On 9 January, Le Monde published an open letter from a hundred women calling for a reconsideration of the ‘excessive’ #MeToo campaign. Among the signatories were writers, editors, translators, academics, gynaecologists, psychotherapists, artists, filmmakers, actors, critics, journalists, photographers and radio hosts. The broadside, drafted by five writers and journalists including Catherine Millet and Catherine Robbe-Grillet, argued that the campaign, though ‘legitimate’ in its calling out of sexual violence in the wake of the allegations against Harvey Weinstein, had escalated into policing the relationships between men and women in a way that was detrimental to sexual freedom.
In the early evening of 14 July 2016, I grabbed a beer with my parents and brother on the Place de la Préfecture in Nice. Armed soldiers were patrolling the streets, following the procedure of the State of Emergency declared after the November 2015 attacks in Paris. After dinner we went home to watch Jean Vigo’s A propos de Nice on DVD. The city as it appears in the film is by turns familiar and remote, sometimes both at once. The images of the carnival, for example, are uncannily close to the event as we know it; the papier-mâché structures parading the streets have been the same for decades, it seems.