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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  • France's soul-searching over why it became a terror target

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    Was France attacked on November 13th because of what it is – or what it does? The debate over whether the country's perceived status as a beacon for individual and social freedom or its foreign policy in the Middle East was the main factor behind the attacks by Islamic State is dominating social media and private conversations as well as public discourse. However, Joseph Confavreux argues that rather than simply trying to put itself in the minds of the terrorists, French society should focus on the wider impact for the country and the political responses that are now needed.

  • Why Islamic State is targeting France

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    DATE IMPORTED:November 14, 2015Journalists work outside a restaurant where bullet impacts are seen the day after a series of deadly attacks in Paris, France, November 14, 2015. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes © REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes DATE IMPORTED:November 14, 2015Journalists work outside a restaurant where bullet impacts are seen the day after a series of deadly attacks in Paris, France, November 14, 2015. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes © REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

    Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the Paris terror attacks on Friday, November 13th. But why has the terror group made France its “principal target”, ahead of other states involved in the anti-IS coalition in Iraq and Syria? French journalist and author David Thomson, an expert on French jihadists, explains the background to Mediapart's Joseph Confavreux.

  • Former prison controller warns against 'Islamist quarters' plan in French jails

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     © Reuters © Reuters

    In the aftermath of the Paris terrorist attacks earlier this month, perpetrated in the name of Islam by three gunmen born and raised in France, there has been wide discussion in France about how hard-line Islamists succeed in enrolling a section of the country’s disenfranchised youths into their midst. Beyond the influence of extremist networks that operate in public places, notably a number of mosques, the role that prison plays in the recruitment of potential jihadists has been highlighted, notably by French Prime Minister Manuel Valls. Shortly after the attacks, he suggested that jailed radical Islamists may be grouped together in special quarters in prisons to limit their current opportunities of converting fellow prisoners to their cause. Mediapart’s Joseph Confavreux and Carine Fouteau sought out the opinion of Jean-Marie Delarue, who until July 2014 served for six years as France’s general inspector of prisons. In this interview he argues why he believes the proposition is misguided and potentially dangerous.

  • The 'culture of violence and resentment' that fuels French jihadists

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     © Reuters © Reuters

    The shooting attacks in Paris last week claimed the lives of a total of 17 victims and ended with the deaths of the three gunmen. The outrages, perpetrated by Islamic extremists and which began with the massacre at the offices of Charlie Hebdo magazine before the separate murders of two police officers and the executions of four hostages in a Jewish supermarket, have opened a vast societal debate in France. There have been comparisons made with the 9/11 attacks in the United States, questions raised about the true significance of the national unity displayed during last Sunday’s huge marches in defiance of terrorism, about the real extent of integration, and stigmatization, of the French Muslim population, and why the jihad increasingly lures some young French citizens. In this interview with Joseph Confavreux, Olivier Roy, a recognised expert in France and abroad on questions of Islam and religious fundamentalism, discusses these and related issues, and highlights the taboos that cloud an effective analysis of the events.

  • The gays attracted by France's far-right Front National

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     © Reuters © Reuters

    Florian Philippot, a vice-president of France’s far-right Front National (FN) party, goes to court on Monday to sue a gossip magazine after it published photos of him earlier this month that ‘outed’ him as gay. Just several days later, a founder of the French LGBT rights group GayLib, Sébastian Chenu, announced he had joined the FN as ‘cultural advisor’ to its president, Marine Le Pen, and would in the future stand as an election candidate for the party whose founder, Marine’s father Jean-Marie Le Pen, once notoriously described homosexuality as "a biological and social anomaly". Yet despite the FN’s homophobic history, and its recent opposition to the same-sex marriage law,  Act Up Paris founder Didier Lestrade, author of a book entitled Why gays moved to the Right, says he believes a significant number of gays are increasingly attracted by the far-right. In this interview with Joseph Confavreux he explains why, argues that the FN leader is seeking “to try and enroll minority struggles in her fight against Islam”, and underlines that “people like Chenu and Philippot are not only symbols that can set an example, but also they arrive with networks”.

  • 'The Front National's enemy is no longer the Jew but the French Muslim'

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    Lors d'un meeting à Marseille, le 20 mai. © Reuters Lors d'un meeting à Marseille, le 20 mai. © Reuters

    France's far-right Front National party won a quarter of the popular vote in May's European elections, albeit on a low turnout, as xenophobic, nationalist parties across Europe made significant gains. The result seemed to vindicate FN president Marine Le Pen's strategy of trying to change the party's image, shedding the anti-Semitism of the past and donning a cloak of respectability. But in a detailed history of the Front National published last month, researcher Valérie Igounet shows that the new image is just a veneer that cracks whenever the ghosts of the party's past rear their heads. Meanwhile the party has simply replaced Jews with Muslims as the principal target of its attacks. Igounet explains her findings to Mediapart’s Joseph Confavreux and Marine Turchi.

  • From glory to gore: the changing picture of war

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     © Alphonse de Neuville © Alphonse de Neuville

    As of the late 18th century, artists began depicting war as a disastrous event rather than a glorious one, when the horrors of the battlefield and the destruction of environments began gradually replacing majesty and heroics. The long evolution of this trend to its dominant position in the present day is illustrated in ‘The Disasters of War, 1800-2014’, an exhibition now on at the Louvre-Lens, in north-east France, and which will last until the autumn. Joseph Confavreux takes a tour of the show.

  • 'When I look at France, I see greatness that has become hysteria'

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    Belgian political thinker, historian and award-winning writer David Van Reybrouck believes that France has the most ossified political system in Western Europe, a “paternalistic republic invented by Charles de Gaulle as if he were presiding over a Sunday lunch” and in conflict with major societal trends. In this interview with Joseph Confavreux, one of a series presenting foreign commentators’ views on French society, Van Reybrouck says that in France “you can vote or demonstrate, but there’s not much in between”. He says the country would do well to look with interest - “rather than condescension” - at recent democratic innovations in smaller countries like Belgium, Ireland or Iceland.

  • 'France has withdrawn into itself'

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    Todd Shepard Todd Shepard

    France's local elections in March were a débâcle for President François Hollande's socialist government, resulting in a reshuffle and the appointment of a new prime minister, Manuel Valls. But the current disaffection with politics runs even deeper. Both the Left and the Right are divided, high unemployment persists, the economy is flat and the far-right Front National has made electoral gains. How does all this appear from the outside? Mediapart's Joseph Confavreux interviewed American academic Todd Shepard, an expert on modern French history, who believes that France's colonial past is still shaping its present, and not for the better.

     

  • Centre Pompidou pays tribute to the art of the paparazzi

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     © Jean Pigozzi/Centre Pompidou, Mnam-Cci, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais/image courtesy CAAC – The Pigozzi Collection. © Jean Pigozzi/Centre Pompidou, Mnam-Cci, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais/image courtesy CAAC – The Pigozzi Collection.

    An unprecedented exhibition dedicated to the history, practices, aesthetics and influence of ‘paparazzi’ photography has opened at the Centre Pompidou annex in Metz, eastern France. It presents more than 100 years of pictures by paparazzi, their tricks of the trade and the stylistic inspiration their work has had on artists. Joseph Confavreux takes a tour of the show and hears the opinions of two paparazzi, one of whom bagged the infamous photos revealing President François Hollande’s secret meetings with the actress Julie Gayet.