Êtes-vous heureux?

Êtes-vous heureux?

Community project with the inhabitants of Neptune Grand Large, Dunkerque, for Dunkerque 2013, Capitale régionale de la culture.

Êtes-vous heureux? was a yearlong community project created with Phoebe Dingwall and Sylvie Reteuna, for Dunkerque 2013 Capitale Régionale de la Culture.

The project was based at a social centre in Neptune Grand Large, an area in Dunkirk on the site of the former shipbuilding yards, which were formerly the heart of Dunkirk. The area was, and still is, in the throes of development; industrial buildings are hollowed out and transformed  into sports complexes, public art galleries, and social centres, and new residential blocks spring up every few months.

In this brand new neighborhood, with a heavily symbolically charged past (nearly everybody in Dunkirk had some kind of connection with the shipyards), social cohesion is very embryonic.

Taking our starting point from the seminal film made by Jean Rouch and Edgar Morin in 1960, Chronique d’une été, originally entitled Comment vis-tu? (How do you live?), our first action was to go out and find the people who live and work in the sector and ask them: are you happy?

Following this first encounter, 30 people came to be interviewed on their attitude to happiness in a specially constructed booth in the LAAC,(Lieu d’Art et d’Action contemporaine) The interviews were recorded as Phoebe simultaneously drew a portrait of each participant. (Rendez-vous N° 1, la boite à bonheur).

We then developed the material to make an exhibition of films, drawings and photos at the LAAC in April 2013 (Rendez-vous N°2 histoire(s) de bonheur).

The third stage of the project was  a walk-through performance with video, live music, paintings and even cooking at the theatre La Piscine in June 2013.(Rendez-vous N°3 Êtes-vous heureux?)

Project devised by :  Phoebe Dingwall, Kate France and Sylvie Reteuna

with : residents of Neptune Grand Large, pupils from the secondary schools Van Hecke and Guilleminot, the staff of Dunkirk Central Library, Mr Barroy, children from nursery schools and members of the Savate Boxing Club

Drawings and photos : Phoebe Dingwall / Video : Kate France / Music : Eric Sterenfeld / Lighting and stage management : Jean Claude Fonkenel / Administration : Conduite Accompagné / Christine Tournecouillère / Communication and coordination : Mina de Suremain / with the assistance of the staff ot the  LAAC and l’Atelier Culture La Piscine

A project  with the company  La Sibylle for Dunkerque 2013, Capitale régionale de la culture, in partnership with the Maison de quartier Neptune Grand Large, le Conseil général du Nord, Le LAAC – Lieu d’Art et d’Action Contemporaine and l’Atelier Culture La Piscine.