• Picture Festival of the International Film Festival on Disability 2020
  • Palais des Festivals

    A festival to see things in a different way

  • Picture Festival of the International Film Festival on Disability 2017

    International Film Festival

    on Disability

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    We are witnessing a cultural turnover

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A word from… Philippe Lefait

The singular plural

"En situation de handicap... dans le futur" is a recently published collection of anticipation short stories. I noticed two sentences: "I'll tell you what my best friend Paul is going through, who had the misfortune of being born commonplace, that is, not disabled." And a little further on: "I am only handicapped in the eyes of those who believe it."

Nose to the grindstone... I take in the scope, the humour and the distance and I stop on a word that is wandering around my life at a low noise. The qualifier disabled says something about the person. It gives rights, creates solidarity, federates the attention of caregivers. Always, it questions. It can be written into laws that compensate for something out of the ordinary. It sometimes attracts attention and provokes pity and self-pity. It makes people instinctively prefer an alleged normality. But it will never essentialize.

In the play on words, I will always prefer the idea of singularity. This word is as beautiful as the quality of its universal sound. It is essentially plural because we are all singular and "I am only handicapped in the eyes of those who believe it"...

Today we have entered a particularly uncertain and handicapped period of time - it is according to ... and old as humankind ... and I'm going through it - by terrorism, racism, misery, the two extra degrees, the complacency of the dominant, the political stupidity or the raging selfishness and hatred.

To always welcome the singular plural is to allow oneself to understand the other, to give him his place, to accept crossbreeding. At the very least, we must continue to reflect on a community of paths weakened by the totalitarianism of the individual. This is never exclusive of the struggles necessary to eradicate bullshit, stupidity and horror. The Mediterranean is also a cemetery.

At a time when the polar bear is disappearing and the seas and oceans have an unequalled plastic density; at a time of exponential inequalities, of artificial intelligence that also facilitates facial and body recognition, it may be time to rethink living together again, already largely damaged by a predatory humanity. As the singular and radical Greta Thunberg said in 2018: "I think that in many ways we autistic people are normal, and the rest of us are frankly strange, especially when everyone keeps repeating that climate change is the most important problem of all but continues to behave as if nothing had happened".

Philippe Lefait


5th edition



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