Les Ateliers Médicis : Cal Hunt & Féroz Sahoulamide in residences


We all know the Villa Medici in Rome but do you know Les Ateliers Médicis in Clichy-sous-Bois / Montfermeil (93)? Because link between artistic creation and life is more than ever necessary, exciting and joyful, Les Ateliers Médicis is committed to bringing out new, diverse and original voices and to accompanying artists with singular and contemporary languages. Their objective? To support the creation of works thought out in relation to territories and their inhabitants. Each year, the Ateliers Médicis welcome artists in residence from all disciplines in Clichy-sous-Bois and Montfermeil, and in other territories considered as peripheral, in particular urban, rural and ultra-marine. Presentation.

At the Ateliers Médicis, in Clichy-sous-Bois and Montfermeil, and more widely in Seine-Saint-Denis, some forty artists from all disciplines - visual arts, performing arts, literature, architecture, etc. - have been invited. - settle down every year for writing, research and creation time. For a few weeks, a few months or an entire season, they walk around the towns, meet the inhabitants, confront their experiences, their imaginations and their intuitions with the territory. They create and then participate in public events on the spot.

In order to contribute to the emergence of new voices, the Ateliers Médicis are gradually inventing the Medici Campus. It is a question of experimenting with new ways of detecting, encouraging, training and accompanying artists who are becoming bearers of other histories, other trajectories and other aesthetics. The Campus Médicis will find its structured (but probably never definitive) form at the opening of the new Ateliers Médicis facility in 2025, a large-scale facility of national ambition that will be built to reaffirm the place of a strong public culture in the suburbs.

Artists from all disciplines are therefore invited each year to participate in the project of the Ateliers Médicis in Clichy-sous-Bois and Montfermeil in relation with the inhabitants. The artists are invited for a creative residency lasting from one week to one year, around a jointly developed project. A place that offers the technical and financial conditions to conceive, write, produce, prepare or complete an original work while associating the inhabitants.

The artists are involved in the life of the Ateliers Médicis project and in its commitments, both as a means of transmitting and sharing the artistic practice to all, and as a resource for the creation and initiation of exchange networks between artists. They are thus led to share their work with the inhabitants of Clichy-sous-Bois and Montfermeil and more widely with all audiences. They are also encouraged to chronicle their residency time to share their reflections, advances and questions.

The programme brings together artists or researchers from all disciplines, whose work resonates with the Ateliers Médicis cultural project. The latter intersects issues that are both universal and specific to the construction of the Ateliers Médicis project. Based on the principle of invitation, this programme is not subject to a call for applications.

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Currently in residences

Calvin Hunt aka Cal © Elena Bauer / OnP

Cal Hunt: "I was just dancing, dancing my life. »

"One world, one man, one desire... My name is Cal and I'm a dancer from flex. My full name is Calvin Hunt. The community flex is big. It's like a building. Everybody knows everybody's business. You know who's downstairs laughing. You know who's upstairs and just lost a battle and feels bad. You know exactly who's on the top floor, on the terrace. MainEventt [a group of flex dancers formed in 2003 in Brooklyn], we're all upstairs. It's just a little catch for my team. Yes, everybody knows what's going on, it's good and bad at the same time, but I see the good side of it because we're a strong ensemble if you pay attention. There are other styles and cultures. They're tight but they're not flex. I think flex is going through a phase where everybody is at each other's throats, but at the same time we're getting stronger and stronger. We are the best at what we do. It's just pure. It's unique. We deal with everything: drama and fighting. But at the end of the day, we're flex dancing, so it usually ends well. When I came back [from the army overseas], a lot of people asked me how I was dealing with all this. How is it going? What have you done to move forward in life? I couldn't explain to them in other words that I was just dancing, dancing my life. »

Féroz Sahoulamide © Eléna Bauer / OnP

Féroz Sahoulamide: "Me, I feel like I've been dreaming right. »

"My artistic background? Are we going to talk about "work"? I started dancing in Brétigny-sur-Orge. Among the greats who danced above me was Bintou Dembélé. I saw them dancing and, overnight, I dropped karate. Afterwards, I moved to Sarcelles where I joined the class of Aziz Aguemon, who was my high school supervisor. A director he worked with was looking for dancers for a show. She chose me and that's how my first show was a real creation. I wanted to continue along this path that mixed dance, directing, dramaturgy, while leaving me the possibility of doing "shows" on the side.

In France, Hip-Hop dance creation has a unique history in the world, because it developed on the ground of contemporary dance which was very present. The French creation quickly distinguished itself by telling stories, by taking on complex dramaturgies. (I remember the first show in which I danced, which spoke of daily violence). This is how it gained international fame and became very well exported. Having been fortunate enough to be part of "that" Hip-Hop dance, I never dreamed of dancing behind American artists or going to the United States (even though I worked there afterwards). I know it's a luxury. Sometimes they say you have to dream big. I feel like I've dreamt it right. Dancing in a theater instead of on the street has never been wrong for me. No more than dancing at the Opéra Bastille. I feel I belong here as much as anywhere else. Just like when I dance to baroque music - which is what Hip-Hop has been doing for the last twenty years. We're not a marketing communication plan. For me, the symbol isn't there. »
Féroz Sahoulamide (Interview by Simon Hattab) 
(Source : jigsaw | culture, ideas and creation)

Cal Hunt and Féroz Sahoulamide in writing residency at the Ateliers Médicis, 4 allée Françoise Nguyen, 93390 Clichy-sous-Bois

On March 14 and 15, take part in a weekend 100% Hip-hop : workshops, shows, open stage and dance battle.


Header photo: Medici Workshops © Natacha Gonzalez

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