In his column, Michel Guerrin, editor-in-chief of the "World", deplores the fact that a majority of young people place God above all, and therefore above art
Chronic. The book is noisy, it creaks too, and that's fine. Wednesday, April 4, we devoted two pages to The radical temptation (PUF, 464 pages, 23 euros), a survey conducted by a team of sociologists, which analyzes the statements of 7,000 high school students, aged 14 to 16, from many neighborhoods, where Islam is a marker.
A quarter of them say that the victims of the attack of January 7, 2015 against Charlie Hebdo "have a little sought." Let's go further on the cultural issue. "The freedom of expression and creation is undermined by our investigation, and I did not expect it so much", says Olivier Galland, researcher and co-author of this book with Anne Muxel.
80% of high school students surveyed say that we can not make fun of religions. Young Muslims place God above everything, so above art. What is more surprising is that young Christians, and even young people, say the same thing - even if they are less numerous. "We can not laugh at everything is a judgment almost unanimous", write the sociologists Vincenzo Cicchelli and Sylvie Octobre in their study "Fictionnalisation of attacks and conspiracy theory in adolescents" (Quaderni review, n ° 95, 2018), made from the same body of 7,000 high school students.
For Olivier Galland, the primacy of religious dogma is coupled with an individualistic and identity-based conception of religion - "It's like attacking a disabled person". The key word of young people is "respect". Which is not without contradiction when many high school students, again beyond the Muslims, defend Dieudonné "On the grounds of freedom of criticism, but also on the grounds of having alternative versions to official versions", says Sylvie October. Not to mention a climate of rising anti-Semitism - Jews do not have the monopoly of suffering.
Belief in God often goes hand in hand with belief in conspiracy theses and distrust of academic knowledge. Added to this is cultural anti-liberalism, which this time concerns mainly young Muslims: everything related to the body and sex becomes a problem, for example homosexuality, massively condemned.
We will let the experts get rid of the reasons that make up this landscape. One thing is certain, it is explosive for the cultural world. For him, secularism is a dogma, freedom of expression a fundamental right, and God and sex are playgrounds among others. As Sylvie says October and Vincenzo Cicchelli, "The subversive capacity of art and religious fundamentalism are two a priori incompatible concepts". And who goes back? Art.
Since the attacks of 2015, there are countless cultural venues that, without really saying it, refuse the shows problem (on Catholics a little, many Muslims), so opt for self-censorship. It is necessary to be Algerian, like the writers Boualem Sansal and Kamel Daoud to denounce the threat of Islamism on the freedom of creation. We must be called Ariane Mnouchkine for, in his last show, A room in India, staging bearded men who shoot a porn movie, whose master of the game ends up resembling the Chaplin of Dictator.
The risk of such shows, as we have seen for three years, is to become the target of social networks. One that their audience is the youth who speaks in The radical temptation is much less. Except perhaps a small part of these high school students, the most favored and cultivated. There, the world is upside down: 60% of them say that the artist can make fun of religions. As if two youths opposed each other in a dislocated Republic.
Let's see how have evolved the works that feed the youth, especially the most precarious. The book is in free fall, as Sylvie showed in October in Two inches and neurons (Ministry of Culture, 2014). He is no longer the dopant of the imaginary nor the receptacle of the Enlightenment, but is perceived as an object of constraints (the school). It is replaced by images and Internet - videos, films, series, amplified by social networks.
"Think a little more about training citizens"
The passage from book to screen is the transition from learning to entertainment. Also, from the nuance to the decided conviction. "The image produces powerful effects of reality and provides tiny knowledge about the world, easily mobilized for "read" news and define a coherent world, explain Sylvie October and Vincenzo Cicchelli. The rise of individualism and the use of cultural content for the purpose of self-construction favor the idea that one must have a personal opinion and express it, sometimes to the detriment of analysis, even if it favors the search for alternative truths. " And to conclude: "It's when you think you know how to think that you think no matter how. "
How to renew the links between youth and an academic culture? For school, "Surely not by clinging to his authority, but by taking into account the knowledge of young people, and thinking a little more about training citizens. For the artist, do not be content to brandish his banner, say Sylvie October and Vincenzo Cicchelli. It is necessary to avoid the forms of class symbolic violence often allowed by the hypothesis of the universality of art: a real universal artistic is built by education, and a successful education by learning of decentering, by the meeting of other possible worlds through art ".
Let's finish with a nostalgic touch and with the movie Call Me by Your Name, by Luca Guadagnino, currently on the screens. Its decor is Italy in the summer of 1983. There is no mobile phone, no screen, no video games, no YouTube, no social networks. What are these (privileged) young people doing? They read a lot, play music or listen to it, talk, dance, flirt, tan, bike, get bored. Very good training.