“In the same movement, the cultural world denounces the pension reform project, but shows restraint in the face of Vincent Bolloré and his cultural satellites”


PRather fluffy at first, the cultural world has been raising the temperature for a good week against the pension reform. Tribunes, demonstrations, texts read to the public, cancellations of shows, closures of museums, monuments or libraries… The intensity of anger is one thing. Another is to observe who moves, how, with what target, and then we see that the fights are variable geometry.

To hear the culture, it was necessary, as often, that figures of the cinema emerge from the wood. First it was the actress Adèle Haenel, but her words, spoken on February 20 in an amphitheater at the University of Paris-VIII, were undoubtedly perceived as too ambitious: “overthrow capitalism” and substitute it “a communist world”.

More effective was the anti-reform platform signed on March 22 in Releaseby Juliette Binoche, Laure Calamy, Camille Cottin, Jonathan Cohen or Cédric Klapisch, among 300 other names, taking care to say that the most “known” (the richest) are not concerned. One of the initiators of the text, the documentary filmmaker Gilles Perret, admitted, in Humanity of March 24, that this “beautiful array of names” has woken up a sector whose absence from combat has hitherto been “dramatic”.

From the “stand of 300”, other voices are heard: Patrick Bruel with well-bred words, Vianney and the rapper SCH in an indignant tempo, Benjamin Biolay in an ironic tone. The writers Annie Ernaux, Régis Jauffret, Tanguy Viel or Nicolas Mathieu have the chiseled formula, the last asking Emmanuel Macron, on March 18 in Mediapart : “Do you know what reserve of rage you just released? » Otherwise, in a known movement, almost all private places remained open, cinemas for example, while subsidized ones, from the Louvre Museum to performance halls, closed on certain days of mobilization.

A subject of tension in perspective

However, we have the impression that the culture was much more advanced, at the end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020, against the project of retirement by points. Deceptive effect. Two years ago, the Opéra national de Paris and the Comédie-Française, whose special regimes – the only ones in culture – were promised in the trash, went on strike for nearly two months. Result: a victory, an avalanche of comments, a good hundred performances canceled, millions of euros in losses, the State continuing to fill the deficit of the two special regimes (17 million euros in total).

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