Agricultural images and imaginaries...

... Between fantasy and reality, by François Purseigle

Les Abattoirs
Free entrance subject to availability

As part of the "Battre la campagne" series

France still sees itself as a country of small and medium-sized autonomous farms. This model, long desired and reinforced during the post-war period of modernisation, is breaking down, giving way to new and very diverse forms of organisation of agricultural labour and capital. The figure of the farming couple, the total osmosis between work and family life, the idea of an unchanging peasant uniqueness, are being erased. These often painful changes are compounded by the demographic collapse of this professional sector, the weakening of its place and image in French society, and environmental concerns.

Agriculture has become a subject of debate that everyone is seizing on, while ignoring the unspeakable revolution underway. This conference will look back at the confusion of images to which the agricultural sector has fallen victim, and will seek to understand the reasons for the blurring of representations associated with agriculture. It will seek to put into perspective the social realities in which the works in the exhibition Artists and Farmers.

François Purseigle is Professor of Sociology at the Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse and Director of the Department of Economic, Social and Management Sciences at the École Nationale Supérieure Agronomique de Toulouse (INP-ENSAT). After studying the involvement of French farmers in trade unions and their political behaviour, his current research focuses on the workings of very large agricultural businesses and the entrepreneurial behaviour of their managers. He is the author of several books, including Les sillons de l'engagement (2004), Sociologie des mondes agricoles (2013) and, more recently, Une agriculture sans agriculteurs (2022).