Noëlle Perez Christiaens – José Miguel da Fonseca

Noëlle Perez Christiaens – José Miguel da Fonseca

Noëlle Perez was born in Reims on 28.12.1925. After working for 6 years in France with the few yoga teachers of the 1950s, she left for India in 1959 to meet B.K.S. Iyengar who introduced her to total yoga in great depth and allowed her to name her school :

“Yoga, B.K.S. Institute. Iyengar de Paris”.

He opened it to a precise research of ethnophysiology on aplomb thanks to ethnography. He has made numerous study trips to Africa, Portugal, Asia and Central America, which have led to the publication of numerous books on his research. During her stays in Portugal, she met José Miguel da Fonseca, a descarregador on the port, whom she married and who helped her a lot in her work. These were sanctioned by various diplomas: one at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes on “Le port sur la tête et le chapeau des descarregadores de peixe de Setúbal” ; then to a D.E.A. on “Ibero-Maghreb resurgences in the 19th and 20th centuries in Portugal” and finally to a thesis of 2,600 pages on “The different ways of carrying loads on oneself”.

José Miguel da Fonseca was born in Setúbal on 17.03.1932, † June 2015. He was declared to the town hall by his father on 27.04.1932. His father earned his living as a “descarregador de peixe”; when he died, Miguel was only ten years old, his mother and older sister worked in a canning factory, and he ran the house, cooked and looked after the four little ones. So he could not go to school and is illiterate, so his brain developed in a different way from ours, which was a valuable help in Christmas research. He started to paint himself to furnish his solitude when she was in Paris and this passion never left him.

He has organized a large number of exhibitions in France and abroad; he is permanent in various Naive Art Museums, notably the one in Paris. In Italy, the ISA Museum was inaugurated in August 2015, shortly after his death; all his works, paintings and cut-outs, as well as everything he brought back from his numerous trips with Noëlle, are presented there; without forgetting the testimonies of Portuguese life from his mother’s time.

Miguel’s brain and that of all illiterates has developed, as that of children, in the concrete; these beings are important keys which, by opening our eyes, contribute to lead us on the roads of aplomb by becoming for us, in a way, teachers.

ISA Museum – Italy
Renazzo di Cento (Ferrarra) – Via Pilastro, 59
Tel: 0039 320 066 3575

Last updated June 2018