Raccommoder le monde aux côtés des migrants à Paris dans Jours d’exil de Juliette Kahane (Stitching up the world with the help of migrants in Paris in Jours d’exil by Juliette Kahane)

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Abstract

Migrants landing on northern Mediterranean shores after a long perilous trip have been at the heart of political discussions for a few years now. Many of these migrants long for a new beginning in Europe and are met with varying degrees of hostility and/or welcoming reactions. Whereas the European Union, as a political body, is unable to manage this immigration wave in a uniform and rational way, each country tries to balance a respect of human rights with an ever more popular rejection of immigration. The arts, including literature, allow us to dive deep into the current zeitgeist to understand the “migrant crisis” from the perspective of the country of arrival, in this case France. How are today’s migrants perceived? How much is this perception shaped by other historical events? What separates the local population from the newly arrived? What is the future of a transnational city such as Paris? In this paper, I will explore these questions through the study a novel by contemporary author Juliette Kahane. In Jours d’exil (Exile days), she recounts the few months in the summer of 2015 during which a group of migrants lived in a disused high school in the northeast of Paris. The first-person narrator, who lives in the neighborhood, ends up joining the team of locals who help the migrants while reflecting on the current atmosphere of fear in the country in the aftermath of the January 2015 terrorist attacks. The freedom fiction allows provides this author a chance to explore a difficult topic. Furthermore, she suggests that it is possible to build a diverse society without denying the ongoing challenges inherent to these societal changes.
Original languageEnglish
StatePublished - Sep 5 2019
EventAssociation for the Study of Modern and Contemporary France - Paris, France
Duration: Sep 5 2019Sep 5 2019

Conference

ConferenceAssociation for the Study of Modern and Contemporary France
Period09/5/1909/5/19

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