“All our refuges”: a podcast to explore the multiple facets of a polysemous term

What is a shelter? According to Le Petit Robert, it is “a place where we take refuge to escape danger” or “a place where people gather who know they are accepted there”

“All our refuges”: a podcast to explore the multiple facets of a polysemous term

What is a shelter? According to Le Petit Robert, it is “a place where we take refuge to escape danger” or “a place where people gather who know they are accepted there”. And Julia Lasry, who devotes a fascinating audio series to the subject, recalls that “the word takes different forms depending on each person’s journey. For some, it evokes comforting places, where one feels safe, while for others it is linked to migrations and exile.

It is this plurality of definitions, imaginations and perspectives that made him want to explore the polysemy of this term. Especially since everyone has already needed a refuge, whether it be a cabin or a mental space, the couch of their psychoanalyst or a welcoming place. And this is all that Julia Lasry poses and explores in episode 1, notably with linguist and translator Aliyah Morgenstern.

Recorded the day after Hamas attacked Israel on Saturday October 7, the following section asks: “As the refuge of Jews around the world is hit to the heart, we have taken the time to return to a few questions- keys: what is israel? Where can I find refuge in these times of war? How can we overcome identity refuges? »

A “shelter of humanity”

To shed light on these questions, Julia Lasry invited Rabbi Delphine Horvilleur, publishing director of the magazine Tenou'a, which hosts this podcast on its site also available on all platforms: “Today [October 8 therefore ], I have the feeling that something is collapsing (…), that nothing will bring us security. » And continues: “In moments of doubt, in moments when I felt lost, books guided me, sheltered me. »

The author of There is no Ajar: monologue against identity (Grasset, 2022) summons Fallen out of time, the book by David Grossman (Seuil, 2012), the story of a father who leaves in search of his dead son: “I needed to take this book out of my library on October 7 (…) We cannot not empathize with David Grossman. Besides, it is this emotion that overwhelms me today. I can't stand to see the selective empathy of each person (...), those who compete in numbers, in pain. Today, what is being trampled is our humanity. »

By recounting how the idea for this podcast was born (after the publication of Our cabins, by Marielle Macé, Verdier, 2019), Julia Lasry then questions Delphine Horvilleur on the temptation of a possible withdrawal: “A cabin does not have closed and airtight walls. It’s our own space but open to the outside world. Everyone at home is very reassuring at the moment. Jewish, vegan, Muslim, gay: we are ordered or we choose to define ourselves by a small part of ourselves, which reduces us (…) We must find this shelter of humanity to include people who are not necessarily of our family. »

Echoing this, psychoanalyst Stéphane Habib underlines, in episode 5, that “in the psychoanalysis office, what provides refuge is that the doors are open”.

Through these six episodes, and with great delicacy, Julia Lasry gives a broad understanding of this term “refuge”, what it covers, and what it also says about our state as well as that of our world.