“Freedom of expression at all costs” – Emmanuel Carrère

Emmanuel Carrère, the novelist, filmmaker and courtroom reporter, has simply acquired the 2021 Princess of Asturias Award for Literature. On the event of the award ceremony in Oviedo, Spain, he gave euronews an unique interview to debate the trial of the November 2015 assaults and his future tasks.

To watch the total interview of Carrère, click on on the media participant above.

In your newest e book, “Yoga’, you mention the attack on Charlie Hebdo, it sort of interrupts your story. You perhaps also participated in, or at least followed the tributes paid to Samuel Paty, the teacher who was assassinated for showing caricatures of the Islamic prophet Muhammad in a class on freedom of expression. How can this almost holy concept of freedom of expression work with religious liberty, which is another very important right? Can one criticise a religion? Is it possible to blaspheme without insulting others?

Emmanuel Carrère:

“Ah! That’s a giant query. Hold on… For certain, the appropriate to blaspheme is an absolute a part of our Republican and pre-Republican custom. Voltaire mentions it for instance. I have a tendency to treat it as inalienable regardless of all the pieces. The threat of offending folks by it’s a part of it. You might say, in fact, that we should respect freedom of expression while bearing in mind different folks’s emotions, however regardless of all the pieces, what I choose between the 2 is the liberty of thought and expression. So in fact I’m supplying you with a sure and no reply, however on the finish of the day, I’m extra on the facet of freedom of expression in any respect prices.”

You are now following the November 2015 attacks trial for a French weekly as a columnist. Is this the subject of your next book? If so, do you already know what it will look like? Would you dare to mix fiction or even use autofiction, like in your previous books, with the harsh reality of the Bataclan attacks which in some respects has become like a national scar? Could you make this narrative your own?

Emmanuel Carrère:

“I’m by no means certain that this work will find yourself turning into a e book, but it surely’s attainable, because it’s already someplace at the back of my thoughts. I have never the slightest thought what it’d appear to be as a result of we’re simply on the very starting, it’s kind of untimely to debate that now… Also, including fiction or docu-fiction would not be… In actuality, that is one thing I’ve by no means carried out! When I wrote The Adversary, for instance, there was no fiction in any respect!”

What have you retained from this first month of the trial, what general impression do you have?

Emmanuel Carrère:

“What is nearly to finish is a interval, a really specific sequence, of testimonies from the civil events, the survivors, the households of the victims. It’s all extraordinarily emotional and intense. So that is taking its toll on all of us who’re following the trial. When we go dwelling typically, we now have some type of, I do not know the right way to describe it, we burst into tears. We’re attending one thing actually horrible. It is horrible, however that is not all it’s. What I imply is, we have additionally witnessed moments of outstanding and admirable humanity. From the tip of subsequent week, and the one after that, we are going to begin to see the defendants’ facet. The defendants might be interrogated, so we are going to swap to a very completely different part of the trial. A trial like that is very shocking as a result of you’ve the impression that it is making an attempt to unfold each a part of what occurred in a number of hours of that night time on November 13 and from each angle. So this can be very making an attempt emotionally but in addition continually thrilling.”

What, if anything, do you expect from this trial?

Emmanuel Carrère:

“That’s humorous as a result of the query you simply requested is what they’re really asking the civil events who’re testifying. At the tip, everybody solutions the query: “what do you expect from the trial?” The solutions, which I’d say are my very own too, are that justice have to be served, that means the sentences have to be proportionate to the acts dedicated. With that in thoughts, the people who find themselves in entrance of the judges aren’t the individuals who really did the killings. That doesn’t exonerate them in any respect, however they aren’t the fellows who killed as a result of these guys are all useless. It additionally signifies that justice have to be carried out in line with the norms of regulation. It’s as if the honour of this trial is to ensure that it goes effectively, that the defendants are defended, that they’re defended effectively… Everyone is demanding this, together with the individuals who have been probably the most damage. There can be a want to know issues a bit of higher, so to forestall different assaults. I solely half imagine that’s attainable. Some individuals are saying, and deep down it is maybe what I’ve retained probably the most, is that they need to represent a type of collective narrative of this occasion. But perhaps that is a type of skilled deformation from me.”

Yes, that’s the writer’s point of view…

Emmanuel Carrère:

“Yes, but it surely’s not solely my viewpoint, it is also that of many people who find themselves testifying. They say that for them it is one of many vital facets…”

To tell the story…

Emmanuel Carrère:

“Yes, as a result of everybody up to now has their very own story to inform and to listen to all the opposite tales is essential and really precious. I imply, it isn’t simply my occupation that makes this dimension so vital.”

Last question, Lao-tzu would have said “The aim will not be the aim, the aim is the trail”. You know this quote.

Emmanuel Carrère:

“I do know it and I completely agree with it.”

Where are you on your path?

Emmanuel Carrère:

“Well, to illustrate I’m nonetheless strolling and bumping and hobbling, that is type of our lot. That query brings us again to the start of this dialog, to the will to enhance issues a bit of and by doing this, to enhance the little issues round us. It is an ambition that’s each modest and immense.”

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