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.

Consultez ici ma déclaration d'intérêts.

View his profile in the club

Ses Derniers articles

  • Could an uprising in rural Mexico point the way to a post-capitalist world?

    Un zapatiste cagoulé jouant du Guitarrón Un zapatiste cagoulé jouant du Guitarrón

    Twenty years ago the Zapatista movement in Mexico symbolised a rejection of capitalism that was later to feed into the global justice movement. However the prevailing mood in the West at the time was that fundamental change to the capitalist structure of society had become unimaginable. Then came the financial crisis of 2008, which caused a major re-think among many intellectuals and activists. Now French historian Jérôme Baschet has drawn on personal knowledge of the Zapatista movement for a new book in which he describes potential routes to a post-capitalist society. Joseph Confavreux reviews 'Farewell to capitalism'.

  • Paris pays a timely homage to the art and 'the word' of the Kanaks

    Monnaie et son étui (milieu du XXe siècle) © Musée du quai Branly, photo Claude Germain Monnaie et son étui (milieu du XXe siècle) © Musée du quai Branly, photo Claude Germain

    Just as New Caledonia, the furthest-flung French territory, is about to embark on the final steps for self-determination, the Quai Branly museum in Paris has timely put together a rich and wide-ranging exhibition of the art and culture of the archipelago’s indigenous Kanak population that reveals a people debunking 160 years of colonialism and redefining themselves. Joseph Confavreux outlines the political context of the show, and calls on anthropologist Alban Bensa, an authority on Kanak culture, to decode the exhibition’s vast array of exhibits.

  • Faltering Hollande 'reaping what he did not sow'

    French President François Hollande has seen his popularity plummet over recent months, and not only because of the enduring economic and social hardships of the financial crisis; his government’s policies have come under attack as muddled and ill-thought out, and its recent U-turns highlight a perceived lack of clear and coherent political vision. For some of his critics, Hollande is paying the price of his longstanding reticence to develop policies in close consultation with expert academic researchers and thinkers. “Hollande as president reaps what he did not sow when he was First Secretary of the Socialist Party,” commented one academic. Lénaïg Bredoux and Joseph Confavreux report on how Hollande's approach to policy making, in stark contrast to some of his allies, has favoured pragmatism over intellectual theorizing.

  • The myth of France's 'glorious' post-war years


    In a bid to regain its lost competitive advantage on the world stage, France has just set out an ambitious plan for revitalising its industrial base. Coincidentally a recently-published book takes a critical look at the real costs of the country's last drive to modernise, during the so-called 'Thirty Glorious Years' of the post-war period. Its authors argue that, contrary to received wisdom, human and environmental concerns were sacrificed on the altar of an all-out quest for productivity during that period, while dissenting voices were silenced. Joseph Confavreux reviews the book.

  • The artistic triumph and economic failure of France's subsidised film industry


    The French cinema industry has some of the world’s highest-paid stars and largest film budgets, but is losing money hand over fist. The paradox is explained by a system of public subsidies paid to make films whatever their box office appeal. Even for those which prove a popular success, the enormous production costs are hardly ever recovered. The subsidies paid to the French film industry are part of a complex system that its supporters say has allowed it, over many decades, to maintain a rich production while other national cinema industries in Europe have faded. Its critics argue it is a perverse and outdated economic model. In this interview with Joseph Confavreux, the sociologist Olivier Alexandre, a specialist in the history of modern French cinema, analyses how the system works and weighs up the arguments for and against.

  • The word from France's run-down estates


    A remarkable book written by four young men has highlighted the reality of life on one of France's many impoverished and neglected housing estates. The work, which began as a writing project with their community worker, and which combines tragic insight with flashes of great humour, tackles issues of education, the police, drugs, prison and even the role of history among the writers and their friends. But, as Joseph Confavreux reports, perhaps the major achievement of 'Nous...La cité' ('We...the estate') is that it has taught four young men from a run-down area the power of the written word.

  • The 'double heritage' behind the crisis in Greece


    Following the creation of an independent Greece in 1830, the country’s administration has been significantly shaped by European models, while its cultural, religious and historical heritage, along with its geographical situation, have given the country, the first European state to have emerged from the Ottoman Empire, an exceptional political and economic destiny. In this interview with Joseph Confavreux, Geneva-based historian Dimitri Skopelitis offers a historical insight into the nature of the current turmoil in Greece, tottering on the brink of bankruptcy, its future within the European Union still uncertain, and the complex relationship between the population and the State.

  • The myths and destruction of the tombs of Timbuktu


    The name Timbuktu has taken on an almost mythical status in Western thought, one fuelled by the remoteness of the town in Mali. In destroying tombs recently in this “pearl of the desert” an Islamist group has both launched an attack on the holy sites of other Muslims and thrown down a challenge to the West, who recently put the famous town on the UNESCO list of endangered World Heritage sites. In an interview with Joseph Confavreux, French historian Charles Grémont gives the background to current events in Mali and the threat posed to Timbuktu.

  • How the French Far Right is capturing an abandoned social class

    Givet (Ardennes), novembre 2008. Fermeture de la Sopal. © MM Givet (Ardennes), novembre 2008. Fermeture de la Sopal. © MM

    France’s blue collar workers, junior white-collar staff, the unemployed and the retired make up a lower class that is also the majority among the country’s electorate. Hit hardest by the current economic crisis, and largely ignored by the traditional Left, there are consistent indicators that a significant proportion is being won over by the Far Right Front National party presidential candidate, Marine Le Pen. In this interview with Mediapart, social geographer Christophe Guilluy offers an insight into an economic and social groundshift in France that has produced an abandoned and despairing category of the population, what he calls “a new lower class which the Left does not really understand”.

  • A myth-exploding history of black France


    A major work just published in France charts the rich and very diverse history of the country's black population from the late 17th century to current times. "We wanted to make this history a visible one, with all the markers of grand history", explains historian Pascal Blanchard, editor of La France noire, trois siècles de présence, (‘Black France, a presence over three centuries'). The book blows away many social myths, and fills the deafening silence of traditional teaching that ignores the place of black people in the making of the history of France. Here, Blanchard tells Joseph Confavreux how he and his team approached this ambitious project and comments for Mediapart a series of documents contained in the work.