UGENT Human Rights Research Network

Published on 07-12-2020, Last modified on 07-12-2020

Continuer à exister comme un être qu’on dirait humain

In the context of the Human Rights Week organized by the UGent Human Rights Research Network, Pierre Schoentjes talks to the French writer Guillaume Poix, whose work is extensively concerned with human rights. In his plays and novels, Poix touches upon various societal issues worldwide, such as the South African phenomenon of gang rape as a “means” to “convert” lesbian women (Straight), the social impact and polluting effects of electronic waste dumps on the African continent (Les Fils conducteurs), but also the refugee crisis in France, El Salvador, Somalia and the United States and the resulting right-wing extremism (Là d’où je viens a disparu). In this conversation, Guillaume Poix discusses his views on literary engagement, talks about the ample documentation that has nourished his work and comments upon his search for a suitable writing style to address social issues. In addition, he addresses the way fiction gives us insight into the life of the “Other” and considers the role literature can play in highlighting current issues such as (violations of) human rights, the North-South divide, and ecological problems such as soil pollution and climate justice.