Young culture reporters

The Festival-avignon.tv–young culture reporters in Avignon project, created by the Festival d’Avignon, the Ceméa and Canopé in 2014, gives youths from Avignon the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the digital realm, the Festival, and their city all at once.

Jeunes reporters culture 2018 © Nicolas Blasco

Supervised by professional journalists and organisers, they engage in the following activities: discovery of the Festival through its programme and its many jobs, editorial board, filming in the field, interviews, editing, and encoding at the Pôle Image of the Festival. Learning to understand, working as a critic, defining a point of view, and making choices are some of the major steps in a collective work where each week that passes more clearly demonstrate the intelligence of the group and the power of the artistic gesture.

Over 110 video reports created by over 250 youths can be accessed online on festival-avignon.fr

A project of the Festival d’Avignon, Ceméa and Canopé, in partnership with colleges, secondary schools and local missions of the Grand Avignon with the support of the Direction régionale des affaires culturelles of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region and of the Aix-Marseille regional education authority, as part of the partnership convention for the development of artistic and cultural education, Mistral Habitat, with the help of Théâtre contemporain, Compagnie des Indes, and Avignon Université.

Easter session

During the spring holidays, the Festival is already at work and starting to take visible form: seats are put up, venues are organised and sets are built. The FabricA welcomes artistic teams from the shows that will play in the summer for residences.

A dozen students are also welcome to the FabricA, alongside the artists, and the theatre becomes a playground where they can make videos and enjoy this unique opportunity to discover what goes on behind the scenes of creation.

20 videos have been made during those Easter sessions.

They have also been given the opportunity to discover new jobs:

  • by following stage managers throughout the FabricA and into our stock rooms,

  • by watching technicians in set building and locksmithing workshops,

  • by entering the swarming Cour d’honneur du Palais des papes, the BnF-Maison Jean Vilar, or the Opera, before the renovation,

  • by meeting photographer Edmond Volponi, who immortalised Gérard Philipe and Jean Vilar, or by going to the printing house to learn more about communication,

  • by talking about creative processes with artists and performers.

Summer sessions

Every year, the Festival organises three independent 5-day sessions.

Each group is made up of 12 to 15 teenagers, who learn the basics of image observation and how to use the technical material before discovering the programme and its artists.

Since July 2014, 106 videos have been made, following the adventure of the Festival.

The videos thus produced were shown at the Cinéma Utopia on 23 January, 2016, and during the 69th and 70th editions of the Festival, the young culture reporters were happy to welcome, on the Supramuros site of the Avignon Université, Najat Valaud-Belkacem, Miniter of Education and Research, and Audrey Azoulay, Minister of Culture and Communication, and more recently in the Palais des papes, Françoise Nyssen, Minister of Culture, as well as his successor and actual Minister, Franck Riester. Those exceptional encounters were also captured on video.

What does the Republic mean to you ?

After the terrorist attacks of November 2015, and to prepare our “What does the Republic mean to you? Let’s listen to youth” day, the Festival d’Avignon wanted to create a one-week programme for young culture reporters to accompany them with an act at once creative and critical.

From 4 to 8 January, 2016, 13 teenagers from the collège Anselme Mathieu and the lycée Philippe de Girard, who had already taken part in the Young Critics in Avignon programme, picked up their cameras again to produce videos about themes such as the Republic, citizenship, laicity, and freedom of speech.

The five videos they created during that week were shown on 11 January at the FabricA and served as an anchor for the debates that followed.

Here’s a glimpse at those videos:

  • “What does the Republic mean to you? – Self-censorship?”: an interview with cartoonist na!,

  • “What does the Republic mean to you? Freedom of speech”: an interview with journalist Nora Hamadi,

  • “What does the Republic mean to you? Blasphemy”: an interview with journalist Nora Hamadi,

  • “What does the Republic mean to you? It’s not nice to be mean”: an interview with Mimoun Bellazghari, Muslim chaplain at the Avignon-Le Pontet jail, and Brother Baudouin of the Brotherhood of Saint John,

  • “What does the Republic mean to you? The Republic that brings us together”: an interview with Frédéric Monier, professor of contemporary history.

What does Aleppo mean to you?

Within an international context that requires some keys to understand what’s going on, the Festival d’Avignon opened the doors of the FabricA to another civic project. “What does Aleppo mean to you? Youth talking with artists” is a way to try to understand the news, but more than that, History.

To prepare the operation of 23 January, 2016, a week of journalistic residence allowed the students of the lycée René Char in Avignon to work on their use of media and to meet a political specialist, an archaeologist, artist, and to listen to testimonies from many exiles.

The five videos they created during that week were shown on 23 January at the FabricA and served as an anchor for the debates that followed.  

Here’s a glimpse at those videos:

  • “What does Aleppo mean to you? – Syria’s long history”: an interview with Corinne Castel, archeologist and research director for the CNRS,

  • What does Aleppo mean to you? Questions about the Syrian conflict”: an interview with François Burgat, political specialist,

  • “What does Aleppo mean to you? Media blackout”: an interview with Roméo Langlois, international correspondent,

  • “What does Aleppo mean to you? A lost land”: an interview with sculptor Khaled Dawwa,

  • “What does Aleppo mean to you? Words of exile”: an interview with Z’urbains, drama workshop of the Maison pour tous de Champfleury in Avignon, who collected and read the testimonies of Syrian families.