Oratio Artistic Residency 2020-2021

colored faces design by geralt / Gerd Altmann / pixabay

La Transplanisphère has launched an innovative partnership from High School to Pre-school in the town of Le Raincy (93). This partnership associates the company with Maternelle Les Fougères,  Les Fougères primary school, Collège Corot and  Schweitzer high school. The residency aims to question intercultural dialogue through artistic creation (writing, theatre, choreography). Artists, teachers, and especially students from 5 to 17 years old will question what characterises them as individuals, their roots and their intercultural social environment. They will then imagine “how to make common” together and represent it. 
The residence implements workshops on school time in the 4 associated establishments, all linked by bridging actions. Each workshop will lead to a production which will then be represented during the Semaine des Arts, the city’s inter-institutional festival. This work is part of a wider approach of the company which aims to create a professional performance in 2021-2022 on the issue of intercultural dialogue on the European territory.

From the construction of the individual to that of society

La Transplanisphère has been working for several years on issues related to dialogue between cultures. The company transposes these questions on stage in the form of plays by working with artists from all over the world. It also runs actions with audiences at the European level, in cooperation with other artistic companies. Finally, it is developing workshops with young Europeans of all ages to enable them to express their creativity on these issues through theatrical experiences.

As part of this residency, artists and teachers together imagined questioning intercultural dialogue in a post-confinement and crisis context on racist discriminations, which has significantly impacted the perception of the world for the youth in 2020. The students participating in the residency will question what characterises them as individuals, their roots and their intercultural social environment. They will question their relationship to the “close” Other (peers, local community) as well as to the “more distant” Other (recent migrants, Europeans, citizens of the world). They will reflect on the question of “how to create common”, in an attempt to project themselves into the future by imagining together what it will be made of.

The aim is to mobilise the crossed-perspectives of the students and the different actors of the project, teachers, artists and speakers. The idea is to enable everyone to experience the role of fiction and theatre in tackling social issues that are so difficult to grasp in today’s public debate, and which provoke fear of the Other, concern about the future, or mistrust of the social project.

A second objective of the residency will be to teach students how to conduct an experience of artistic creation, from inspiration to performance. They will thus experience the phases of writing, conception, directing and acting. They will have experience of working together in creative work that will give them greater confidence in the society in which they live.

A strong relationship built over the years

La Transplanisphère and the Lycée Albert Schweitzer have been getting closer in 2017, at the initiative of the company. This partnership followed actions in many schools of the Academies of Versailles and then Paris (previous residences: Nanterre-Amandiers, Théâtre Aquarium, Carreau du Temple). Since 2017, it has offered theatre workshops at the Schweitzer high school with 3 high school classes and volunteers. It has also worked at the neighbouring Corot secondary school.

In 2018, supported by the municipality, the school and the company implemented an inter-school festival “la Semaine des Arts”, which has become an annual event. In 2018-2019, the company established a residency at the lycée, with the help of the DRAC and the Region. The project “Le sas>Schweitzer, science-art-society” offered to integrate science and art as tools for experimentation and understanding of the world. A first European project was proposed to 10 volunteer students (workshop in Dortmund, KJT city theatre). The company also carried out a first CAC project at the Collège Corot. With Erasmus+ and the Irish Conservatory, it associated the primary school of Les Fougères of Raincy with the Grow from Seeds project (methodology of an intercultural artistic workshop).

In 2019, the company created a great performance for the 150th anniversary of Le Raincy involving 250 participants. Among them, students from the 4 schools were invited to perform a historical panorama in front of 1,200 spectators and to write the last tableau on the future of the city. In the same year, a new European project engaged 15 Schweitzer students: europefiction (workshops in Raincy and Germany).

In 2019-2020, the company has proposed a “Grand Oral” workshop at the Schweitzer High School for volunteer high school students, linked to the Baccalaureate reform. At the same time, La Transplanisphère continued to intervene at the Corot secondary school with 2 CAC projects.

This year’s residency is a continuation of the actions that have been carried out in the different establishments over the last 3 years. It will create a cross-disciplinary approach and an unprecedented interaction between all the Raincy schools.

A creative process in dialogue between artists-students-teachers: inspiration, reflection, experimentation, restitution

The residency is part of the company’s new creation, based on a collaboration between Bruno Freyssinet (designer and director) and Smaïl Kanouté (choreographer and graphic designer). The two artists have already worked together on  Les Actes du Désert, a piece inspired by the journey of Smaïl Kanouté’s father from Mali to Europe.

The new performance will address in a documentary, theatrical and choreographic way a vision of the inhabitants of the European territory (“natives” and migrants) on their common future under construction. It will be created in collaboration with artists from the European companies with which La Transplanisphère is working in cooperation on various ongoing projects. Students and teachers from the different schools will confront with the same questions that Bruno Freyssinet and Smaïl Kanouté ask themselves when developing their performance. Altogether, they will imagine and represent their visions on this common future which can be treated in a realistic (anticipation) or more radical (utopia/dystopia) way. The association of the two artists on this project will encourage an intercultural and interdisciplinary approach (verb and movement). Noémie Laurens Besace (actress and collaborator of the company), as well as Valentin Ouanna (pedagogue and graphic designer), will contribute to the project.

Encounters between students of different levels will enable them to exchange on the work in progress. The artists will also develop an articulation of the various proposals so as to allow the students to collaborate beyond their class.

3 themes will be addressed during the residency by the students and teachers:

– an axis questioning the narrative of personal story and listening to the history of the Other in order to create a common narrative. Through writing (text, movement) and acting, the students will reflect on their personal history, in relation to their family, their social environment and the world in which they grow up. They will also become aware of the stories of others, with their similarities and differences. They will then be able to develop a common narrative of fiction inspired by both their background and their inspiration. The aim is to enable students to open up to the world and culture by working on their personal history as part of the history (to be written) of their society.

– a second axis will deal with globalisation and its impact on self-construction, through work on appearance codes, and in particular language codes, dress codes, codes of public expression (attitude, body language…). How can these dimensions become a symbol of identity, a sign of recognition between groups and an affirmation of self? How do the influences of the world (American, Asian, African…) influence the image that each of us would like to forge of ourselves? What impact on society under construction? And what place for the idea of Europe in this picture?

– a third axis will explore the influence of the succession of the most recent crises (Gilets Jaunes, strikes, lockdown, anti-racist demonstrations) on the state of the society in which the students will grow up and become adults. How can these crises inspire/destabilise/revolt them?

See you in the spring of 2021 for the presentation of the creative work during La Semaine des Arts!

The project is supported by
French Ministry of Culture – Drac – Artist in residence
and CAC program – Departement of Seine Saint Denis

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