Interviews

  • Managing the lockdown in a French psychiatric care unit

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    A sign hanging from a Paris building in support of France’s public hospitals, March 27th 2020. © Philippe LABROSSE / Hans Lucas via AFP A sign hanging from a Paris building in support of France’s public hospitals, March 27th 2020. © Philippe LABROSSE / Hans Lucas via AFP

    Amid the heightening of the coronavirus epidemic in France, Mediapart has been asking doctors from a range of different hospital services to describe, in their own words, their day-to-day experiences and difficulties in coping with the current crisis. Here, Marion, a 28-year-old house doctor in an adult psychiatric care unit in the north-east town of Reims, details the very acute problems for her patients in observing the strict social confinement restrictions imposed under the national lockdown, and the “boomerang” effect to come from cancelled consultations.

  • Glenn Greenwald: 'Bolsonaro wants to recreate a climate of pressure and fear'

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    Facing charges: Glenn Greenwald. © Reuters Facing charges: Glenn Greenwald. © Reuters

    US journalist Glenn Greenwald, who has become a thorn in the side for Brazil’s far-right president Jair Bolsonaro, is accused by the Brazilian prosecution services of “facilitating the commission” of cybercrime, alleging that he “helped, encouraged and guided” mobile phone hacking. The move, vigorously contested by Greenwald, centres on the revelations by the online investigative publication he co-founded and co-edits, The Intercept Brasil, about a vast corruption scandal in the South American country. In this interview with Mediapart’s US correspondent Mathieu Magnaudeix, Greenwald denounces the increasing attempts, in Brazil but also around the world, to “criminalise” journalism.

  • Idea of total freedom of expression on internet has 'never been true' says US academic

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    The American academic Sarah T. Roberts explains that social media networks have become popular by posing as supporters of freedom of expression with no limits. But, she argues, this promise has in fact never been kept and instead content moderation has become a globalised industry. Medapart's Géraldine Delacroix spoke to Sarah T. Roberts ahead of a seminar in Paris on digital culture.

  • 'We're creating new ideas': US socialists plan the return of the Left in America

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    Maria Svart is the national director of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), an activist organisation funded by its members, whose numbers have swollen tenfold since Donald Trump became president. Mediapart's New York correspondent Mathieu Magnaudeix interviewed her about the Democratic primary candidate Bernie Sanders, the rising star on the Left congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and the return of the Left in the United States.

  • Adèle Haenel: the watershed interview subtitled in English

    Adèle Haenel interviewed by Mediapart. Adèle Haenel interviewed by Mediapart.

    A Mediapart investigation published earlier this month revealing the acclaimed French actress Adèle Haenel’s accusations of inappropriate “touching” and of “sexual harassment” by film director Christophe Ruggia when she was a minor has rocked French cinema. Her account, which Ruggia has “categorically” denied, prompted the opening of a probe by public prosecutors, a wave of public support for her from professional organisations and figures in the French filmmaking industry, and pledges to introduce tighter regulations to crack down on sexual misconduct in the world of cinema and TV production. Haenel, now aged 30, also gave a lengthy live video interview to Mediapart, in which she spoke further about her alleged experiences and why she finally decided to speak out, presented here for the first time with English subtitles.

  • Historian Robert Paxton talks Trump, French polemicist Éric Zemmour and fascism

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    Robert Paxton talking about how Vichy France is remembered. © Mathieu Magnaudeix / Mediapart Robert Paxton talking about how Vichy France is remembered. © Mathieu Magnaudeix / Mediapart

    When the French language version of his book 'Vichy France' appeared in 1973, the American historian Robert Paxton opened French eyes to the Vichy regime's collaboration with the Nazis in World War II. At the age of 87 he remains one of the most knowledgable people about fascism. Mediapart spoke with the emeritus professor at Columbia University about Donald Trump, nostalgia for the wartime era of Vichy president Marshal Philippe Pétain, and the spectre of a return to the 1930s. Mathieu Magnaudeix reports from New York.

  • Georgette Elgey, historian and chronicler of French politics

    Georgette Elgey during an interview with Mediapart in April 2017. © Mediapart Georgette Elgey during an interview with Mediapart in April 2017. © Mediapart

    The French historian, writer and former journalist Georgette Elgey died in Paris this week at the age of 90. She is best known for her exhaustive, six-volume history of France’s Fourth Republic, Histoire de la IVe République, a monumental account of the system of government in France between 1946 and 1958, of which the first volume was published in 1965 and the last in 2012. In 2017, Elgey, who was close to many of those who shaped French politics over the past six decades, gave an insightful interview about her work to Mediapart, republished here.

     

  • How French far-right eyes local election gains

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    French far-right leader Marine Le Pen casting her vote in the May 2019 European Parliament elections. © Reuters French far-right leader Marine Le Pen casting her vote in the May 2019 European Parliament elections. © Reuters

    The French far-right Rassemblement National (RN) party, the renamed Front National, held its post-summer congress this weekend in the south-east town of Fréjus, when its leader Marine Le Pen set out the party’s policies ahead of municipal elections to be held across the country in six months’ time. The RN, which won the majority of votes cast in France in European Parliament elections in May, hopes to at last solidly establish itself at a local level, amid a fragmented political landscape in the country and notably the collapse of the conservatives. In this interview with Lucie Delaporte, French political scientist Sylvain Crépon, a specialist of far-right politics, analyses the party’s new strategy for the elections.

  • France Télécom staff suicides trial: a landmark for corporate culture?

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    Former France Télécom boss Didider Lombard (left) with his successor, current Orange CEO Stéphane Richard. © Charles Platiau/Reuters Former France Télécom boss Didider Lombard (left) with his successor, current Orange CEO Stéphane Richard. © Charles Platiau/Reuters

    The trial in Paris on charges of moral harassment of the former CEO of France Télécom and six other senior executives of the company, who are accused of causing a wave of staff suicides amid a brutal corporate restructuring plan, ended on Thursday. While the verdicts will only finally be announced in December, the prosecution has demanded that the defendants be handed maximum sentences, which include jail terms of between eight months and one year. Mediapart turned to Rachel Saada, a French lawyer specialised in labour law cases and who notably represented the families of Renault staff who took their lives in a wave of suicides at the carmaking group between 2006-2007, for her analysis of the trial, and its implications for corporate culture in France. 

  • Interview: UN investigator details evidence in Khashoggi murder, calls for probe into Saudi ruler

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    A scene at a homage to Jamal Khashoggi held outside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, October 25th 2018. © Reuters A scene at a homage to Jamal Khashoggi held outside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, October 25th 2018. © Reuters

    In a 100-page report published last week on her investigation into the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, Agnès Callamard, concluded that “Mr Khashoggi has been the victim of a deliberate, premeditated execution, an extrajudicial killing for which the state of Saudi Arabia is responsible under international human rights law”, and recommended that Saudi Arabia’s ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, should be investigated for his responsibility in the crime. In this interview with Mediapart, she details her investigation and its findings, and and calls on states to take a "serious" stand on press freedom.