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LE CONTR'UN - Université de Lille

Tuesday 14 February 2023

18:30 to 20:30

  • le-contr-un-universite-de-lille-140223-188468
Resisting the politics of fear and oppression through art

From Etienne de La Boétie's Discourse on Voluntary Servitude - in FRENCH

"Be resolved to serve no more, and you will be free.

"It is the people who enslave themselves, who cut their own throats, who, having the choice of being serfs or of being free, abandon their liberty and take the yoke, and, being able to live under good laws and under the protection of the States, want to live under iniquity, under oppression and injustice, at the sole pleasure of [the] tyrant. It is the people who consent to their evil, or rather seek it. Excerpt from Discourse on Voluntary Servitude, Étienne de la Boetie, 1576

Written in the 16th century, this text by La Boetie is highly topical. It asks the fundamental question that so many researchers struggle to answer: why do we obey? With this brilliant reflection, he established the concept of voluntary servitude around which many questions of political philosophy revolve. Bergson, Simone Weil, Félix Guattari, Gilles Deleuze and Hannah Arendt, to name but a few, have examined the text and its author.

"Be resolved to serve no more, and you will be free. From this sentence emerges the idea of an invitation to anarchism and civil disobedience.

A brief, perfectly constructed, scintillating text, the Discourse of Voluntary Servitude is a manual for not being fooled by power, because it is not by fighting against tyranny that we manage to bring it down, but by understanding its mechanisms that we manage not to suffer it, nor to desire it.

A word from Charly Magonza, actor:

An astonishing dialogue with La Boétie is played out here; the actor takes us on an epic and somewhat unexpected journey through the Discourse of Voluntary Servitude. A dive into the heart of a striking thought. How can servitude be voluntary? How can freedom deny itself? How can one have the desire to submit?

Based on "Discourse on Voluntary Servitude" by Etienne de La Boétie

Adapted, directed and performed by Charly Magonza, directed and lit by Agathe Mortelecq
Production: Compagnie Mond'en scène, delegated production: Cirkus Kumbas

With the support of the French Community Commission of the Brussels-Capital Region and the Wallonia-Brussels Federation

Venue: Kino, Pont-de-Bois campus, Villeneuve d'Ascq

  • Audience :
    • Adults
  • Price :
    • Free
  • Booking :
    • Booking required
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