Futurs Pluriels : “Identités contemporaines et futures : prisons ou ressources ?”

25.09.2019 – 19:00
SciencesPo – amphi Albert Sorel 27 Rue Saint-Guillaume, 75007 Paris

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The Event (FR)

Démontrer son identité. Voler une identité. Se faire une identité. En changer, plusieurs fois par jour ou pour de bon. Devenir soi ; être soi ; revenir sur soi. Se manifester, se mettre en scène. Se vêtir, se travestir. Se protéger, se dissmuler, cloisonner. Nommer, être nommé·e. Appartenir, ressembler. Se rassembler. Assigner. S’émanciper…

On ne fera pas le tour de la question de l’identité : tout juste quelques aperçus de ce qu’elle devient à l’ère du numérique, des biotechnologies, de la fluidité des genres et des appartenances, mais aussi du retour des revendications “identitaires”.

Intervenant·es :

Romain Beaucher, cofondateur de Vraimentvraiment, agence de design de politiques publiques

Fanny Georges, Maître de conférences en Sciences de l’information et de la communication à l’Université Sorbonne Nouvelle-Paris 3

Chloé Lavalette, comédienne, doctorante en Études théâtrales à l’École Normale Supérieure

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Language is not innocent. Its particularity is something we identify and attach to. How can we retool the parts of our relationship with language that are calcified, so that the names that carry lineages, power and frames of reference, become less so? What method can we use to perceive something through other lights? How can we break our reactive engagement with particular words, in order to move beyond the paradigm of injury that causes this reaction?


We did not directly address language, however, two insights from our event may be relevant: 1) The more we "simplify" things for users, the more we standardize them and submit them to the logics of systems and platforms. Thus, simplification can reduce agency and make hell of the life of those who don't fit into the preexisting categories. This should make us wary of translation technologies. One sure way of "perceiving something through other lights" is to learn other languages. Since we can't learn them all, translation tech is useful, however [1] as all algorithms and databases, the ones that language tech will use aren't neutral, and [2] human translators can provide cultural context that automated tools won't. 2) We have, and will have, technologies that enable us to make our public identities more plastic, more creative, maybe more secure. On the face of it, is is a liberating trend. However, ancient forms of distinction and domination have a way of reasserting themselves in almost all situations. The surest way to avoid (or mitigate) that is to share ownership and mastery of the technologies, the tools, and the data. During our conference, we discussed skin (actual skin) as well as ways in which we present ourselves over networks. Obviously, language (spoken, and body language) is part of it. That said, we should of course be mindful of other people's reactions towards our expressions, but shocking, offending, can also be good - provided there is a way to discuss it.