Cric? Crac!

Jean Rouch was very fond of sharing the phrase "Cric? Crac!" with friends and colleagues. The expression comes originally from West African and Caribbean traditional storytelling. Jean often shared a version of this folktale as part of his workshops:

Two young twin sisters played a constant game in which one sister would say "Cric?" — to which the other would say "Crac!" In this way, the sisters would playfully affirm their connection with each other: "Cric?" (Are you there?) and "Crac!" (Yes, here I am); or "Cric?" (Are you ready?) and "Crac (Yes, let's go).

After a time, the two twins were separated for a period of many years, due to a family tragedy. Then one day in a market, one of them happened to say "Cric?" When she heard another woman nearby respond immediately "Crac!" she knew it could only be her twin sister, and the two women were reunited.

In workshops with Jean, when a film screening finished, he would often say "Cric?" to the class. If everyone was ready to move on to the next subject, the group knew to respond "Crac!" — their collective response often accompanied with a sense of shared delight.

This section — affectionately titled Cric? Crac! — contains assorted stories, interviews and other Jean Rouch delights.