Sapiens tells us

Imagination’s role in the odyssey to the future

How long has the future existed? What’s its story? Why do we tend to believe stories? Is there any such thing as dominant or emerging imaginary visions? Are we drawn to dystopian tales? Or are we just missing desirable, inspiring stories?

Aware of our species’ sensitivity to and dependency on stories, and convinced of the transformative power of imaginary visions, we explore homo sapiens’ relationship with futuristic fiction.

Here, through this televisual immersion, language specialists, anthropologists, historians, philosophers, authors, and future theorists enlighten us with their shared belief in the power of imaginary visions within our shared human trajectory. Each one of us can then go on to tell our own stories.


"Our futures - common and individual - belong to us, and that we have the power to imagine them, play with them, experiment with them and build them as we wish."

Collectif Zanzibar

Jean-Philippe Pierron

Edgar Morin

Notion of the future

"To imagine the future, to give oneself the capacity to think about it, is to be in a relationship with the world that begins to be less passive."

Yannick Rumpala

Naomi Alderman

John Crowley

Guillaume Ledit

The storytelling function

“It’s relatively easy to agree that only Homo sapiens can speak about things that don’t really exist, and believe six impossible things before breakfast. You could never convince a monkey to give you a banana by promising him limitless bananas after death in monkey heaven."

Nancy Huston

Yuval Noah Harari

Sophie Miglietti

Antoine Louvard

Jonathan Gottshall

Philippe Corbé

Alain Damasio

Philippe Vion Dury


"Science fiction is not useful because it would be able to predict the future, it is useful because it reframes our perspective on the world, our hypotheses... rather than it reinforces them."

Kim Stanley Robinson

Hubert Guillaud

The story of progress

"Rational thinking has certainly allowed progress, but it is not as liberating as expected: technology can enslave, and rational thinking can also disenchant the world."

Nicolas Nova

Jean-Paul Engélibert

New narratives

"It sometimes seems that that story is approaching its end. Lest there be no more telling of stories at all some of us out there in the wild oats, amid the alien corn, think we’d better start telling another one, which may be people can go on with when the old one's finished. Maybe."

Ursula K. Le Guin

Timothy Morto

Philippe Vion Dury

With the participation of the actors :
Georges Audignon, Maria Loche, Annabelle Croze, Armand Vergnet, Ali Krasner, Marina Buyse, Auriane Buchet, Ben Picard, Remy Ros, Henri Saint-Macary

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