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Julie Gagné

  • Scholar 2003
  • Alumni
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Ph.D. History
Université Laval / École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales

    It may be Quebec's motto, "Je me souviens," that has prompted Julie Gagné to trace the memory of various peoples, but between the Quebec that recalls its French roots and the Congo that recalls its colonial past lies a world of difference she seems to love and to deftly explore, camera in hand. It is this difference that has nourished Julie Gagné's perspective and reflection since her initial contact with the Congolese reality: "White, overfed and rich, how could I presume to talk to these young Congolese my own age, who sometimes went two days with a single meal in their bellies? Anastase was there; he held one of my cameras while I held the other. We drank from the same gourd, we filmed the same scene, but we saw through different eyes."


    After doing undergraduate studies in history and journalism at Laval University, she completed her M.A. in African history and produced two studies, one on journalism in Mauritania and the other, a video study, on "Belgian and Congolese Mourning for the Colonial Past." Her doctoral thesis, which she is now completing under joint supervision at Laval University and the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris, is about this remembrance of colonization seen as "a global traumatic event that neither memory nor political and social relationships can erase," one that is at once "of sharing and of division."