Thursday, December 29, 2016

Jean-Christophe Victor, “a scholar of integrity who has never traded” – The Express

Expert geographer, a specialist in geopolitics, international relations, and anthropologist, Jean-Christophe Victor died Wednesday at the age of 69 years. He was best known for having created and introduced The underside of cards, a weekly program of Arte) which was based on the maps, history and geography to “understand” the geopolitical and current events.

His last two broadcasts were devoted to the Oceans without fish and News of the Antarctic.

Questioned by The Express, Pascal Boniface, the director of the Institute of international and strategic relations (IRIS), held to pay tribute to him.

That wanted to send Jean-Christophe Victorabove all?

He wanted to make others understand, to make the pedagogy, making explicit and clear to the greater number of complicated things. He wanted to show that the issues of geopolitical were not aimed at the elite, he wanted to share them to all, as well by its emissions as its atlas, including the one he has recently published [The underside of the cards. Asia, routes, geo-political].

What does it bring to the tv ?

It was he who brought the first the material on the small screen. He has played this pioneering role, and it was an innovation at the time of success to speak of geopolitics at the tv without scaring them away, but instead retaining an audience. It was not the only one working in this direction, but it has contributed to the interest of the greatest number to the geopolitical.

What will you remember him? What have been your professional relationships?

“When I published The year strategic in 1985, it served me as a driver. When I wrote Intellectual integrity in 2013,, I devoted a chapter in [Pascal Boniface had placed his portrait alongside Stéphane Hessel or Régis Debray]. I remember of him is that he has never traded and has never issued an opinion in order to please someone or to avoid displeasing.

It talked about sensitive topics, but he never gave in to the pressures of this or that group or this or that community, he has never refused to treat a subject deemed “too sensitive”. What he said was mapped and indisputable. Of course, you can make it say what we want to the cards, but the ones he showed were never likely to be called into question.

We often mention the fact that he was the son of the famous polar explorer Paul-Emile Victor, but too often we forget his mother, Eliane Victor, journalist. But regardless of the quality of his parents, he was not a “son of”. He has never denied his family inheritance, but has never used it for its own promotion.


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