Karlsruhe Dialogues 2012

Everything in (dis)order? New obscurities in a globalized world

Valentine Umansky




Valentine Umansky

Valentine Umansky is spokesperson for the French group Génération Précaire (the French equivalent of the German term Generation Praktikum, i.e. “the Precarious Generation” or “the Internship Generation”). She is currently studying for her second Masters degree, in exhibition technology, at the Panthéon Sorbonne, and works as a curator and catalogue editor for art exhibits. Prior to this, she received a Masters in culture management, art, and languages. In addition to her studies, she has been in charge of various artistic projects and has helped organise festivals.



ZAK asked Ophélie Latil and Valentine Umansky to answer the following questions:

1. Has our need for security grown or merely our perception of insecurity?

I would suggest it is our perception of insecurity that has grown, due to a media focus on this matter since the 2008 presidential campaign in France. More generally, the broadcast of images is used to modify the public perception of such matters (e.g. “riots” in London, in Paris’ suburbs...).
The perception of insecurity has grown due to the real insecurity people feel (job-wise, housing-wise, and so on), resulting in politics that are more and more state-handled and focused on security (e.g. immigration matters in France).

2. To what extent are interferences between the different risks on the increase? Is a domino effect recognisable?

The domino effect is logical, in the sense that there are links between each aspect of the society and between risks. I think it is quite obvious.

3. In the face of the present crisis situation should more decision-making authority be shifted to the European institutions/organs?

Generally, we suggest that more authority should be shifted to the European institutions, considering they have very little power facing the current crisis. In a context where some countries start to doubt the European existence itself, that is the only response to the strong nationalist politics of many European countries. Many French activists were surprised by the way Europe had little power to handle Greece’s and Spain’s crisis first of all, so that trust in the entity itself gets smaller and smaller. Therefore, the feeling of insecurity (or the feeling that Europe has difficulties handling economic and political matters) rises.