Joseph Confavreux

Journaliste à France Culture entre 2000 et 2011, il a rejoint Mediapart en mai 2011. Joseph Confavreux est membre du comité de rédaction de la revue Vacarme, a codirigé le livre La France invisible (La Découverte, 2006) et a publié deux autres ouvrages, Egypte :histoire, société, culture (La Découverte, 2009), et Passés à l'ennemi, des rangs de l'armée française aux maquis Viet-Minh (Tallandier, 2014). Il est aussi co-rédacteur en chef de la Revue du Crieur.

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Ses Derniers articles

  • Infectious disease expert Didier Sicard on lessons of the virus crisis and the need to re-think healthcare policy

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    A leading specialist in infectious diseases, French doctor Didier Sicard was for many years head of internal medicine at the Cochin public hospital in Paris, helped establish the Pasteur Institute’s branch in Laos, south-east Asia, and served for eight years as head of France’s national bioethics advisory committee. In this interview with Joseph Confavreux, he offers his insight into the current Covid-19 virus pandemic – a phenomenon he warned against long ago –  including the perpetuating root causes of the crisis, the action needed to avoid a recurrence, why medicine can only be effective if it encompasses a wide view of society, and how public health policy has lost sight of its fundamental missions.

  • The real story behind 'yellow vest' France

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    Sociologist Benoît Coquard specialises in the study of the working classes who live in rural areas of France. He has just published a book which rejects many of the old assumptions about France's declining countryside and the supposed isolation of citizens living in 'peripheral' areas around the country's large conurbations cities. As Mediapart's Joseph Confavreux writes, the book also provides valuable insight into the origins of the so-called 'yellow vest' protests which began sweeping France a year ago.

  • The hidden poverty in one of France's most prestigious wine regions

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    The medieval village of Saint-Émilion, one of the most prestigious wine areas in France. The medieval village of Saint-Émilion, one of the most prestigious wine areas in France.

    French journalist and author Ixchel Delaporte spent a year investigating the wine industry in the Médoc region near Bordeaux in south-west France. It produces some of the most prestigious – and expensive – wines not just in France but anywhere in the world. Yet the journalist's book on her experiences and discoveries reveals a deep chasm between the impoverished local workers, many of them seasonal and occasional staff, and often suffering from poor health and living in substandard accommodation, and the glittering world of the small but powerful elite who control the major vineyards. Mediapart's Joseph Confavreux reports.

  • Hindu nationalism and why 'being a philosopher in India can get you killed'

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    India’s ruling nationalist Hindu party, the BJP, swept to power in 2014 after a landslide victory in parliamentary elections – the first time a single party had won an outright majority in the Indian parliament in 30 years, propelling Hindu hardliner Narendra Modi as prime minister of the world’s largest democracy. Joseph Confavreux turned to two young Indian philosophers, Shaj Mohan and Divya Dwivedi, for their analysis of what they call the “invention” of Hinduism, and why they argue that “being a philosopher in India can get you killed”.

  • Macron arrives to mark the bloody events etched in New Caledonian memories

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    President Emmanuel Macron during his visit to Ouvéa in New Caledonia. © Julien Sartre President Emmanuel Macron during his visit to Ouvéa in New Caledonia. © Julien Sartre

    President Emmanuel Macron is visiting New Caledonia as the Pacific archipelago prepares for a crucial vote in the autumn on whether to embrace full independence from its old colonial power. The French head of state will be there on the 4th and 5th of May, two grim dates in the calendar of recent New Caledonian history. On May 5th 1988, 19 hostage takers and two soldiers died after the military intervened to rescue gendarmes kidnapped by a separatist group on the island of Ouvéa. A year later, on May 4th, 1989, two nationalist leaders were killed on the same island by another separatist who felt they had betrayed the cause. Joseph Confavreux reports on a bloody past that still hangs over the region's politics and on the attempts at reconciliation and forgiveness.

  • The 'message' behind Macron's loan of the Bayeux Tapestry to Britain

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    A section of the Bayeux Tapestry depicting Odo, Bishop of Bayeux, wielding a club and encouraging the troops of William, Duke of Normandy during the Battle of Hastings. A section of the Bayeux Tapestry depicting Odo, Bishop of Bayeux, wielding a club and encouraging the troops of William, Duke of Normandy during the Battle of Hastings.

    During Emmanuel Macron’s first official visit to Britain last Thursday, when Brexit, defence cooperation and immigration policies topped the agenda, the French president also announced the loan to Britain of the famous Bayeux Tapestry, the nearly 70-metre long, 11th-century embroidered cloth of images and commentary that recounts the 1066 Norman invasion of England by William the Conqueror. Amid the many interpretations of Macron’s move, from simple goodwill gesture to tongue-in-cheek reminder of Britain’s continental roots, Joseph Confavreux turned to French university lecturer in mediaeval history Julien Théry for his analysis.

  • Three years on from the massacre, what has become of the 'spirit of Charlie'?

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    Three years ago on January 11th, 2015, a series of massive marches were held across France to show solidarity with the victims of the murderous terror attack on the Paris offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo four days earlier. Its theme, which went global, was “Je suis Charlie” - “I'm Charlie”. Last Saturday, January 6th, three groups organised a gathering in Paris under the title “Toujours Charlie” or “Still Charlie”. But as Joseph Confavreux reports, the event lacked both the caustic spirit of Charlie Hebdo and the collective spirit of the January 11th marches. Instead, he argues, it was more about the groups involved marking out a political and media niche for themselves.

  • French society is doomed to collapse, says academic

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    In a recent book sociologist Louis Chauvel claims that, faced with a continued deepening of inequalities, French society is heading towards silent but nonetheless rapid and brutal collapse. The academic says that, rather like the aristocrats of Ancient Rome who did not see the fall of their empire coming, today's elites are blind to the fact that society as it stands is doomed. Joseph Confavreux examines the arguments in a book which at times feels like a memoir from beyond the grave.

  • Firefighting French sociologist rings a political alarm

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    A torched car during riots in Strasbourg in 2005. A torched car during riots in Strasbourg in 2005.

    Romain Pudal is a sociologist with the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and also, since 2002, a voluntary firefighter. Last month he published an ethnographic study of his fellow firefighters in which he opens up a world that, beyond the clichés and folklore, is largely little understood in both its composition and outlook. Joseph Confavreux argues that Pudal’s book, which he presents here, makes for edifying reading on the political and social tensions that grip contemporary France, and also on the fragmentation of its lower social classes.

  • Anthropologist Scott Atran on why Islamic State is a wider threat than realised

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    Anthropologist Scott Atran, a research fellow with Oxford University who also teaches at University of Michigan and John Jay College in New York, is a leading expert in the study of the motivations of those who join jihadist ranks and the rise of the Islamic State group, and advises governments and international organizations on the issue. In this interview with Joseph Confavreux, he argues that the draw of IS is widely misunderstood, is not limited to disenfranchised communities, and that the organization can only be overcome by a different military, political and psychological approach by Western nations.