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Festival Conversations

In partnership with PSL University’s SACRe-PSL doctoral programme

Festival Conversations is a seminar that puts practitioners front and centre. Open to the public, it is a critical space designed to explore documentary practices and their specificity beyond the realm of film (in literature, photography, architecture, performance arts…).


Common, Commons

In the past, commons were land that belonged to no one and was used by all so that everyone could live off the fruit of their labour. Starting in the 17th century, commons began to vanish, wiped out by reforms that allowed the Church and the nobility to snatch up the land. This was the starting point of capitalism.

Since time immemorial, fights for the preservation of commons, access to vital resources, and the defence of shared spaces have shaped the history of political struggles, some of them resulting in victories, including in France, in the 1970s Larzac, or more recently, at Notre-Dame-des-Landes. In addition to common goods (which include water, land, forests, and threatened farmland), negative commons (such as landfills, contaminated soils, nuclear plants, Anthropocene-related waste) also call for a collective approach.

To take up the notion of commons is to stand up for the collective interest instead of proprietary logics. It’s also about fostering social relations defined by collective management and a politics of sharing: it’s about working in common, passing on and pooling tools as well as knowledge and practices.

During the fifth edition of Festival Conversations, cartographers, writers, historians, philosophers, filmmakers, and activists are invited to consider not only the spaces, resources, and histories that we share, but also the practices, knowledge, and imagery that may provide an alternative to prevailing narratives.


Each year, Editions de l’œil publishes a book based on Festival Conversations. Festival Conversations#4, which explored the notion of event in 2023, will be released in March 2024.