“It was huge! He dazzled us,” enthuses a young activist. Five years after innovating with his famous holograms, Jean-Luc Mélenchon has gone up a notch in the use of new technologies during his first 2022 meeting this Sunday afternoon in Nantes. In an Exhibition Center without a restrictive gauge, nearly 5,000 activists equipped with a compulsory FFP2 mask attended an “immersive and olfactory meeting” arousing great curiosity.
Arrived like a rock star on an electro rhythm, the tribune of insubordinate France (LFI), presidential candidate, spoke for more than an hour from a central stage, in the heart of a crowd itself surrounded four giant screen walls of 200 m each. “It had to be a bang and we are doing it! We had to stage the vision of the world towards which we want to move in a big way”, rejoiced Jean-Luc Mélenchon.
Space, digital and the sea as common thread
The 360° experience began with the projection of dynamic images of the solar system. “It is seen from space that we better understand what there is to do on Earth”, justified the speaker, promising “spatial” and “nuclear” disarmament. It continued with the dissemination of algorithms and digital forms, pretexts for claiming “national control of Internet cables and servers” and “preferring humans to artificial intelligence”. Then by a movement of maritime waves to defend renewable energies and denounce, among other things, “the cemetery of the Mediterranean Sea”.
At the rate we are going, there will be more plastic in the Mediterranean than fish by 2050.
— Jean-Luc Melenchon (@JLMelenchon) January 16, 2022
Announced as a world premiere in a political context, the diffusion of scents in the room was less convincing. Admittedly, a few perfume notes seemed to accompany the visual paintings. But, with an FFP2 mask on the nose, they were at least difficult to feel and, even more, to identify (orange? jasmine? oak moss?). The link with the themes mentioned was therefore not obvious.
“We are pumped up. I feel like it will.”
In the introduction, for nearly an hour, several personalities, including actor Olivier Rabourdin, actress Mireille Perrier, union delegate Xavier Mathieu and humorist Bruno Gaccio, read texts by committed authors (Virginie Despentes, Edouard Glissant, André Gorz…). Partisan songs, sounds of demonstrations and several video sequences supported their remarks concluded with the “raised fist”
It took four days of editing to develop these unique sets imagined by the scenographer David Mathias and co-designed with the company Videlio. “This makes it possible to create universes in order to give substance to more abstract concepts”, explains MP Bastien Lachaud. The goal was also to “prove that technology can connect people”.
“Honestly it was great. Surely the most beautiful meeting in which I participated”, gets carried away Nicole, 62 years old, at the exit. “It was crazy, I got goosebumps,” adds Glen, 29. “We are pumped up. I feel like it will. It will be in the second round”, predicts Nicolas, however pointing the finger at “some gadget effects which do not necessarily look like us”.
A great march and the return of holograms
On the merits, Jean-Luc Mélenchon also promised this Sunday afternoon “the increase in the minimum wage to 1,400 euros net from the first day of the mandate”, the “retirement at age 60 and 40 annuities”, the supervision of “price of basic necessities” and the “limitation of bank charges”, the massive recruitment of teachers and nursing staff, the end of intensive farming, or even the “abolition of the Ministry of Agriculture” to replace it with a “Ministry of Food Production”.
Jean-Luc Mélenchon also confirmed this Sunday the organization of a “big march for the sixth Republic” on March 20 in Paris. And the return of holograms in its meetings from April.