Bernard Stiegler, the French theorist, was one of the most interesting people for me that we studied in this class. He was the leader of the technogenesis movement. One of the most interesting facts about Stiegler was he was incarcerated in Toulouse, France for armed robbery at the Saint-Michele Prison. The prison held many Germans post WWII before it was reestablished into what it was during Stiegler’s time. He did much of his studying and thinking during this period alongside that of Gerard Grenel at le Universite de Toulouse le Mirail.
What is interesting about all of this is the fact that I lived by this prison for three months while I interned in the U.S. Consulate In Toulouse, France. This internship was with the United States State Department. A lot of the work we did involved public and economic diplomacy in the South West region of France. Everyday I hopped on the metro right in front of the to get to work
It is no longer used as a prison and every week there is an article in the local newspaper of how they were going to repurpose it. The popular idea was turning it into a music school/ theatre because of its large walls. It would be able to echo the music that was being play all throughout the city. You can see its large walls would be perfect for the echo effect. The prison basically never gives tours of the prison because of his Nazi Germany history.
I did a lot of work with the Universite de Toulouse le Mirail also. In the consulate we gave many grants for students to study in the United States. We also gave a lot of grants for American professors to come and give conferences at the University. One of the most populous Universities in Toulouse, it plays an important role in the city. We have many relationships with the University. There international business school is rather large with students from America specifically with the University of Cincinnati. Recently the name of the School has changed to just the University of Toulouse. The reason with this is because the name “Mirail”has a negative connotation attached to it. When people thing of le Mirail, they think of poor people at Gypsys or Romanians. So the city voted on changing the name in hopes of making the school more of an International hub.
France and the city of Toulouse specifically has an interesting political sphere when it comes to Romanians. There is a large portion of the city that is somewhat racist towards the Romanians. They have a movement that is particularly popular in Toulouse against the Romanians called the Front Nationale. This group is somewhat similar to our Tea Party in the sense that it is very Nationalistic. It wants to keep everyone that is not French out and protect its borders just like the Tea Party wants to keep illegals out.