Three partners of an ambitious project
Genesis of the idea
In the beginning, there is the shared wish to bring to life Michel Vinaver’s text “September 11, 2001” for the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks. Approached by Jean-Charles Morisseau with this project, the author wanted Arnaud Meunier, whom he had already worked with, to be its director.
The objective was to find a way to avoid feeding the flow of images that will certainly proliferate in the anniversary of the attack, as part of the commemoration, a way to give existence to the work of a contemporary worker, anchored in the present, while turning ourselves towards the future. A way to give echo to the last line of the text: and now and now and now.
Arnaud Meunier thought that the project could find its contemporary anchorage through working with young people from Seine-Saint-Denis, a poor Parisian suburb. The meeting between his company and the non-profit organization Citoyenneté Jeunesse, which had been working in this area for many years, gave birth to this unusual project: a mix of artistic creation, educational and cultural commitment, offering to these teenagers the means of becoming actors, not only on stage, but also in the world they live in.
Citoyenneté Jeunesse Seine-Saint-Denis, non-profit organization for arts, culture and education.
Citoyenneté Jeunesse is acting to promote arts, culture and citizenship towards young people living in the Seine-Saint-Denis area, in Paris suburbs.
For more than 20 years, Citoyenneté Jeunesse has been enabling young people to experience, feel and think art in an active way, thus cultivating their intelligence and sensitivity.
This experiment is conducted primarily through artistic and cultural projects throughout an academic year. It brings together artistic creation from the Paris region and knowledge transmission teaching in schools and focusing on citizenship and life in society.
Citoyenneté Jeunesse is acting in a context of strong social inequalities and intends, with its actions, to reduce the reproduction of these inequalities. Its actions on the field tend to foster access to culture and arts for all. It develops in every student the ability to think critically and express oneself, within a different frame than the one they are used to. Young people are brought to talk about their positive or negative emotions in front of works of art. Art is thought as a window opening to the world, as a thought, an involvement, an intimate and personal experimentation, to create a place for discovery and commitment for every one of the students that Citoyenneté Jeunesse is working with.
Its actions have lead to create a network in the Seine-Saint-Denis area where schools, artists and artistic and cultural institutions are meeting and mixing. With the expertise of Citoyenneté Jeunesse, there is a real intention to work towards classes in the area.
During the 2009-2010 academic year, Citoyenneté Jeunesse developped:
- 106 projects with different classes, with 3180 students from 10 to 18 years old;
- 1021 cultural and artistic actions (debates and conferences in class, tours, cultural events, meetings, exchanges, restoration and documentary help);
- 163 artistic and cultural trips (cinema, theatre, dance, museums, festivals) in 60 different cultural institutions in Ile-de-France (Paris region).
La Compagnie de la Mauvaise Graine, lead by Arnaud Meunier.
From its creation in 1997, la Compagnie de la Mauvaise Graine has been standing up for contemporary writings and living authors through creations in France and abroad.
By giving the public the opportunity to discover and appreciate living authors, or by representing the greatest classical works, the company tries to amaze, amuse, and shake its audience. It tries to transport the public to another world, developing its imagination, and exploring different ways of telling a story.
The company’s esthetic goes hand in hand with its ethics, defending the troupe spirit. Arnaud Meunier works with its contributors as companions and partners at the heart of the present dynamism of the company. Together, and on the different territories where the company has been established (Seine-Saint-Denis, Picardie, Champagne-Ardenne, Yvelines), they have always combined their artistic search with profound sharing and awareness towards the inhabitants.
Veilleur de Nuit Production
Veilleur de Nuit Production has been created in 2005 by Jean-Marc Giri.
It produces documentaries that have been broadcasted on major French and European TV channels (Arte, Canal +, France 5). Some of them are about social issues like Consultation in utero about prenatal screening (2010) or Le XV des cités about rugby in the suburbs (2007). Others propose a biographical approach like in André Brink, the African rebel (2010) or Bertrand Blier, l’homme tout contre (2008).
Veilleur de Nuit also develops many short educational programs for France Télévisions website www.curiosphere.tv.