These young identities who turn green

He is a little pale, with large brown locks, an earring and a dark T-shirt. With his look like Nicola Sirkis, the singer of Indochina, it’s not easy to imagine Raphaël Ayma, 20, experienced in field work. But since he joined the Tenesoun association, the young man from Aix is ​​happy to handle the shovel and the hoe. In a photo posted on social networks, we see him shirtless participating in a session of « mulching » with friends, a step before planting zucchini, leeks and legumes, which will later be sold to neighbours.

Raphaël Ayma, 20, in a market in Aix-en-Provence, December 10, 2022. The young man is part of the Tenesoun association, an ultra-right group heir to a neofascist movement, which claims to practice a “ field ecology.

Despite appearances, Tenesoun, which Raphaël Ayma joined a year and a half ago, is not a quiet peasant collective, but an ultra-right group heir to the Social Bastion, a neo-fascist movement dissolved by the government in 2019 due to its violence. Against all odds, their identity fight is now adorned with green. “In a society that has become more tertiarized, it is healthy to return to the land. We practice field ecology,” explains Raphaël Ayma. In his living room, in Aix-en-Provence (Bouches-du-Rhône), he retraces his militant career in video: the son of workers who grew up in a village on the outskirts of Aix first towed for the Party communist and then engaged in the movement of “yellow vests”. His shift to the far right dates from the assassination of Samuel Paty in October 2020. He, who has several teachers in his family, becomes concerned about the “great replacement”, this conspiracy theory popularized by the writer Renaud Camus, deceiving against a supposed submersion of the West by migrant populations.

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Raphaël Ayma learns of the existence of Tenesoun thanks to posters posted in the city center of Aix-en-Provence. After a beer shared in their local, he feels at home in this association which claims 40 activists and 400 members in Aix and Orange (Vaucluse). In addition to typical ultra-right agit-prop operations – march in tribute to the young Lola murdered behind banners l’immigration tue », poster collage “Our villages need public services, not migrants” –, Tenesoun offers its members the opportunity to work the land through the maintenance of the community vegetable garden, to participate in conferences on ecology, Amazon boycott operations or cigarette butt collection.

“I am much more environmentalist now than when I was a productivist communist. » Raphaël Ayma, member of the ultra-right group Tenesoun

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