The SPACES project comes to Pleyel, a quickly transforming neighborhood of Saint-Denis (France). Already the headquarters of a myriad of companies that moved here in recent decades, Pleyel will soon be the home of the largest train station of Europe, the 2024 Olympic Village and a new 4-star hotel in the tower of Pleyel. The impact of these changes is palpable, both to the newcomers and to the residents that have been here all along.
SPACES: Pleyel consists of 3 interconnected parts:
The process begins with storytelling workshops, where local residents, students and employees of local businesses share personal stories that connect them to their ever-changing neighborhood.
The stories grow into a re-imagined format of guided neighborhood tour, in which invited residents present their stories at the urban locations that are meaningful to them. The experience is filled with dance and music that envelop and amplify the stories.
Rehearsals for SPACES: Saint-Denis at the Saint-Denis Market, 2020, featuring (from left to right): Clarisse Tognella and Fabrice Mahicka. Photo by Céline Guerreiro.
Video still from story/dance video duet OurStory: Beatrice & Lauren, 2020 (with Beatrice and Lauren Cox).
Each story is filmed and dancers are invited to interpret the stories through movement, leading to short videos of story/dance duets. The duets will be accessible online on the “Plaine Commune Grand Paris Tour” mobile application and website through a partnership with the Saint-Denis Office of Tourism.
At each location, there will be signage with an excerpt from the respective story, along with a barcode that will allow those passing by to access the filmed story.
Throughout the Pleyel neighborhood urban signage will be installed, sharing information about local residents, an excerpt from their story, and a QR code that will allow those passing by to access their story online.
These street signs will leave a more permanent trace in the urban setting, paying tribute to those who make up the neighborhood and who will build its future.
The project is supported by ANCT/Contrat de Ville, the City of Saint-Denis, and the French Institute.
Saint-Denis train station, 2014. Production and photo: Surface Totale.