This website page is a work in progress. As such, the content may evolve over time, as I read and reflect on the subjects of interest.

My projects' motivations

“How could one look to poetry, literature, music, or the imagination in a world immiserated by violence, oppression, and unspeakable suffering?”, as Samuel Alexander raises in his essay.

My name is Jean-Paul and I am an engineer in training. In his Lettre aux ingénieurs qui doutent (or Letter to doubting engineers), Olivier Lefebvre states that many working engineers feel cognitive dissonance due to the conflict between their destructive job and their awareness of the too many crises we are going through. However this “cognitive dissonance is a matter of the senses, a feeling located in the body before being an idea” that appears as “an excess that must be repressed” because of their tendency “to cut themselves off from their emotions and rely exclusively on rational analysis”.

At the start of her one-woman show Pour un temps sois peu (or For a while be little), French comedian Laurène Marx draws a distinction between a logical understanding and an emotional, gut-level understanding of a situation, a subject, a problem. Through her writing and acting she depicts the violences that a non-binary transgender woman has to face, simply for existing. I had the chills while watching and listening to her performance. The effect this show has had on me and others is perhaps a sign of the effectiveness of the medium Laurène Marx has chosen to help us more deeply understand the subject.

These two examples illustrate why I would like, as a trainee at Cargonomia, start thinking about the ways art, and in general emotions and sensitivity (or le sensible in French), can shape imaginaries. For that, reading Samuel Alexander’s essay Degrowth as an ‘aesthetics of existence’ might be a good start.