Social field

The cultural action of the Festival d’Avignon is a universal mission of general interest. Beyond the specific actions in partnership with the Minister of Education for colleges and REP¨and REP+ schools, the Festival d’Avignon has worked for years with the Le Pontet prison and with associations and social centres working on cultural and artistic support in territories targeted by the city’s urban policy.

Social field © DR

Social structures: associations, social centres...

As part of its general interest mission, the Festival d’Avignon strives to include the inhabitants of poorer neighbourhoods through additional means and with a benevolent and personalised approach.

It’s at once a quantitative and qualitative evaluation: to establish a dialogue and cooperation with different structures, to take part in the training of actors present in those neighbourhoods, to propose specific activities and support.

Various collaborations and modes of partnership are used to reach the same goals:

  • to diversify the audience of the Festival and bring more people to the FabricA,

  • to make it easier to appropriate the skills learnt at school and in those structures,

  • to encourage youth employment.

Our actions are focused on three axes:

  • to be or to become a spectator (special box office service, support for the discovery of shows),

  • to be or to become an actor (artistic practice, walk-on parts, taking part in a creation),

  • to look behind the scenes, to create content around the shows, to become a citizen (young culture reporters projects, Workshops of thought),

  • to work at the Festival (work experience, seasonal jobs).

The main partners of the Festival d’Avignon are Avenir 84; Un pour Un association; CCAS of Vedène; La Barbière, Monfleury, Croix des oiseaux, Espelido social centres; Cultures du cœur 84; Entraide Pierre Valdo; Logis des jeunes; Secours populaire…

Know more about the LOGIS DES JEUNES partnership in 2017

Monfleury social centre: for years now, due to the geographical proximity of those social centres and the FabricA, but also to a shared desire to work together, the staffs and guests of the social centres have been associated to artistic projects or to the organisation of the Festival:

  • creation of programmes for adults and children, co-hosted by staff and by the team of the Festival (with subsidised tickets at reduced rate),

  • walk-on parts in shows (Lemi Ponifasio’s I AM in the Cour d’honneur in 2014),

  • speaking parts in shows (Nadjette Bougahlem’s A Lad’s Word at the Maison Jean Vilar in 2018),

  • contribution to drinks party for the Encounters at the FabricA (since 2013),

  • seasonal jobs during the Festival for 3 guests of the social centre.  

Avenir 84 (regional digital space): located in the heart of the La Trillade neighbourhood, this association aims to teach the inhabitants how to navigate the digital world. For over 10 years, Avenir 84 has helmed the operation “Festival for all” for about thirty associations, for which the Festival d’Avignon provides reduced rates and easier bookings.
For the past 4 years, Avenir 84 has helmed a photo or video essay project throughout the year and during the Festival, focusing on a theme or a show of the Festival (The Other in 2015, The Love of Possibilities in 2016, Micro-Folie in 2017, and the series Ladies, Gentlemen, and the rest of the world in 2018).
Avenir 84 trains between 6 and 8 people every year who then join the seasonal workers of the Festival as customer service agents, watchmen, or box office agents.

With the Avignon-Le Pontet prison

Since 2004, the Festival d’Avignon has worked with the Le Pontet prison. Every year, a show is performed inside the prison and one or two trips to discover the Festival are organised. At the request of several inmates he met in June 2014, Olivier Py created with Enzo Verdet a drama workshop which meets regularly. They’ve performed Prometheus Bound, Hamlet, Antigone, and The Persians. The inmates now also perform outside of the prison as part of the Festival d’Avignon itself.

A performance of Prometheus Bound was given on 6 July, 2015, within the prison, in front of about one hundred people, including Christiane Taubira, Minister of Justice. This work led to the creation of a film focusing on the February workshop and produced by the prison’s own video team. This partnership is but one example of the permanent dialogue between the centre and its peripheries the Festival has established to erase the arbitrary borders that engender inequalities and social violence.