Authors Posts by Raphael Godechot

Raphael Godechot

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This year on March 31, a citizen movement, ‘Nuit Debout’ began in Paris. Similar to ‘Occupy’ in the USA or London and to the ‘Indignados’ in Spain, this movement had a tumultuous beginning. At its origin: a thought-provoking film and a good amount of media censorship. Preparing for the global protests of #NuitDebout this month. Photo courtesy: @nuitdebout On 24 February 2016, journalist François Ruffin released his first film, ‘Merci Patron’ (Thanks Boss). A refreshing documentary in which he takes on the challenge to bring financial reparation to a couple of factory workers from North of France. Both were dismissed

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Summer in Paris is synonym of fantasy for visitors. For locals, apart from the weather, the city still has the same face. The air is still warmly polluted, as usual cars are stuck in traffic jams, and locals confront their stubborn routine while siding with amazed tourists from every corner of the world. Not much changes here but the seasons. On the other hand, the change of season, from sunny days to pouring is life changing for the hundreds of migrants and refugees who are bordering the river Seine in Paris along with luxury boats and fancy night clubs. They

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Switching on to any news channel is enough to understand that Europe is not at its best these days. Between the saga of the Greek financial tragedy, the migrants’ waves trying to enter the European Union, the rising extreme right movement and the diverse disastrous attacks that can erupt at any moments, the old continent is scared. Luckily, and in its pure historical European tradition, scapegoats are being found, thanks in part to corporate media and traditional political parties, always here to point fingers when needed. Greece For the Greek crisis the answer is easy: It is the fault of

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The January 2015 attacks on the satirical weekly newspaper, Charlie Hebdo, along with the related events that followed, have opened a pandora box into the French public debate. It is the questioning of one concept that has created a climate of incertitude in France and elsewhere: the one of ’liberté d’expression’, freedom of speech. Since the debate promptly spread around the world, there is little chance that the box will be rightly shut anytime soon. Prior to the events, it almost seemed that the meaning of this notion was taken for granted, in the West at least. In January, the

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Once historical enemies, France and the United Kingdom are now aligned on several social and economic matters troubling their countries. Such phenomenon seems to have accelerated in time of the financial crisis, raging since 2008. For better or worse, the two countries have taken the habit to customarily gaze across the channel: France in order to praise the English liberal “miracle”, while UK seems to be imitating certain faction of the French political scene. If this occurrence is not likely to stop, it is however doubtful that the last recent UK general elections are a political example to follow for

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Gun violence, glorification of money, powerful cars, hyper-sexualized women along with hyper-masculinity symbols became emblematic of the Hip-hop culture, in US and France.

Represent the Real hip-hop. Anyone who has ever devoted an ear to a few rap songs has heard this line. In the USA, there are numerous pioneers of the genre who self-appropriated this claim or others similar, such as ‘Keep it Real’. Through artists such as Public Enemy and KRS One to Tupac and Nas among hundreds of others, Hip-hop made its way towards public recognition in the USA due to the veracity of its message. A music to which listeners could identify to. Through depicting the subtle or obvious daily violence rising from historical and contemporary social segregation and

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I cannot say that in Kashmir many moments occurred which reminded me of my native, quiet, suburb of Paris. But surprisingly, one situation certainly did.

A policeman frisking a Kashmiri in Srinagar. Photograph by Shahid Tantray While being away from home, it is not rare to find fragments of foreign experience reminiscent of moments lived at home. These déja vu of similar taste, smell or situations can not be predicted. Their instantaneous familiarity proves that you experienced that feeling before. One will keep wondering until their origins can be identified. I cannot say that in Kashmir many moments occurred which reminded me of my native, quiet, suburb of Paris. But surprisingly, one situation certainly did. It wasn’t the most expected one. Along with my Kashmiri

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A graffiti in Srinagar’s downtown area. Photograph by David Laumann The summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, Srinagar, early this year had got its first art gallery. Worthy of its name, Gallerie One, unlatched its door to the public on 12 January 2015, creating a space where art and culture could have existed and flourished. But in a place where the unstable political atmosphere dictates the options, nothing is ever sure to last. Around a month after the Gallerie One was opened, on 23 February, it was shutdown by the government. Previously, the government had given the go ahead for

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  Before landing in Kashmir this year, I thought I had more or less of an understanding of what loaded words as conflict or occupation implied. I always tried to keep myself informed. However, when I went to the valley two months ago, I realised how little I knew about the place. Most of my certainties vanished. One in particular did, which has drastically changed my way of looking at the occupation now. I used to believe that the way of resistance through non-violent artistic, cultural and intellectual activities could exist in such places, and that the youth was not

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