Oakland & Saint-Denis, for more inclusive and creative cities


An international cooperative project for more creative and inclusive cities

The cities of Oakland and Saint-Denis share many features and face similar challenges, amongst them the fast urban development and the changing role of cultural stakeholders within this transformation.

American and French homologues will meet to produce two collective works: an audiovisual documentary and a printed booklet, sketches of potential solutions to these challenges, as well as milestones of this strong and lasting international cooperation.

Crossing Bridges. Sharing Stories. Empowering local Heroes.

Thanks to the support of : California Humanities, the Institut Français, the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States and the French American Cultural Society.

Thanks to the collaboration with American partners : City of Oakland, UC Berkeley, Burning Man Project, CAST, YR Media, Oakland Museum of California, SPUR, Oaklandish, Embassy of the United States in France and MoreLab.

And French partners: City of Saint-Denis, Plaine Commune, Société du grand Paris, 6b, Atelier Médicis, APUR, Légendes Urbaines, Baluchon, Paris 8 University, La Maison Jaune, La Main 9-3.0 and Kaimera Productions.

Discussions at the 6b, in Saint-Denis, in July 2019. (Crédits_ ©HannahAngely)..png

Professional dialogues to share models

Throughout two Learning Expeditions, French and American professionals (urbanists, artists, architects, scholars, urban planners…) will share their experiences and points of view concerning new ways to imagine cities.

First Expedition in Saint-Denis from October, 1 to October, 5, 2019.

Second Expedition in Oakland from November, 12 to November 15, 2019.

First Expedition: A look back at Oakland in Saint-Denis programme - Empowering artists in our cities!
▶️ Participated to a symposium on Arts and Urban Planning organized by Plaine Commune
▶️ Visited Saint-Denis, Seine-Saint-Denis, from the City Hall to the Basilica and Street Art Avenue
▶️ Performed community engagement through storytelling with Kaimera Productions and Maison Jaune - Saint-Denis
▶️ Explored new real estate tools with Atelier La Main 9-3.0 and Baluchon
▶️ Experienced a speed dating session with artists from Le 6b
▶️ Envisioned Grand Paris Express and its 68 upcoming stations
▶️ Shared a collective debrief at the American Embassy in the United States
▶️ The Gray Area Art + Technology carte blanche at La Gaîté Lyrique for the Nuit Blanche, along with 3,700 people!
Stay tuned to learn more about what’s next: the "Saint-Denis in Oakland" learning expedition in November, a short documentary, and a collective publication in early 2020!.

Below more information about the programmes and the delegations.

Discussions at the 6b, in Saint-Denis, in July 2019. (Crédits_ ©HannahAngely).(2).png

Artistic productions to empower artistic communities

July 2019 : During his residency in the Villa San Fransisco in July, the Cello-virtuoso Vincent Courtois conceived an album inspired by Jack London’s novel Martin Eden. This album has been recorded in Oakland and will be released in 2020. He also imagined, during his stay in the Bay Area, the show “Oakland”, which he will perform in 2020 in Paris, along with the actor Pierre Baux.

October, 5 2019 : Carte Blanche to the Gray Area Foundation for the Arts at the Gaîté Lyrique in Paris, on the occasion of the “Nuit Blanche”.

2020 : SPACES is an immersive experience that merges contemporary performance with the ancient art of storytelling. Each piece is created and performed with the local community that gives this place its life and identity. In 2020, Simón Adinia Hanukai will lead a SPACES performance in the Basilique of Saint-Denis and at the Oakland City Hall.