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Two years as a maître de langue: on my first experience as a university professor

Two years as a maître de langue: on my first experience as a university professor

Now that my contract as maître de langue at Avignon Université is (practically) over, I would like to put down some reflections on these two years of teaching, which were my first experience as a university professor. Actually, I would have wanted (should have?) to write these lines right after the end of the courses, on the fly, but the work on the dissertation has – rightly – taken priority. The advantage is that now the writing of the thesis…

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Weaponizing copyright: police tactics, social media platforms and the shrinking freedom in post-democracies

Weaponizing copyright: police tactics, social media platforms and the shrinking freedom in post-democracies

A few days ago, on Mastodon, I stumbled upon a toot with a link to a Vice article that was about Beverly Hills police playing music on their phones during protests, seemingly in an effort to trigger copyright filters of social platforms. In this case, the goal they were likely aiming to was to have Instagram block the live stream of journalist and activist Sennett Devermont. What’s reported by Vice article is not the first episode of this kind of…

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“Language as a virus”: why we need a “lexicon for this pandemic”

“Language as a virus”: why we need a “lexicon for this pandemic”

(…) Language is the very condition of the possibility of naming justice.  It is the core of political existence. By the same token, language may be the very condition for concealing, masking, and imposing injustice. Language may itself become a form of tyranny, or the way to sanction a tyrannical political system at least. (…) A virus is a biological entity, but language itself can be infected by the virus of double speak, misinformation, and obfuscation. Language itself can become…

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“A recipe for disaster”: the business of anxiety in times of pandemic

“A recipe for disaster”: the business of anxiety in times of pandemic

Il n’existe plus de sphère de l’existence contemporaine qui n’ait point fait l’objet d’une pénétration par le capital. […] Tout étant devenu une source potentielle de capitalisation, le capital s’est fait monde, un fait hallucinatoire de dimensione planétaire, producteur, sur un échelle élargie, de sujets à la fois calculateurs, fictionnels et délirants. Le capital s’étant fait chair, tout est devenu une fonction du capital, l’intériorité y compris. Achille Mbembe, Brutalisme, La Découverte, Paris, 2020 I was reading an article on…

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Neoliberalism stole my virginity*? On being a teenager musician in the Nineties, Blind Melon and the future we lost

Neoliberalism stole my virginity*? On being a teenager musician in the Nineties, Blind Melon and the future we lost

Too many subjects in just one post? Probably. As obvious as it may sound, I do not even know where to start. But, since we seem to live in an emotional capitalism, let’s start this way: about a feeling: being a teenager and playing in a band in the Nineties. I grew up in a small town in northern Italy, I started playing drums when I was 14 in a band with some friends, we believed in it, we did…

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Fragmented notes for a radio project that’s still unconscious and shapeless

Fragmented notes for a radio project that’s still unconscious and shapeless

There is a frequency where touch – the most intimate of the senses – and hearing meet: 20 Hz. And 20 Hz is considered the normal low frequency limit of human hearing (and below: just the rumbling realm of infrasounds). Sound and touch. A sound that becomes touch, a sound that touches: intimacy (sonic). That is an interesting starting point. Also because: “the ear is arguably the most underrated and underexplored erotic organ, connecting directly to the imagination – the…

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Provenza in bici: un percorso olfattivo-sensoriale

Provenza in bici: un percorso olfattivo-sensoriale

Now that a few months have passed after we got back to our “normal” lives – even if sometimes our minds are still struggling to fit back in the ordinary – we are thinking to keep using this website as a place to share our projects: writing, radio, music, travels… whatever they might be. I’d like to start this new use with a page I wrote for a tourist book guide about Provence that never saw the light. So here…

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Une impasse bien française (of taxes and the state vs nomadic life or: I hate French bureaucracy)

Une impasse bien française (of taxes and the state vs nomadic life or: I hate French bureaucracy)

Empires first and modern states to follow have always wanted to make nomadic peoples settle. They struggled to. They used force and violence to stop them from moving around. They set borders (which are inherently violent and deadly). Power was the reason: how can you impose power to someone whose movements and lives you cannot control? But that was history, right? Well, the intricate ways of French bureaucratic state are up to the task in 2019. It’s a kind of…

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Two Italian globe-trotter cyclists on the French radio: the podcast is now available

Two Italian globe-trotter cyclists on the French radio: the podcast is now available

I am back, in the end. Mery had moved back to Avignon at the end of august while I was still traveling and working around Europe. You know we had some issues with the flat we moved back to, so we decided to move (again!) and this will happen by mid december. That means that we are still surrounded by boxes (mainly books, a lot of new ones) and quite a few of our clothes are still packed. Is it…

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More than two weeks around China: of a different way of traveling, pandas and dépaysement

More than two weeks around China: of a different way of traveling, pandas and dépaysement

Since the moment we packed our bikes in Almaty we feel a little bit lost. After more than 8 months on the road, through seasons and countries, leaving the bike and keeping on going without them is weird. I have to say that it took me these entire first two weeks in China to get used to a different way of moving around. As I wrote on our Facebook page a few days ago: “on the bike the ‘in between’…

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