In Marseille, journalists declaim the news on stage


Mediavivant intends to give the public a taste for current affairs by presenting it in the form of a live performance. First attempt with an article devoted to the fall of Mariupol.

Standing on stage, a journalist recounts the fall of the Ukrainian city of Mariupol, residents who fled the fighting come to testify: a new Marseille media, Mediavivant, wishes to reconcile the public with the news by presenting it in the form of a live performance.

The association presented Thursday its first “living item» at the restaurant Les Grandes Tables de la Friche la Belle de Mai, a cigarette factory transformed into a cultural space in the 3rd arrondissement of Marseille, one of the poorest in the city. In the room, a public come for the event and customers of the restaurant.

“It’s important to talk about this war, allowing the public to meet the witnesses makes them more alive and real”

Laurent Geslin, journalist

A specialist in Eastern Europe, journalist Laurent Geslin declaims his article written for Mediapart in May, when the port city of Mariupol, strategic because of its access to the Sea of ​​Azov, fell, after three months of siege, into the hands of the Russian army which invaded Ukraine. Survivors of this industrial city also intervene on stage to tell their story. “It’s important to talk about this war, allowing the public to meet the witnesses makes them more alive and real“, explains the journalist to AFP.

Among them, a couple of students now refugees in Brittany recount their survival in Mariupol after the bombardment of the theater which served as a refuge for many civilians, the dishes in the snow and the campfires to cook, then their escape, on foot for thirty km. Historian Thomas Chopard, Director General of the Center for Franco-Russian Studies in Paris, talks about Mariupol before the war, a multicultural city with special links with Russia. “I prepared myself like for a radio interview“, he confides, delighted to be able to put his knowledge directly at the service of the public.

Jean-Baptiste Mouttet, a freelance journalist for fifteen years, had the idea for this new media, created in 2021. Other similar initiatives already existed, such as Live Magazine, a “living newspaper” represented in Parisian theaters which is exported to Brussels, Milan or Amsterdam. Mediavivant seeks to reach a wider audience, thosewho do not feel entitled to open a newspaper” Where “who distrust or distance themselves from journalists», by intervening in the popular districts of Marseille and the surrounding rural communities. The entrance price is free.

According to the latest edition of the confidence barometer of French people in the newspaper’s media The crossthe French are less and less interested in current affairs, especially young people: 62% of respondents said they were interested in current affairs in 2022, compared to 76% in 2015.

“To convey an emotion”

The scene “allows a certain pedagogy, to show the sources of information, to convey an emotion… Our objective is to raise awareness of the event“, maintains Mr. Mouttet. “The first audiences are going to be people who are called “super-informed”“, who are already accustomed to the media, he recognizes. In the assistance are also many journalists as well as friends of the members of the association already attentive to the news. “It touched me and it made me want to dig into the subject of the war in Ukraine“, reacts Louise Jeandet, a researcher who came by chance after receiving a flyer promoting the event in a bar. She would have liked “that we talk in more detail about the story of each witness“.

For me, it’s more a work of memory than journalism“, Estimates Laurine Sezerat, another spectator present at the start only to spend an evening with friends at the restaurant. At the same time, Jean-Baptiste Mouttet is extending his initiative to schools, by offering students from a high school in Aix-en-Provence media education workshops. Goal: to create their own living article. It also plans to deal with more sensitive subjects, where journalists must, for example, protect their sources. “We really do not prohibit anything“, he assures, but”getting victims of pedophilia on stage, for example, we know that would be much more difficult“. Mediavivant promises performances every second Wednesday of the month: the next will take place in the third place La Fabulerie in Marseille and will have as its theme the relatives of the victims of settling of scores.

On July 1, the association tested a first production, an adaptation of the survey published on Mediapart Marseille 1943: autopsy of a crime against working-class neighborhoods.



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