Émilie Rousset, Louise Hémon Les Océanographes


Following on from Rituel 4 : Le Grand Débat, Émilie Rousset and Louise Hémon probe into the archives of Anita Conti, the first French female oceanographer, ecological pioneer and first female scientist to enter into the closed world of mariners and document her findings.

In 1952, armed with her camera, Anita Conti boarded a trawler and spent six months sharing, in the company of sixty men, the harsh life of cod fishermen in the Atlantic. Thrown around by the incessant swell, the images she returned with are raw and poetic. Her pictures and texts, gathered together under the title Racleurs d’océans, which translates as ‘Ocean scrapers’, mark a turning point in time. An avant-garde militant, she put forward the need for sustainable practices and protection of the oceans. Émilie Rousset and Louise Hémon compare these archives from the past with present-day research via their reflections, often humorous, on the discourse of the images. The staging invented by this directorial duo makes use of images filmed on 16mm, onboard journals and interviews with contemporary oceanographers. The two actresses Saadia Bentaïeb and Antonia Buresi move around the stage to the sound of the Odes Martenot by Julie Normal. In relation to the different eras, and evolution of technology and knowledge, what do scientific images produce in terms of political discourse, and poetic potential?