The Trial
of Fiction
Mock Trial of the Border between Fact and Fiction
As part of Nuit Blanche 2017
When : the Saturday October 7, 2017
Where: in the audience room of the Council of Paris in the Paris Town Hall
Entrance on 5 rue Lobau, 75004, Paris

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The Trial of Fiction

A mock trial of the border between fact and fiction

When: Saturday, October 7th, from 7pm (sharp) to 2am
Where: in the audience room of the Council of Paris in the Paris Town Hall
Entrance on 5 rue Lobau, 75004, Paris
Free entrance and live streaming online (click here)

Curated by Aliocha Imhoff and Kantuta Quirós
Scientists Council and lawyers
: Françoise Lavocat, Alison James, Alexandre Gefen, Laurent de Sutter, Dorian Astor, Fabien Danesi

Commissioned by Nuit Blanche 2017 (curated by Charlotte Laubard).

In this time of “alternative facts” championed by Trump administration and of general use of storytelling by the political class, in this time of indictment of many writers charged with muddling reality with fiction, in this time of emergence of “new realists” in the philosophical field, in this time of necessity to return to the real, as incessantly reiterated in public debate, a mock trial, under the form freely inspired by a criminal trial, proposes to deliberate and to discuss the necessity and the reality of a border between fact and fiction.

What is left, in this context, of deconstruction, of post-structuralist panfictionalism and of radical constructivism, what is left of the performativity of stories and of counter-fictions, of the cognitive value of fictionality and of the legacy of postcolonial epistemologies that re-evaluate myths and fabulation, what remains, finally, of narrativist, fictionnalist and experimental historiography? Should we then proclaim, collectively, the necessity of distinct cognitive regimes; should we rescue the border between fact and fiction?

Françoise Lavocat, Alison James and Alexandre Gefen (literature theorists) will lay charges against those who, for decades, have been taking part in this wide blurring of fact and fiction. Laurent de Sutter, Dorian Astor and Fabien Danesi (philosophers and essayists) will speak for the defence.

Thus, the trial will oppose the “differentialists” (which the defence would rather call, less kindly, “segregationists”) to the “integrationists” (which the prosecution would rather call, more belligerently, “confusionnists”).

The lawyers of defence and prosecution will be supported by as many witnesses and experts called to testify as there are voices raised to give thought to this issue which exceeds current controversies. Among them, Pascal Engel (philosopher), Claudine Tiercelin (philosopher), Laurent Binet (writer), Anna Arzoumanov (literature theorist), Mathieu Simonet (lawyer and writer), Maylis de Kerangal (writer), Romain Bertrand (historian), Dominique Viart (literature theorist), Nancy Murzili (literature theorist), Quentin Deluermoz (historian), Thomas Mondémé (literature theorist), Camille de Toledo (writer), Nadia Yala Kisukidi (philosopher), Jacques Rancière (philosopher, subject to availability), Eric Chauvier (writer et anthropologist), Yannick Haenel (writer), Pacôme Thiellement (essayist, subject to availability), Olivier Caïra (sociologist), Jason Karaïndros & Jakob Gautel (artists), Dominique Cardon (sociologist), Alexis Constantin (filmmaker).

The court will be presided by Caroline Broué (France Culture) and Mathieu Potte-Bonneville (philosopher) ; Aliocha Imhoff and Kantuta Quirós will be assessors, Ella Bellone will impersonate the court bailiff. The jury will be made of participants of the Nuit Blanche.

The prosecution team has established five counts of indictment, that will organise the trial into sections and will constitute its main plan.

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