Zohra Brahim











Words can be works of art, mountains and marvels, but also instruments of power, demons and curses.


The words of saying, the saying of words, words mould our social representations, sculpt our thoughts. The structure of language displays the architecture of society, its codes, its values, its stigmatizations, its oppressions, its refusals, its ideologies.

Language is not a fixed monolithic block. Language is living. A beautiful sensual woman whom many want to clinch in a corset, dominate and manage. A beautiful woman tormented in a media whirlwind; constantly the same language games, the same bearers of words, she is sacrificed on the fires of the floodlights under the influence of directors, directing on the stage of the media. Light language, fire language, plunged into the darkness of noxious spirits that turn her into ashes, ice or magma, she is consumed, used up and destroyed. Manhandled, impoverished, exploited, she is dried up and reduced to empty platitudes or accusatory discourse. The language of parrots stifles creation, thought, reflection, the language of political and media parrots is only instrumentation, formatting, conditioning of mental constructs and mental spaces.


Language is not a calque of reality, it is a specific understanding of the world, a breaking down of reality. It carries visions of the world, society, culture, words for the ills of the world.

All ideologies have used language to establish their power; to banish, standardize and subjugate. Language is power and challenges. Words are builders or destroyers, naming is to bring into exist, but it is also to normalize. Language structures thought.

Language reveals mentalities and social representations. It is fueled by the phantoms and fantasies of a culture, a society, an elite, a dominant ideology, decision-makers; from the language of politicians to the politics of language. Language builds individual and collective representations of the imaginary, the conscious, the unconscious. The meaning of words, their existence or their absence is related to symbolic values that seem to be linked to mental and social structures, and to the cultural values of a given society.

The order of words reveals the disorder of the world. Through the senses of words the nonsense of the world is made clear. The words, phantom and fantasy have the same etymology, from the Latin phantasma, -atis « phantom, spectre, » from Low Latin. « image, representation by the imagination, » from the Greek φατασμα: « appearance, image, apparition, spectre. »

The French language as currently used in the media is a receptacle for anxiety-producing fantasies and tensions around identity issues. Words can dictate thoughts, feelings, judgments, and spread the stereotypes.

Consciousness is only diplomatic sleight of hand, the end clap after the unconscious has acted. The majority of our acts are products of the unconscious or of unconscious habits.

Collective memory, the socio-collective imaginary are permeated with images, social representations instrumentalized by elites that are supposedly well-meaning, but actually malevolent.

The weight of words carries the ills of the world.

The first resistance is intellectual and cognitive, becoming aware of the abuses of words that are key to understanding media storms. Being aware of language games and language issues is the first step to resistance.

The development of language is dependent on the weight of cultural and historical heritage, the narcissistic expectations of elected officials, as well as the fantasies that mobilize power and that are projected on the society, transmitted consciously and unconsciously, and more or less subtly. In those fantasies many ghostly figures grow. A word can be inhabited, haunted and violated by figures with deceptive identities. in the semantic arena, words are loaded like bombs (national identity, Muslim…), others are violated, they are emptied of their meanings (republicans, freedom, equality, fraternity, freedom of expression). The categorization of realities is not harmless. Talking about migrants instead of refugees, about crimes of passion instead of femicide, about durable development instead of sustainable development, about riots instead of popular revolts or protest movements, reveal the orientations of thought.

The word is only an envelope.

« The masculine prevails over the feminine » is not a universal and absolute truth in all languages, it is an ideological choice, the reflection of a patriarchal society.

All identity is multiple, the danger lies in identifying the word with an illusory ready-made « way of thinking. » To model language is to model the collective unconscious, conscious and imaginary. From the fields of consciousness to camps of resistance, we sow the seeds of enlightened peoples.










About Zohra Brahim


Zohra studied language sciences at the Université Paul Verlaine in Metz (France). Her work focuses on the anthropolinguistic question of the transmission of and access to knowledge. With a passionate for field work and the open-air laboratory, she carries out research action on the acquisition and development of oral and written language from the nursery to university. Sociolinguistics, cognitive semantics and psycholinguistics are the disciplines that have permitted her to develop a subversive discourse and an unique pedagogical approach.

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