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The Children of the Void. Breaking away from individualism (Les enfants du vide. Sortons de l’individualisme)

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Original Language: French | 200 pp. | March 2018

2 Seas Represents: World Excl. French

ESSAY | POLITICS

“We are free, but is it making us happy? The underlying anxiety we all feel stems from the lack of a collective outlook, from the breakdown of the narratives and structures that only yesterday still ascribed the individual a place within the group. Our parents deconstructed these narratives, these ‘alienating myths’, and they were right to do so. But we cannot be content with the vacuum that has taken their place.

If our elders were born into a society that was saturated with meaning, we were born into the void. Their mission was to break the chains. Our own will be to reforge the connections. Democracy is based on the rights of the individual, but not exclusively. Our generation has the task of dealing with the rest, too long neglected: the rights of the group. Because if we do not, the most authoritarian forces will do it for us.” — Raphaël Glucksmann

In line with Generation Hangover, Raphaël Glucksmann questions the lack of a collective outlook in the generations that have grown up in individualistic societies.

Raphaël Glucksmann left France at age 20 to live in Algiers and work at the newspaper, Au Soir d’Algérie. There, he witnessed fatwas against journalists and cartoonists, dozens of which were murdered by the Islamists of the Armed Islamic Group. He then moved to Eastern Europe where he saw first hand the Rose Revolution (Georgia, 2003) and the Orange Revolution (Ukraine, 2004). In 2013, he participated in the EuroMaidan revolution. He is the director of documentaries about the Orange Revolution (Orange 2004: a European revolution) and the Rwandan genocide (Kill them all!). His books Generation Hangover. A manual to fight against reactionaries and Our France – To tell and love what we are met with success with both critics and readers and positioned him as the most influential intellectual of his generation. He has been a columnist for the weekly newsmagazine LObs since 2016 and the director of Le nouveau magazine littéraire since December 2017.