Visual projects

Past projects

2020. Photo Essay “Photography, Space Artefacts and the Ethnographic Self”. © Julie Patarin-Jossec

2020. Documentary film: “La sociologie comme elle s’apprend”(Sociology as it is learned) [FR] (39 min.)

View on the IVSA website: https://visualsociology.org/?p=6946.

La sociologie comme elle s’apprend is the filmic narrative of a learning process: both the learning of a discipline (with its scientific norms, analytic frames and methods) and the development of critical thinking on the social. Emphasizing the articulation between the global dimension of sociology (for instance, through the international circulation of French sociology’s theories) and the local particular reality of fieldwork in a provincial town in Russia, this documentary follows Russian students at the Collège Universitaire Français of Saint-Petersburg who, for most, discover what doing sociology and ethnography means.

On-Going projects

Photo project: “Undressing the Icon/Visualizing the habitus

Detailed project available upon request. Series of astronauts and cosmonauts portraits, started in January 2020.

Behind each person who detains a certain power (either symbolic, political, or economic), a question raises: who is he/she? What is his/her personalities, fears, hopes, and obsessions? ‘Undressing the icon’ is not only about telling part of people’s story through a portrait: it is about telling an untold story, hidden yet absolutely unavoidable. To be as close to the being as possible, behind the thickness of social representation, fantasies, attributions, obligations—inside the spacesuit. This project proposes a reflection on social representations and cultural imaginaries surrounding the human space exploration through profesionnal astronauts’ and cosmonauts’ embodiment. It is part of a larger research project aiming at a visual and ethnographic documentation of contemporary human spaceflight and its micropolitics.

Documentary film: “Ad Astra”

Conceptual file available upon request. Feature-length experimental documentary shooted in France, Russia, South Africa, UAE. In production since 2019.

Ad Astra is the narration of the cultural heritage that frames current space exploration programs, and explores collective imaginaries related to the outer space to reflect on future living conditions off our home planet. Involving astronauts, space-policy makers, engineers, social scientists, and designers, the film aims to investigate revolutionary ways to conceive daily life, dwelling and working as part of space settlements, partly inspired by strategies developed in postcolonial countries. Emphasizing collective imaginaries related to the outer space to question the social influences of our imagination regarding the future of space exploration, it discusses current and innovative ways to conceive daily life and belonging through design and architecture.

Ad Astra © Julie Patarin-Jossec

Documentary film: “Looking for the Afronauts”

Conceptual file available upon request. Production scheduled in 2021 as part of a postdoctoral fellowship (‘Atlas’ program, FMSH/IFAS-Recherche).

This short-film investigates relationships between affect, aesthetics and memory. Future decades will feature the launch of settlements on the Moon, and maybe even on Mars. Developed within space powers engaged in human space exploration since a long time (Russia, the United-States, Canada, Japan, China, and the member-states of the European Space Agency), such programs appear to reproduce rhetorics and social logics inherited from colonial exploration. Thus, how could the sociopolitical path of African countries (such as South Africa and Zambia) highlight the relationship between space policy, cosmologies, and reconstruction of national identities? Based on interviews with artists, social scientists, and staff from the South Africa national space agency, this documentary emphasizes how the willingness of human space programs can actively contribute to a reappropriation of international space norms and support processes of identity politics.