The ghosts in our lives

Have you ever noticed the closeness between ghosts and fantasy? Semantic proximity? Yes. The two words are similar because they have the same origin, a Greek term which means mental image, image offered to the mind. Ghosts, like fantasy, have no materiality, they are the fruit of our mind.

I suggest that we take this bridge between the two words today, because the imagination very often makes it possible to fill the void left by an absence. Let’s talk about ghosts with fantasy.

The question is not to believe or not in an afterlife and we are not going to turn the tables in this studio. No, the idea is to question the place that the absent take in our lives.

Some talk about their death, others think about it every day. Some see them, imagine them by falling on an object, on a photo.

What would the walls say if they could talk? What stories do the places carry within them? Promise, swear, the subject is not sad. And then the ghosts are not only the deceased.

Have you ever been royally ignored by someone you texted, texted, and texted? So you’ve been ghosted, turned into ghosts.

The imagination of people who have gone before us

Death is present in our daily life. Ours of course, but also that of our loved ones. Behind them, they leave unforgettable memories, letters, objects, photos. For the guests, ghosts are linked to love, to death, but above all to life.

The most present in our lives are those we call our angels or our familiars. The trace, the presence of those who loved us. It is this bond of love between the dead and the living that serves as a bridge. This point of view changes our relationship to death. We no longer fear it, we live with it and we learn to love it too.

Claire Vassé: “According to quantum physics, space and time are not so important. It is enough that two particles have been in contact once to continue to be in interaction, despite millions of kilometers of distance if particles reach it. What about the living and the dead? »

52 mins

The unknown people whose enigmatic trace we find

Finding objects that don’t belong to us, and trying to understand who owned them and what their functions were… It’s poetic, but also scientific. This is the realm of archaeology.

Discover abandoned objects, vestiges, and make them talk. Archaeologist Jean-Paul Demoule feels like solving an enigma, with very little evidence.

He is recently at the origin of an exhibition and a book in collaboration with the visual artist Sophie Calle, on the ghosts of the Musée d’Orsay. This work is the result of the analysis of a whole range of objects gleaned by Sophie Calle, more than forty years ago, in the disused former Hôtel d’Orsay. Jean-Paul Demoule lent himself to the game and analyzed these archives to extract a story: that of a hotel where you only pass and where people have met.

33 mins


Jean-Paul Demouleprofessor emeritus of archeology at the University of Paris I. He worked with the artist Sophie Calle around the exhibition “Lesphantoms of Orsay”, from which the book is based The Elevator occupies the 501at Actes Sud.

Claire Vasse, writer and screenwriter. His last book from youis published by Editions de la Mer Salée (2022).

Didier Blonde, writer. His Self-Portrait with Ghosts was released this year by Gallimard.

Musical programming

Rosalia -Candy

Etienne Daho – Dueling in the sun

Emma Peters – To cross

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The ghosts in our lives

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