University of London Institute in Paris

9-11 rue de Constantine
75007 Paris

Seminar series
Dis-placing Politics


The next event in our Dis-Placing Politics series - presented in association with the Paris School of Arts and Culture, University of Kent - will host architect, writer, editor, and podcaster, Léopold Lambert.

Based in Paris and New York, Lambert is the editor of The Funambulist, a regular publication on the politics of space and bodies. Lambert will be providing insight into the creation and history of France's état d'urgence and the wider, more worrying implications that this has for the legislation's continued use in recent years. Responding to his paper, 'States of Emergency: A Spatial History of the French Colonial Continuum', will be Nacira Guenif (University of Paris-8).


16:00 - Reading Workshop (for more information and to receive the readings, click here)

18:00 - Lecture and discussion

19:30 - Drinks reception


States of Emergency: A Spatial History of the French Colonial Continuum

Léopold Lambert

As France recently crystallized the main features of the state of emergency into common law, we ought to examine the history of this exceptional legislation. Drafted in 1955 to crush the Algerian Revolution, it was used three times during this eight-year-long decolonial struggle. Its three later occurrences (in Kanaky-New Caledonia in 1985, in thirty-eight French cities' banlieues in 2005 and, more recently, in the totality of France and its so-called "overseas territories" between 2015 and 2017) reveal the continuation of French coloniality nowadays in the violence it deploys on the same bodies. This talk will address the French states of emergency's spatiality and architectures in order to demonstrate such a continuity.