Podcast: Police violence, labelling wine and France's first feminist comic-book author

Audio 22:54
Spotlight on France episode 31
Spotlight on France episode 31 RFI

A look at the use of force by French police, as weekly Yellow Vest protests continue. The legacy of feminist cartoonist Claire Bretécher in the male-dominated world of French BD. And how, in the wake of US tariffs,  getting a label can help you stand out in France's competitive wine market. 


After teenager Lilian Diessé was hit and disfigured by a rubber bullet fired by police during a Yellow Vest protest in Strasbourg last year, his mother is still trying to get justice. Investigators concluded that he was in the wrong place at the wrong time, but they closed the case without identifying the officer who fired the shot. The case draws attention to the use of force by police during Yellow Vest protests. Since the movement began in November 2018, more than 500 demonstrators have been injured in violent clashes between police and protesters. Some have lost eyes or hands because of police use of controversial flash ball riot guns. We hear from Flaure Diessé and ask whether the police are using excessive force and what is the government doing to address it.  (Listen @0'00)

Cartoonist Claire Bretécher, who died this week, played an important role in making comics, or bandes dessinnées, a respected adult literary genre in France in the 1960s and '70s. She also introduced female characters and social satire into what was a very male-dominated world at the time. We talk about her life and work and critiquing the bohemian bourgeoisie, who we now know as les bobos. (Listen @9'33)

Labels have become increasingly important for wine in France, reassuring customers over a bottle's authenticity and the methods used to produce what's inside. As wine exports take a hit in France because of US tarrifs, Brexit and the slowing of the Chinese economy, winemakers at the Wine-Paris Vinexpo trade fair are under pressure to stand out. Annick Jourdan, of the Domaine Jourdan in the Loire valley, talks about working naturally, and the growing importance of organic and other such labels for her customers. (Listen @13'32)

Spotlight on France is a podcast from Radio France International. Find us on iTunes (link here), Google podcasts (link here), or your favourite podcast app.

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