Experience of the world

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: Patricia De Aquino, Irène Dos Santos, Emmanuel De Vienne/ anthropologists, Social Anthropology Laboratory (LAS).

Project manager: Mathieu Marion

 

Objectives:
What do the Chinese New Year, baptism among the early Christians, initiation to the Nkimba cult in the Lower Congo and the 14th July parade have in common? How can we define the symbolic acts in cultural, family or private life?
The classes are asked to observe, define and make us understand these rites and rituals.

Workshops: 
The class chose the questions it wanted to discuss. In open discussions facilitated by the researcher, the pupils expressed their ideas, knowledge and presuppositions. This information was then organised into hypotheses which were matched with surveys. The class also looked more broadly at the work of an anthropologist (tools, methods, etc.)

The tutor showed the class documents (photographs, sound tracks, extracts from films) about the social events that anthropologists call "rituals". Each pupil gave a talk about a family ritual or an event close to them (baptism, parents' or grandparents' wedding, initiation, ancestor worship, Christmas, New Year). The group picked out features that recurred in these brief accounts.

Working from a protocol, each group observed and took part in a ritual: a local council meeting, a polling booth. Then through a series of discussions, the pupils sorted and organised the data collected and made a report.

Outcome :
The pupils distributed a 24-page booklet, printed in 300 copies, to the school community and the partners of the project (the mayors of Aubervilliers, La Courneuve, and Noisy le Grand). Based on the field journals kept by the pupils and a selection of the information accumulated in class, it presented the pupils' "experience of the world". 

Acknowledgements: City of Aubervilliers, Jacques Salvator, mayor of Aubervilliers, Gérard Maline, head of the population unit at the town hall of Aubervilliers, City of La Courneuve, Gilles Poux, mayor of la Courneuve, Danielle Haen, deputy mayor of La Courneuve, Chantal Heitzmann, head of the registry office and elections at the town hall of La Courneuve, Nabiha Rezkalla, deputy mayor of La Courneuve, City of Noisy le Grand, Michel Pajon, mayor of Noisy-le-Grand, Sylvain Szymanski, town councillor at Noisy-le-Grand

 

Outings (selection):
- MUSÉE DU LOUVRE / GUIDED TOUR ON THE THEME OF RITUALS
- MUSÉE DU QUAI BRANLY/ GUIDED TOUR ON THE THEME OF INITIATION RITES
- TOWN COUNCIL OF NOISY-LE-GRAND.
- SECOND ROUND OF ELECTIONS FOR THE CONSEIL GÉNÉRAL (AUBERVILLIERS)
- REGISTRY OFFICE WEDDING AT THE TOWN HALL OF LA COURNEUVE, 7 MAY 2011

Participating schools: 
- Class (6e) Collège Jean Moulin, Aubervilliers.
- Classe NSA Collège Georges Politzer, La Courneuve
- Class(3e)SEGPA Collège Clos Saint Vincent, Noisy-le-Grand

 

Photo: PIERRE ANTOINE

Experience of the world