to awaken a part of a critical sense in all of us. I decided to write this story I had in mind for years, particularly because I do not understand how young people can blow themselves up. Without providing any answers, this story asks around it,” says the artist.

Even though the album offers few parentheses humorous and joyful, it puts in scene a journey, difficult and challenging, where the cold, the hunger, the trauma of the violence experienced and the lack of education away from their ideals of starting. Beings, fragile and strong at the times that are left manipulated by an ideology in which he believes hard as iron.

The box BD: decryption of the board by the designer Chloe Cruchaudet

This image was made on a paper-stained, charcoal and white chalk. © Editions Soleil, 2018 — Cruchaudet

“This image shows a little girl in a winter landscape. I made a large format, on paper tinted, charcoal and white chalk. It serves as an introduction to the next chapter and faces a poem of Rutebeuf expressing the poverty, the distress of the “tramp” in the winter. Without having read the poem, the drawing seems from the first glance give an impression of peacefulness. The path, as well as the vegetation are covered with snow, we imagine that may be the children come back from a walk, and head to their dorm. The little girl holds a bird in his arms, his face is full of sweetness. But better look, you realize that she is trying to strangle her…

I like to play the “counterpoint”, in this case there, playing on the contrast between this child is so cute, a peaceful atmosphere, and the violence of his gesture. The fact it only by necessity, or does it take a certain pleasure? A slight smile on his face casts doubt. I voluntarily gave an ambiguity to her expression.

This character is called Ysabel, she is charming, looks smart and you will see that this has not his tongue in his pocket. Its special feature is its relationship with animals. Later, its victims will be the beetles with which it would be a pretty crown for Pilou. If the intention was laudable, the process is more questionable, as the crusade that his children have company. A nice thought to start, but ways to achieve that deviate from these ideals, as many of the crusades at that time.

She commits his crimes without any real perversity, as if it did not really account of what she was doing. There is always a form of justification, such as when she fouettera the behind of a donkey to save a difficult situation even Pilou. It is found in some children this phase of cruelty, pretty shocking, which fortunately ends in general pass. But as these children are not supervised, conceptualized by adults, I imagined that this violence does not satisfy, and that it was, on the contrary, accentuated by conditions of survival difficult. As my narrative questions this idea of innocence that is supposed to children, this secondary character is important, and comes back at a different time of the narration. Through Ysabel also, people have been asking this question: how far can we justify violence?”