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Webiar Series 1 - Talk 1

WINTER Webinar Series:
‘Death here and now: Intimacy and politics in an ethnobiographical and photographic film’

Date: 4 February 2022 (Friday)

Time: 10 -11 AM CET (5 -6 PM HKT)
Title: Death here and now: Intimacy and politics in an ethnobiographical and photographic film

(in French and English)

Includes film clips from ‘Quel côté de l’absence?’ (with subtitles in English)


Valérie Cuzol (Max Weber Centre, France)

Frédéric Lecloux (Photographer and documentary maker)



Valérie Cuzol and Frédéric Lecloux discuss their film Quel côté de l'absence? dedicated to the study of funerary rituals, burial choices and their related stakes among immigrants of North African origin and their descendants. Through filmed interviews and photographs, the two elicit rare intimate accounts, resistances, and unspoken words, and give a modest glimpse of the vulnerability of those who speak to them. Accompanied by excerpts from the documentary, the presentation proposes to question what the self-narrative produces in a setting mediated by the camera when it carries important identity and socio-political stakes. It explores the capacity of photography to elicit a narrative of the self, and the ways in which the filmic approach remains limited in its capacity to fully grasp the complexity of funeral choices in an immigration context.

About the speakers:

Valérie Cuzol is a doctoral fellow at the Max Weber Centre, University of Lyon 2. She is interested in the study of family trajectories broken by death and migration. She worked on funeral rituality and the sociopolitical and identity stakes of burial.

She is the director of two documentaries Chibanis, mémoires d’exil, 2014 and Quel côté de l’absence ? (2018, with Frederic Lecloux)

Frédéric Lecloux is a Belgian-French writer and photographer. He graduated with honours from the École Nationale Supérieure de la Photographie in Arles (June 2016). Frédéric ’s work is distributed by VU’ agency and published by Le Bec en l’air.

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