Edito / Yvette Lecomte, President of Banlieues d'Europe

In the Banlieues d’Europe network, we are seeing a dwindling of support for, and even interest in,  cultural actions carried out in neighbourhoods or suburbs where citizens live at a low social and economic level. We know that the situation of these people often accumulates difficulties because of low socio-educational capital, often “acquired” through school courses that practice negative discrimination - analyzed scientifically for the last forty years.

Can one today still put forward the question of a discriminatory role, but positive for culture? Perhaps, no!
What are the actual priorities for cultural policies? One can doubt that there is a wish to exercise cultural missions for the benefit of everyone, by taking into account the differences that exist between individuals and social groups. One can regret reading, less and less, in the main lines of cultural action, of a major role being assigned to cultural practices in view of the emancipation differentiated to all citizens.  There is no longer a cultural policy concerning all citizens in a discriminating manner.  No longer a question of discrimination...the question will progressively be buried.

Why? Why diminish, extinguish, the means that serve to carry out policies for which, on the contrary, scope is necessary? Why rapidly bury interest for the artistic production of neighbourhoods already manifested in France,  notably since the beginning of the eighties - and which has certainly had an increasing effect at the European level?

Artistic creation realized by and with people from the neighbourhoods should be valorized: it is anchored in their situation and in their condition. It flies away with their dreams; that which can be done in a Europe which aspires to be integrated and see all its citizens participating, in a union that defends democratic values. But the realization of this project risks being feeble if political programmes do not more effectively take into consideration all  communities for their cultural contributions. And not only for their economic contribution!  Now popular culture, that of the people, of the “people down below”  , neighbourhood culture,  has shown the powerful role that it can have in mobilization of bodies and minds. Take, for example, the urban culture that Banlieues d’Europe has just valorized during the meeting organized in Brussels with seven European partners, from Finland to France, by way of Great Britain, the Netherlands and Belgium. One again, this meeting demonstrated that young people have produced their own aesthetic and  culture, set it up, and shown their capacity for creation and a cultural, social and political contribution to society.

It is important that political action and the  management of neighbourhoods also take into account citizens’ imaginative expression - not only their obligations as producers, but for their capacity to create, including the artistic domain, to communicate, to make themselves known, enriched, voluntary, wishing  to construct a future in the States they come from, thanks to diverse languages, and thus encourage  democratic debate.
One of the political obligations in our democratic countries comes from a commitment enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: - “Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits”. 

There is therefore an obligation for our democratic States and communities to permit cultural creation by and for everyone.  This, like an alchemic transmutation, results in thoughts, a way of life, habits and customs and dreams somehow changing substance and transforming from a “ vile nature” to a “noble nature”, thanks to culture.  Is it not better to transform human relations into consumers of culture  and the humans themselves into consumers?  Is it not better than transforming women and men into objects of consumption , becoming materialist, even dehumanized, as well as the virtual games in the circus that we know today?

From the “everything is allowed”, from the pre-chewed, so-called cultural, to the murder games in which one can participate because they are virtual, to prefer all is allowed, including the dream, because it is embodied in a cultural production shared with neighbours:  people or neighbourhoods, towns of countries, nations or continents. We invite you to reflect on this, when one know what happens “sometimes”, that certain people watch real killings followed closely by the emotion and compassion of nations dumbfounded by what they are keeping in their heart.

Yvette Lecomte, President of Banlieues d’Europe


++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Save the date! Next Banlieues d’Europe Rendez vous. : - 28 May 2015, Vaulx-en Velin

Note in your diary, the next Banlieues d’Europe Round Table will be  held on Thursday 28 May 2015 in Vaulx-en-Vélin, in partnership with the Espace Projet Inter-associatif Association (EPI). The future of artistic projects in working-class neighbourhoods will be at the heart of the debates.

Today, a large part of actors in civil society (artists, cultural and social actors...) find themselves in danger faced with European States and communities that close the doors on requests for support at their projects, in the name of choice translated into terms of budget necessity, without openly naming the political principles on which they are based. In this context, it is legitimate to question how, and in what measure, these artists, field actors and associations can continue to carry out their actions.

Further information to follow....to be continued !

Website : : www.banlieues-europe.com
Contact Banlieues d'Europe, Myriam Bentoumi : : Tél. +33 4 72 60 97 80 - contact@banlieues-europe.com

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The Banlieues d’Europe Cultural Platform will soon be online….

Banlieues d’Europe is launching the first valorization platform of artistic and cultural initiatives carried out in working class neighbourhoods by excluded populations at European level.

Over the last twenty years, we have been carrying out a huge task of identification and setting up of networks of these projects, which remain relatively invisible to a large public.

Our objective is to highlight the wealth and the diversity of such projects, implicating inhabitants at European level, and thus transforming the negative image, often instrumentalized by the media, of these neighbourhoods.

In order to valorize our expertise, to make it accessible and reusable by the largest possible public, we are developing the new artistic and cultural platform of Banlieues d’Europe. It will be online at the end of May 2015... To be continued!

Contact Banlieues d'Europe, Myriam Bentoumi : : Tél. +33 4 72 60 97 80 - contact@banlieues-europe.com - www.banlieues-europe.com

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

International Soup Festival: La Louche d’Or (The Golden Soup Spoon - 1 May 2015 in Lille, France

The 15th edition of the International Soup Festival "The Golden Soup Spoon" will be held in the Wazemmes neighbourhood of Lille on 1 May 2015.

The International Soup Festival is a humorous competition, symbolic and festive,  created by the Attacafa association on the theme of soup, the only dish common to all continents.

More than an event on the theme of soup, this festival is a real human initiative with the themes of meeting, culture, exchange and conviviality.  It is pt together by many people, with an ethic and a chart...which today goes over the frontiers of France.

A hundred artists from all over the world will be present to “spice up” the festival according to their recipe.

For the soup-makers, there is still time to enrol in the hope of winning the much coveted Golden, Silver or Bronze soup spoon.

 

Download the soup makers’ guide and the enrolment form!
Further information online : : attacafa.com

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

A Look Back at the Annual Meeting of Banlieues d’Europe in Brussels

On 28 March last, in the framework of the Lezarts Urbains Festival, Banlieues d’Europe organized, in collaboration with the six partners of the 7STEPS Network, a European Meeting on the theme “Hip Hop Dance, Urban Dance in Europe” in Brussels.

Motivated by the observations and preoccupations of European partners in their respective territories, this meeting, the climax of a great international experience, enabled one hundred participants from six countries (England, Belgium, Denmark, France, Finland, Netherlands) to collectively evaluate the developments and evolution of this European dance movement.

The priority of this day of reflection, first of its kind in Belgium and the Wallonie-Brussels Federation, was to enable the urban dance sector to consolidate and to valorize its artists, as well the operators who accompany the projects throughout Europe, and at the same time providing space for common reflection and themed workshops in small groups.

An exceptional event in the framework of the annual Festival of Lezarts Urbains closed the day, with the presentation on stage of the European creation “7STEPS”, for ten dancers, choreography by Mourad Merzouki  (Käfig Company), as well as “In the Middle” by Marion Motin (Swaggers Company) and a selection of unmissable Belgian choreographed shows.

A report of this day is being prepared, and we will keep you informed when it is published!

Information about 7STEPS project : : www.7steps.eu
Banlieues d'Europe website : : www.banlieues-europe.com

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Setting up online of the capitalization “When Art Accompanies Urban Development - Banlieues d’Europe”

After the publication of the book “Art and Urban Renewal” at the beginning of 2014, we are pleased to make available the complete version of the work of expertise and capitalization carried out by Banlieues d’Europe, which served as the basis for the publication of this book.

>> To consult and download the capitalization (160 pages), click here.

For all information concerning the capitalization and the book, contact Marjorie Fromentin : : ressources@banlieues-europe.com - Tél. +33 4 72 60 97 80

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++