Soutien au laboratoire Pacte de l’étranger

*Association des géographes italiens :

*Association des géographes espagnols :

*Commission de géographie politique de l’UGI :
Statement of Solidarity with French geographers and academics

Dear colleagues,

As many academics around the world we have followed with great concern the political debate in France where members of the government, including the Minister of Education and the Minister of Higher Education, and members of the National Assembly have been attacking the social sciences and the humanities at the university and more specifically scholars working in the field of gender studies, critical race theory and postcolonial studies.

These attacks have been criticized by many official instances including the Conseil national des universités CNU (the national agency supervising the careers of academics in France and organized in disciplinary sections), the Centre national de la recherche scientifique CNRS (the National Centre for Scientific Research), the Conférence des présidents d’université CPU (the Conference of University Presidents), professional associations such as the Comité national français de géographie CNFG (the French National Geography Commission), trade unions and many collective initiatives.

These collective attacks have intensified since October. Recently we were made aware of the inadmissible attacks suffered by fellow teachers and researchers affiliated to several French universities (Angers, Grenoble, Sorbonne University, Tours and elsewhere). Geographers included.

We want to call your attention to these attacks and express our solidarity with our French colleagues and our support of the Geography Section of the Conseil national des universités (CNU) and the Comité national français de géographie (CNFG.)

Both sent a strong and clear message of support to colleagues who have been personally targeted, especially to Anne-Laure Amilhat Szary, who has been receiving countless hate messages and death threats following a mediatized conflict in which she is involved as director of the PACTE laboratory at the Université Grenoble Alpes. Anne-Laure is a political geographer and an internationally renowned border scholar. She is also a member of the steering committee of the Commission on Political Geography of the International Geographical Union.

We therefore want also to circulate and support the message of French geographers. The CNU Geography Section and the CNFG have denounced the hostile climate which has been setting in for several weeks following the remarks of the Minister of National Education in November 2020 and of the Minister of Higher Education in February 2021, unanimously denounced by the CPU, the CNRS and other organizations representative of the academic world. Through these extremely serious attacks, the entire scientific community is targeted. It is not only the independence, transparency and quality of higher education and research that are called into question, it is also the place of the university in our society that is threatened.

You will find additional information in English and in French, including the message of the Comité National Français de Géographie (CNFG) at bottom of this message.

Kind regards,

Virginie Mamadouh (University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands) and Adriana Dorfman (UFRGS, Brazil)

Co-Chairs of the Commission on Political Geography of the International Geography Union.