culture, the last bastion against the “de-demonization” of the RN?

RAYMOND ROIG / AFP The public of the festival Les Déferlantes photographed on the site of Argelès-sur-Mer in 2018 (photo)


The Les Déferlantes festival audience photographed at the Argelès-sur-Mer site in 2018 (illustration).

POLITICS – ” Blackmail and sectarianism will serve the interests of culture”. In a statement issued on Tuesday, January 10, the RN mayor of Perpignan, Louis Aliot, did not hide his anger after the decision of the organizers of the festival Les Déferlantes to find another venue after threats made by groups Louise Attaque and Indochine, which did not sign to perform in the town of Lepenist, but in the nearby town of Céret.

If, officially, the two famous French-speaking rock groups justify their positions by the fact that they are placed ” before the fait accompli “, the political label of the city mayor is still mentioned in two press releases. Which, in the political world, was immediately perceived as a boycott assumed by the formations of Gaëtan Roussel and Nicola Sirkis.

When you’re an artist, you don’t play politics, you don’t classify the people who come to these concerts according to their political opinion. For example, RN president Jordan Bardella got carried away, forgetting in passing that the party he leads is not the last to intervene in cultural matters.

Cultural interventionism

Some examples. Summer 2010, Frédéric Bocaletti (now RN representative for the Var) asked at the Château festival in Solliès-Pont to deprogram the rapper Diam’s. In July 2014, the FN mayor of Luc-en-Provence canceled an electro festival. A year later, the National Front lobbied to cancel a Maître Gims concert in the Moselle. And it is not only in current music that RN wants to impose its tastes.

In October, RN deputy Jean-Philippe Tanguy tabled an amendment to exclude manga from the Culture Pass set for young people. The elected representative of the far right wishes through this text ” redirect the use of this Pass towards literature, theater, museums or classical music concerts “. You can also establish a list of authorized works.

A cultural interventionism that, inevitably, does not help the image of the RN within the sector, although the Breakers controversy ultimately remains unique. Because it’s not just who’s in charge.

How many festival-goers wondered about the name of the city’s mayor? »
Nico Prat, cultural journalist who specializes in festivals.

“These are the two groups that did not hide their promises. Whether we like their music or not, it’s hard to question their word (which carries). On the other hand, their careers are established, so they can afford not to play, possibly alienating the festival guests, but also the region. Not everyone can do that.” emphasize on HuffPost the cultural journalist Nico Prat, familiar with the ecosystem of festivals, states that once the artists come out of the woods, the departure from Perpignan is inevitable.

“Change them? No one will pick up on all the noise around the event,” he observes, while relativizing the promise of the cultural world as a whole. ” How many festival-goers wondered about the name of the city’s mayor? A little, I think.” continued Nico Prat, who judged “ often shy, even absent “, the promise against RN to artists.

principle of truth

A kind of comfortable silence confirmed locally at HuffPost of a privileged observer of the Perpignan cultural milieu, remembering that the case of Déferlantes could offer another reading grid than the “sectarianism” denounced by the RN. And for good reason, Fabrice Lorente, former president of the University of Perpignan-Via-Domitia, who is now co-director of the company organizing Les Déferlantes, ultimately had no difficulty in topping Louis Aliot to find base. at his festival.

If the cultural circles, when it comes to Louise Attaque or Indochine, express resistance, we see that at the local level, that is, on the scale of electoral success, the cultural elites will be able to agree with the RN. “, observed our interlocutor, emphasizing that those responsible for local cultural events, usually from the public service, are obliged to cooperate with the electoral winner in order to survive.

In addition, the International Photojournalism Festival, “Visa pour l’image”, is still held in the Catalan city, despite the installation of the history of the National Front in the Town Hall. A kind of principle of reality also imposed on the Déferlantes on the other side of the political spectrum, since the region of Occitanie, led by the socialist Carole Delga, plans to reduce its subsidies to the festival in case the 2023 edition is kept in the city led by Louis Aliot.

The region, which effectively signed the contract for “naming” with the celebration, through the regional product promotion brand ” Southern France “, considering that the non-integrated installation in Perpignan asked ” the bond of trust between the regional executive and the musical event. Proof, if anything, that the local left is well aware of the image benefits that the RN can reap in the event of a major cultural event set in frontist lands.

See also at The HuffPost:

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