This page is a home for recordings of our past events from the Center for French and Francophone Studies. 

Rithy Panh is one of the most acclaimed documentary filmmakers today. A former student of “La Fémis,” he created a unique body of work consisting of documentaries and feature films that mostly deal with modern Cambodia and the traumatic legacy of the Khmer Rouge regime. L’Image manquante (The Missing Image, 2013) became the first Franco-Cambodian film nominated for an Academy Award as “Best Foreign Language Film.” Rithy Panh developed “Bophana: Audio Visual Resource Center – Cambodia,” with an aim towards preserving the country’s filmic, photographic and audio history.” Rithy Panh received an honorary doctorate in 2011 from the University of Paris-VIII, and in 2012 published his acclaimed autobiography L'Élimination. In 2014, he received the “Preservation and Scholarship” Award from the International Documentary Association (IDA). He recently published a book with Christophe Bataille, La Paix avec les morts, which deals with the possibility of the “vivre ensemble” post-genocide. 

Marc Marder is a musician from New York, now living in Paris. As a double bassist he performed as first chair at the Mostly Mozart Festival in Lincoln Center, New York and as member of the French National Orchestra conducted by Leonard Bernstein and Lorin Maazel. Besides performing in many different styles of music he has composed music for over a hundred films, sundry incidental music for plays and concert pieces. He has composed the scores for all 23 of Cambodian Rithy Panh's films- both documentaries and fictions - and has been with him at the Cannes Festival in the Official Selection six times. In 2013 The Missing Picture won the prize of the Un Certain Regard selection and was nominated for an Oscar in the Foreign film selection. For this same score he won the prize for Best Music in Film awarded by the Sacem and the French National Radio in 2014.

 On a Slamé sur la Lune is a collective of poets dedicated to creating dialogue between imaginaries and cultures, to democratizing literature under its various forms, and to making art accessible to a wide range of audiences.

Slam poet and novelist, Marc Alexandre Oho Bambe has published eight books ADN (Afriques Diasporas Négritude) at Plume de l’Ange in 2009, Le Chant des possibles in 2014 (Editions La Cheminante), Résidents de la République in 2016 (La Cheminante), De terre, de mer, d’amour et de fer in 2017 (Editions Mémoire d’Encrier), Diên Biên Phù in 2018 (Sabine Wespieser), Ci-gît mon cœur in 2018 (La Cheminante), Fragments in 2019 (Bernard Chauveau), Les lumières d’Oujda in 2020 (Calmann-Lévy).

He is the founding member of the collective On a Slamé sur la lune and a chronicler for Africultures, Mediapart and Le Nouveau Magazine Littéraire. He regularly visits universities and schools for workshops. In 2017, he has been nominated Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite. He has been slamming throughout the world.

Slam poet and digital artist, Albert Morisseau-Leroy is a member of the collective On a Slamé sur la Lune. His artistic approach joins that of popular education enabling forms of cultural citizenship. He uses digital, visual, and sound tools to heighten the impact of poetry.  

‘L’Art n’est rien s’il ne peut être partagé et au service des citoyens que nous sommes... la poésie en est un des moteurs... Il est au présent, vision future, témoin passé.’

2021 marks the 10th anniversary of Fukushima. Over the past decade, there have been numerous studies on the triple disaster (earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear catastrophe) in a wide variety of fields, ranging from risk analysis to the environmental consequences, as well as the socio-political implications and the effects on public health. However, its impact on the world of art, which was both rapid and disruptive, has so far not received the critical attention it deserves. Using the recent publication of the book Dans l'œil du désastre : créer avec Fukushima (The Eye of the Storm: Art in the Time of Fukushima, Paris, éditions Thierry Marchaisse, 2021), a voluminous collection of interviews and dialogues between Japanese and French artists, as a starting point, I will explore the consequences of the event called "Fukushima" on Japanese and French art and, in addition, the role of art in the new configuration of the Japanese society after “3/11”. Beyond the Japanese situation, while the Covid-19 pandemic is now leading to an extensive inflammation of bodies, minds and social fabrics, what are the lessons to be learned and the questions to be asked about the place, the role and the value of art in our increasingly catastrophic societies?  

Michaël Ferrier is a writer, professor at Chuo University (Tokyo) and director of the Groupe de recherches Figures de l’Étranger. He has authored numerous texts on art and literature, and has also penned several stories and novels, including Sympathie pour le Fantôme (2010), Mémoires d’outre-mer (2015), and François, portrait d’un absent (2018, Prix Décembre), all published by Gallimard. Since writing Fukushima, récit d’un désastre (Gallimard, 2012, Prix Édouard-Glissant), he has continued to reflect on this catastrophe and its cultural, political, and artistic implications.

Hospitality, the receiving of a newcomer who is initially a stranger, has often been considered an obligation at the heart of basic interactions in human societies. Emmanuel Kant, by asserting that “every stranger has the right to not be treated as the enemy,” has turned the idea of hospitality into an ethical question. The question that I explore, which is part of the project of creating a shared world, is how to shift from the ethical obligation of hospitality to a right to hospitality. It is a question of transitioning from hospitality as a favor to hospitality as a right, by establishing a pragmatic principle that would be part of a cosmopolitics of hospitality as a response to the impasses of migration policies of a world that inexorably experiences its cosmopolitan condition. 

Felwine Sarr is a Senegalese scholar and writer. He is the Anne-Marie Bryan Distinguished Professor of Romance Studies at Duke University in North Carolina, having arrived at Duke from the Université Gaston Berger in Saint-Louis in Senegal, where he is a tenured professor with an agrégation in economics.

Respondent: Professor Achille Mbembe (Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research at the University of the Witwatersrand).

Current events related to both economics and the virus bring to the fore the issue of equality—or lack thereof. We have a tendency to consider all humans to be innately equal, but upon closer examination this proposition is null. On what, then, can equality be founded if there is no natural or supernatural basis? On nothing?

Jean-Luc Nancy is a philosopher and Professor Emeritus at the Marc Bloch University in Strasbourg (where he used to teach) and has also been a Visiting Professor at several foreign universities (UCLA, Berlin Freie Universität). He is the co-director of the series "La philosophie en effet"  (“Philosophy in Effect) for Editions Galilée, as well as a member of the editorial board of Espace Maurice Blanchot and the Scientific Committee for the complete works of Emmanuel Levinas. Nancy is one of the most important thinkers within post-Heideggerian European philosophy. In his works, which have been devoted to themes lik body and adoration, to name just a couple, reflections on the arts and collaborations with artists have been of primary importance. Nancy has famously reopened the question of the grounds of community and politics with his work La communauté désoeuvrée (The Inoperative Community) to which Maurice Blanchot and Giorgio Agamben responded with The Unavowable Community (1983) and The Coming Community (1983) respectively. He was the subject Jacques Derrida’s only book dedicated to a contemporary philosopher, entitled Jean-Luc Nancy, le toucher. He has written numerous books, notably  L'expérience de la liberté (The Experience of Freedom, Galilée, 1988), Le sens du monde (The Sense of the World, Galilée, 1993), Être singulier pluriel (Being Singular Plural, Galilée, 1996), La création du monde ou la mondialisation (Galilée, 2002), La déclosion (The Deconstruction of Christianity, Galilée, 2005), Noli me tangere (Bayard, 2003), L’Adoration (The Adoration, Galilée 2010), and Blanchot. Passion politique (Galilée 2011). Nancy’s books have been translated into several languages and have appeared in several countries (USA, Italy, Japan, Germany, Russia, Finland, Korea, Spain). His most recent opus is La Peau fragile du monde, published in 2020.

This talk will analyze current French movements against police brutalities and racism (Black Lives Matter and other grassroots organizations) from a historical perspective (1920s-2000s). The French uprisings have most often been viewed as offshoots of the American unrest following the murder of George Floyd. Ndiaye's intervention will highlight more local developments, taking into account their connection to the U.S. as well as their own contextual dynamics and historical trajectories.

Pap Ndiaye is a Professor of History at Sciences Po (Paris, France). His areas of interest are the history and sociology of African Americans and people of African descent in France. Together with Patrick Lozès, Ndiaye co-founded the Action Committee for the Promotion of Diversity in France.