Perceptible split

Since 2009, the Seine-Saint-Denis County Council has been backing “la Culture et l’Art au Collège (CAC)”. This project is based to a large extent on the presence in class for several weeks (40h) of an artist or scientist whose mission is to engage the students in a process of research and creation. 

 

Tutors: Maïté Verdol, Ismaël Vacheron/ doctorants en géographie, Wilfried Serisier/ doctorant à l’institut français de géopolitique, Paris VIII

Project manager: Anna Mezey

 

Objectives: 
What is the relationship between Paris and the suburbs and exactly how does the ring road symbolise the ‘separation’ between the two? Starting from some of the methods of observation used in urban geography and morphology, the project “Perceptible Split” seeks to understand the organisation of the area around the ring road and the impact it has on the way the citizens see it. Surveys are used to pick up clues to help them understand.

Workshops: 
What does a geographer do?
An open discussion with the tutor about what the suburbs and the ring road mean to the class. At the same time, the tutor supplied materials to introduce the pupils to map reading, interpreting aerial photos and navigating on Google Earth, and then to think about the notion of the ‘Gates of Paris’.

Choosing a gate
Each class had to think of fieldwork as a survey of a clearly defined area. Depending of the location of the college, each class chose a gate to study more closely (Porte de Saint-Ouen, Porte de Pantin, Porte de Bagnolet). They prepared a survey guide (questionnaire, observation grids).

Data collection
Groups of pupils were assigned zones on the grid. Each team made specific observations (data collection, sketches, notes, photographs). The pupils also interviewed local residents to get an idea of the way people feel about the area.

Shape of the city
Back in class, they discussed and analysed the data they had collected. In the light of the conclusions drawn from the field surveys on the shape of the city, the tutor returns to the initial questions: So what is the ring road? What is the relationship between Paris and the suburbs?

Exhibition:
Using the principle of Google-maps, F93 opened a website called “An Ordinary Border”. A dynamic set of photographs, diagrams and texts show the ring road as seen by the pupils of Seine-Saint-Denis (www.frontiere-ordinaire.fr).

 

Outings (selection):
- INSTITUT NATIONAL DE L’INFORMATION GÉOGRAPHIQUE ET FORESTIÈRE: VISIT TO SEE MAPS, AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHS, SURVEYOR’S INSTRUMENTS, ETC.
- PAVILLON DE L’ARSENAL: GUIDED TOUR OF THE PERMANENT DISPLAY: “PARIS, THE CITY AND ITS PROJECTS.”

Participating schools:
- Collège Langevin-Wallon, Rosny-sous-Bois
- ‘Classe relais’, Collège Jules-Michelet, Saint-Ouen
- Collège Antoine-Laurent-de-Lavoisier SEGPA, Pantin