Spotlight on France

Podcast: Actors want Covid curtain lifted, coping with lockdown #2, Enlightened Emilie

Audio 25:56
Spotlight on France episode 45
Spotlight on France episode 45 © RFI

French actors, directors and culture workers are chafing against Covid restrictions and calling out the government's double standards in keeping shops open but theatres closed. Researchers check in on people's well-being during France's second lockdown and find more negativity than the first one. And Emilie du Châtelet, the first woman to devote her life to science.


The culture world took to the streets in France this week to protest against theatres, cinemas and museums remaining closed as lockdown has eased. They say “food for the soul” is just as important as the food on your plate, and it is unfair for shops, public transport and churches to be open while they cannot work. Marc Lesage, director of the Theatre de l'Atelier, argues the government does not understand the economics of the sector. And actress Anael Guez talks about what it is like to feel "non essential". (Listen @2'55'')

As France eases out of its second lockdown, we check in with a longitudinal study that started asking questions about Covid in March. During the first confinement, people were relatively positive. Today, six months later, that is far from the case. Ettore Recchi leads the researchers in the Coco study (Listen @16'12'')

Emilie du Châtelet, born on 17 December 1706, defied patriarchal norms of the 18th century to become a renowned natural philosopher and mathematician. She is most famous for translating and commenting the Principia by Isaac Newton and sharing love, ideas and scientific discoveries with Enlightenment philosopher Voltaire. (Listen @12'45'')

This episode was mixed by Cécile Pompéani.

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

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