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Cercle de Lectures - Monts et merveilles

In black and white. Photos of all kinds.

18h 30 at 20h
18h 30 at 20h

Free entrance

On registration

In french


Beginning in October 2020, Corina Ciocârlie and the Cercle Cité introduced a new cycle of encounters devoted to the phenomenon of migration as seen by writers and photographers. 

In the foreground of a famous painting by Brueghel the Elder we see a farmer ploughing his field, perfectly indifferent to the distress of Icarus who is drowning just behind him in a sea that could scarcely be said to be calm. Looking at the scene, we might be led to believe we are always alone in the world when faced with imminent disaster. In reality, this is not true at all. Apart from the impassive witnesses to the drama that is played out over and over again before their half-closed eyes, a whole multitude of people are busy coming and going around migrants: smugglers, coastguards, customs officers, first-aid workers, managers of accommodation centres, militants from humanitarian organisations, doctors and reporters without frontiers…

In narratology we speak of adjuncts: the people who assist you and guide you all along the way, but also those who encourage you to cast off, to take sometimes excessive risks. In short, those who promise you the sun and the moon in order to make you the protagonist in an adventure story…. In fairy tales from the Balkans the hero always has a horse by his side which, if necessary, is transformed into Pegasus to fly over the "seven seas and seven countries". Migrants have only the beautiful images that have been dangled before them, images of Eldorado, the Garden of Delights, or what is called – and rightly so – the Land of Great Promise.

Having evoked the Land of Plenty and its inhabitants in the month of October, we will now consider two key characters in the crossing, the smuggler and the rich American uncle (who can, in this case, be an uncle from Belgium, France, or anywhere else). The one who, in return for a contribution, helps you to cross the ocean – or the river, or to travel by night – and the one who, for more or less praiseworthy reasons, is waiting for you when the boat docks in the port of New York, like Uncle Jakob in Kafka's The Man who Disappeared, or at the Gare d'Austerlitz in Paris, like Uncle Gabriel in Zazie in the metro.

There may be an illusion in either case, a con or a misrepresentation, but it doesn't matter because, after all, we need mirages – Fata Morgana or smoke and mirrors – when we travel by sight with neither a compass nor a sextant.

In accordance with the health instructions related to the Covid-19 pandemic, this lecture will not take place at Auditorium Cité but will be held online, via Zoom. To guarantee a good interaction with the public, the number of participants is limited to 25 people. 

Cercle Cité, in collaboration with Corina Ciocârlie

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