The "Fil continu" (lit. "continuous thread") is a French association in Pierrefitte-sur-Seine (FR) which receives students sent down from junior high school to get them to think about their situation of exclusion : what is a rule, what is it made for, what sense does it take, how do they take a stand on it, how do they take a stand on the schools' standards, on the society's standards, what kind of (social) roles do they play, how do they want to be perceived…
Placed inside of the junior high school Gustave Courbet, the structure has its own timetables which almost prevent the youngsters from meeting the other pupils.
Under invitation from Frédéric Moser & Philippe Schwinger to make a performance out of a day spent with them at the Fil continu, I focused on the situation of the outsider, and on the function of this place : space of freedom and space of constraints for these youngsters, who always choose anyways to come or not ; as far as I know, nobody causes them to come.
conception, sound recording and interpretation Jean-Baptiste Veyret-Logerias
song "Vous serez les témoins", tune and text from Sébastien Le Camus
production la dépose
with the support of La Ménagerie de Verre, dans le cadre des StudioLabs
acknowledgements Frédéric Moser & Philippe Schwinger
This performance was presented in the spot of the exhibition Ce dont on sera dans l'avenir capable by Frédéric Moser & Philippe Schwinger at bétonsalon – Paris (FR) on 24 February 2011.
"Spelman [...] constructs a thought experiment in which people are sorted by walking through a series of doors that sort them by gender first, then by race or class; or that sort them by race first, then by gender, etc. What Spelman points out is that how the sorting is arranged really does affect where people end up. But what is really instructive about Spelman's illustration is that the terms for the discussion, the shape of the thought-experiment, the existence of the sorting doors, is what really determines the outcome. Suppose that instead of acceding to the door-sorting procedure, people asked, "excuse us, but why do we need to be sorted by doors at all ? Why can't we enter randomly, or all at once ? Who says that it is so important that we go through the 'right' door anyway ? It is this process of sorting itself that creates the problem."
[...] On a metatheoretical as well as a concretely political level, I have thus suggested that the problem [...] is the rejection of the terms for the discussion set by the logic of the outsider's situation. But we have to see the world differently, so that the activities which legitimate the accumulation of power in the hands of the powerful are less promoted and the ones which could legitimate a sharing of power with the outsiders are more valued. A first step in this process consists in acknowledging that the current boundaries of moral and political life are made so that the concerns and activities of the least powerful are excluded from the main concerns of society.
[...] the moral boundaries exist and function, as I suggest, to sustain the position of the powerful.”
Joan Tronto, Moral boundaries : a political argument for an ethic of care, 1993
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