Following a heated discussion between a couple of friends on the theme of the imaginary, the Fondation d'entreprise Ricard had proposed to Michel Mafessoli to ritually repeat those gatherings, where artists, intellectuals, actors or business people readily intermingle, for a discussion that is both outspoken and singular.
A place open to debate, but structured, these gatherings around the imaginary have hosted, since more than ten years, witnesses and stakeholders of today's world around the theme of the imaginary and its various resurgences in our society.
Michel Mafessoli offers his analysis of the sensitive world, and an original outlook on the new expressions of culture and the social interactions.
The gatherings around the imaginary have hosted Jean Baudrillard, Gilbert Durand, Hubert Reeves, Michel Cassé, Jean-Pierre Luminet, Edgar Morin, Michelangelo Pistoletto, François Roche, Christophe Bourseiller, and many others, a reminder that the imaginary influences the world of arts, of human sciences, and that it is increasingly structuring for the emerging forms of sociality.
More than ever, these themes appear fruitful, and the very word "imaginary" resounds beyond amphitheatres and cultural debates to contaminate all the fields of social life, everyday life, togetherness, and all the expressions of contemporary culture.
These gatherings have recently evolved, and have become the Invitations to the imaginary. Michel Mafessoli will still invite an intellectual or an artist, but will assign them to questions from the audience and various observers, thus opening a discussion with the whole attendance.