Eighteen established writers, one from each city/region, will be commissioned to write a chapter in a response to their Arts & Society theme within the context of their city.
Just as Ulysses is innovative in its form and language, so the writers will be chosen with a view to reflecting a breadth of genres, styles and innovations. Each writer will ideally attend their own city’s event. All the (new) chapters from the 18 cities/regions will be brought together in a book publication: Europe-Ulysses (working title).
Valérie Manteau will write the Marseille chapter.
Blending the rigour of documentary work and the freedom that fiction gives, in particular applied to hijacking elements of my own life, my books straddle several genres and strive to weave together, in narratives most often in the first person, all the event states of “great history” (from the 2015 attacks in France, from the failed coup d’état of 2016 in Turkey, or mobilisations for housing in Marseille, or for democracy in the Congo, etc.) mixing the most impersonal, public, collective, to the most intimate, singular, traumatic, conscious and unconscious. Close to the body, listening to somatic manifestations, dreams, significant coincidences, but also political and historical dynamics, my writing seeks to recapture the lived experience in all its complexity, including that of it which is incomprehensible, opaque, and ineffable.
Valérie Manteau was a contributor to the satirical journal Charlie Hebdo from 2009 to 2013, she was also an editor at Les Échappés from 2008 to 2013. In 2013, she joined the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations in Marseille, as a publishing and distribution manager, which she left in 2018. Living in the Noailles district of Marseille, she is a member of the “Collectif du 5 novembre” – “Noailles en colère” created after the 2018 collapse of the Rue d’Aubagne. She is co-signatory of the forum Nous sommes tous des enfants de Noailles published in Le Monde dated 30 January 2019 alongside Robert Guédiguian, Keny Arkana, IAM, Sophie Calle, Barbara Cassin