I live halfway between the Place de la République and the Bataclan concert hall.
I am a sociologist with the French National Centre for Scientific Research. As a researcher I specialize in social memory and its localizations and for several years I have been studying the city of Paris as my primary field site.
Of course, these two facts are not enough to explain who I am, but they do help to explain the position from which I am writing this blog.
These posts are not intended to be a diary, nor a scientific article. They are provoked by the fact that phenomena which I am accustomed to studying in places and periods far removed from my everyday life, are now unfolding in my own neighborhood, in places that I visit every day, in my home.
As a sociologist of memory, this blog responds to my need to find a new way of writing; a way of sharing the reflections of an academic with a broader, non-academic, audience. As a resident of the 11th arrondissement, this blog is a way for me to put some distance between myself and my immediate environment, which has become sometimes difficult to live in since the attacks.
This is the gaze of a resident sociologist, or of a sociologist residing in what has come to be called the “Bataclan neighbourhood”.
On November 13, my partner, my two young children and I came home about 9 pm. My son and my daughter were both asleep when the shootings began.
At first we adults heard nothing. And then the deafening sounds of sirens and the avalanche of telephone calls. A night without sleep. A night that was the same for all the residents in our neighborhood. There was nothing special about our experience, probably nothing worth writing about.
It is what happened afterwards, once the event itself was “over”, that is the subject of this blog and these sociological observations of my own neighborhood.
The English texts of this blog have been translated by Katharine Throssel.