Accompanying walker, painter, photographer
Photo credit: ©Philippe Quevauviller
Born in 1959 in Oujda (Morocco), Mo Belhachemi took his first steps in France because his parents had landed in Paris for economic reasons. They lived a little cramped with their family in the 18th arrondissement, then in a council flat in Seine Saint-Denis before finding more space in a pavilion at Roissy en Brie in 1973. He worked for the SNCF for two years, got scolded one morning for being late and slammed the door without thinking. He became a Parisian taxi and remained so for 32 years, which he did not regret. Meanwhile, he got married, had two children, and settled in Joinville le Pont...
In more than 30 years of taxi service, one can transport a lot of people! Mo estimates that he has crossed the road with more than 150,000 people. Some encounters were magnificent, he even built solid friendships, others were less pleasant, this is the counterpart of the sentence of Vinicius de Moraes who said "life is the art of encounters" but who added "although there are so many bad encounters in this life". Among the less pleasant encounters is the misery he encountered in the streets, a solitude that upseted him and whose image he fixed during his Parisian tours.
His meeting with Pierre Barouh is worthy of a film script. The latter, living in the 5th arrondissement, used to travel by scooter... which broke down one morning. He was offered to call a taxi, he refused, left on foot, and finally decided to jump into Mo's taxi. A short trip for a great friendship that will last forever. Pierre and Mo met regularly, shared the same values, got excited, got indignant, made beautiful encounters... the photos taken by Mo fascinated Pierre, who discovered that Mo was also a painter in his own time. He helped him to set up exhibitions with the aim of contributing to help the Samusocial and an association "Les passeurs d'art" (which helps children through music).
And then Pierre left, sowing pollen which will make beautiful friendships germinate... one of them was that of Philippe Quevauviller whom he met with his eyes on the day of Pierre's farewell in Montmartre. They met again during a Saravah evening organised by Benjamin, Pierre's son, and the meeting was obvious... Mo was to come to Brussels in March 2020 to make an exhibition of his paintings and photos in Brussels, with his mutual friend, Eric Guilleton, but a tiny little bug decided otherwise. So he will come back, and this little Saravah family grows stronger over the years by meeting up in Brussels, Paris, Vendée...