Oxygen: A project of collective, participative and collaborative territory – 2019
The cultural segregation of the periphery and its social determinism constitute the major cultural, social and political issue of the Avignon area, and specifically the Saint-Chamand district. A few hundred meters from the intramuros is one of the poorest districts of France, with a per capita income lower than that of the northern districts of Marseille, and nearly 75% of job seekers among young people. In addition to this heavy socio-economic situation, there is a geographical isolation between the ring road, the railroad and the shopping center which creates a heavy burden for its inhabitants, in the immediate vicinity of one of the most important cultural events in Europe. After launching several programs with the social center between 2008 and 2012, La Manufacture launched the “Oxygen” program in 2018. This unique and original program in France aims to involve the inhabitants of Saint-Chamand, local associations and structures, young people, in the governance and management of residences year-round, and operationality during the Festival. Part of the rental amounts (from public funds) of the Social Center hall made available by the Town Hall and managed by La Manufacture during the Festival is used to finance this program, completed in 2019 by a Creative Europe funding from the Commission European. The Oxygen program also aims, above all, to increase the skills and openness to culture for the inhabitants of Saint-Chamand by involving young people from the neighborhood on a fixed-term contract in the La Manufacture teams, and free access to the shows. mediation for the inhabitants of the district. It is about (re) creating a common story by the culture for this territory.
Our story: A collective project 2001-2017
La Manufacture has since its creation in 2001 been built on different collective dynamics, research projects of new governance, engaged on the way to revitalize the festival Off complementary to the artistic and territory actions of the official selection of the festival d’ Avignon. Different projects succeeded each other, from the beginning of the synergies with SACD Belgium, the Lansman editions, then a territorial work with the CAT / ESAT Cécilia 84 accompanying during the year and during the festival of people in social reintegration following depressive disorders (2005-2008), actions with young people in the Saint Chamand neighborhood (critical web TV and digital professionalisation 2009-2012). The creation of an artistic collective of young directors associated with the program (2009-2014) gathering artists who were subsequently programmed in the official selection of the festival, launched a strong dynamic, well before the current fashion of artistic collectives. Today, the festival’s programming is managed by a tight team around Pascal Keiser with Emilie Audren, Maël Le Goff and Pierre Holemans. The collective spirit moved on a project of territory in the year, with a shared governance with the district of Saint Chamand (schools, social center, association of inhabitants, district hall) and the Ecole Supérieure d’Art d’ Avignon with its sites Champfleury and Monclar.
What we stand for
We stand since 2001 for a certain idea of contemporary theater, performance, hybrid forms,in a commited and politically engaged registry. Often a theater of movement, based on stage writings, anchored in documentary and reality as a starting point for writings and imaginary, that we call the scriptures real today. We like projects that break the usual codes of representation and propose new forms of experience for the audience. We have a specific goal of broad dissemination of these forms and works through the use of human platform, professional networking, media and public of the Manufacture Collective Contemporary. Commitment to the maximum diffusion of forms that we defend on a territorial footprint as wide as possible: national theaters, CDN, but also contracted theaters, municipal thetares, French MJC, neighborhood theaters. The contemporary Collective Manufacture swarms of wide particle size distribution of cultural structures of contemporary theater in France, Belgium, Switzerland and beyond in the Francophonie and the world.
La Manufacture Collective Contemporary uses two main places, a proximity stage near the rue des Ecoles , and largest stage in the Off Festival located in extramural that provides full foot storage of settings and allowed us to bring in the Off Festival a new generation of stage design that theaters in the city center do not allow.
Depending on the project of the year , we invest different spaces to meet the aesthetic works , sometimes the unique relationship they want to create with the public : the club nautique along the Rhone river on Barthelasse island, our street bookshop on rue Thiers, the Church of St. Joseph of workers facing the FabricA in Monclar district , the social center of St Chamand district , an apartment or the National Interest Market, local Rungis, are some of the areas that we have incorporated into our programming.
Our economical model
Manufacture Contemporary Collective is an independent body that has the legal form of an association. It positions itself as a contemporary broadcasting platform nationally and internationally, we have no direct public funding. The vast majority of companies, however, are received from the public theater or are financed by public funding. We operate on rental basis by maximizing the quality of human service, press, technical and vocational at the festival. Some figures: The average shows from broadcast programming within three years after a festival varies between 500 and 900 in recent years. Either two to three shows from our program played every day of the year in France and abroad, totalizing more than 100.000 spectators/year. We totalize 30,000 spectators including more than 3,000 theatre programmers, 10,000 professionnals tickets, and assume 320 performances on average. Our own team has 20 people, the total artistic and technical teams present during the festival are 150-200 people.
Centriphery, a European project
The other project operators are: Festival of Regions (Austria), Stichting Culture Nova (Harleem, Netherlands), Dansehalleme (Copenhagen, Denmark), Rijeka European Capital of Culture (Croatia), Asociata Prin Banat (Timisoara, Romania), Anda & Fait, (Azores, Portugal), Nova Kultura (Sofia, Bulgaria), Espoonkaupunginttheater (Espoon, Finland).