Spirit Journal : article “Lives in Pictures”

4 June 2016. Published by Benoît Labourdette.

I published the article “Lives in Pictures” in the June 2016 issue of the Spirit Journal on the theme “Power of Images”. Issue edited by Carole Desbarats.

Presentation text of the article “Lives in Pictures”

Smartphones and digital platforms have allowed everyone to record and broadcast amateur videos. These images have become tools for conversation and sharing, a change that needs to be accompanied by education.

Summary June 2016 issue of Spirit Journal : “Power of Images”

  • Carole Desbarats : Coping. Introduction. To produce images responsibly is to allow for critical thinking.
  • Jean-Louis Schlegel : The images passion. Aniconismes, iconoclasms, iconophilies. The prohibition of representations, of Platonic, Jewish and Muslim origins, distinguishes the debased visible from the ideal invisible. If incarnation allows images, the history of Christianity is shaken by crises of iconoclasm. These tensions have not disappeared from our secular societies, full of images.
  • Olivier Mongin : Imagination facing the unrepresentable. About Moses and Aaron. Schoenberg’s opera interrogates the role of imagination: to avoid idolatry, should one give up on communicating the invisible? One can follow Ricœur and regard imagination as a reconfiguration of the world.
  • Louis Andrieu : Sex, limitations and censorship. Three recent cases. Blue is the warmest color, Nymphomaniac and Love were prohibited to minors, after being sued by the association Promouvoir. Cases of after-the-fact censorship threaten artistic freedom in films.
  • Leo Souillés-Debats : When the films concerned. Reflections on national education systems to the image. Parents react strongly to films programmed for students in the name of morality and the psychological development of their children. They are rightly concerned and show a lack of confidence in the educational approach.
  • Danièle Cohn : The evidence of the nightmare. The violence of the jihadists images. Images of extreme violence produced by terrorists groups are not documents. They force a new relation to reality, aggravate fear and inhibit compassion, contrary to our iconographic tradition.
  • Arnaud Desplechin : See without seeing. Interview. Images of terror do not address us. Because they prevent the apparition of a face, they exclude compassion. On the contrary, one can only film death shaking, as one would approach the sacred.
  • Thomas Hirschhorn : See and think. Interview. We must see everything with our own eyes, including images of corpses, in order to break media icons and to confront the world as it is.
  • Benoît Labourdette : Smartphones and digital platforms have allowed everyone to record and broadcast amateur videos. These images have become tools for conversation and sharing, a change that needs to be accompanied by education.

First page of the article

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Read whole article

Read or download the PDF of the article (french).

Three films in addition

Three films selected by the editor of Esprit are viewable in addition to the article: Supplement folder - Benoît Labourdette’s videos.

The videos :