La sédimentation de l’invisible toxique dans les régimes de visibilité
Friday 13 December 2013, 14h-18h
  • meetings

Isaac Julien, The Attendant

La sédimentation de l’invisible toxique dans les régimes de visibilité (The sedimentation of the toxic invisibility in the systems of visibility): How much disintegration is caused by racism directed against individuals? How is it generated? How does it work in the private sphere and within social structures? While the social order brings its controlling influence to bear on subjects, they sometimes find a remedy in the desire that grows as they overcome their suffering. Moderators: Emmanuelle Chérel, Mathieu K. Abonnenc, Lotte Arndt

2 pm: Creolising a fantasy of submission
After showing the film The Attendant by Isaac Julien (10 min, 1993), Ninette Succab Glissant, psychologist and psychoanalyst, will discuss the toxicity of images from a psychological perspective. Observing the effects of the image on a subject allows us to spot how the subject is taken, manipulated, captured in the field of vision. However, the mental image, related to the visual image, is a form of suffering that is hidden from view.

3 pm: Seeing racism.
By Maxime Cervulle, sociologist. From the process of decolonisation to the present day, many authors have stressed to what extent racism depends on socially organised visibility. Whether they’re made invisible through the mechanism of urban segregation or whether they are called “visible minorities” by the public institutions in charge of regulating French media, the social groups that are the most vulnerable to racism seem caught in the trap of the visible/invisible dialectic. Handled in this way, the category of “race” can itself be seen as a “persistent image” (Gilroy, 1997; 185), a reminder filtered down from colonial cultures that have remained by seeping into numerous social and technical mediations that are layered over our own vision. The tangle of the regimes of visibility and racism are seen at different levels – in the modes of information production and the stories told about the social world, in the varied distribution of social spaces and time, in the technical instruments of surveillance, and even in the technology of visual mediation. This conference intends to present the importance of a visual sociology of racism, in order to outline the shapes of different visibility regimes.

4 pm: Round table discussion with speakers present

Free entrance on reservation at: and +33 153 561 590

Image: from The Attendant, by Isaac Julien. DR