QSEC/ Science and Citizenship
Season 5


F93 is one of the founders and operators of “Science and Citizenship”, a cultural scheme in Ile de France which has been going since 2009. Each year hundreds of local residents explore a common theme in a public debate that goes on for eight months.
Memory was the theme for QSEC’s third season. A topical issue seldom dealt with within the framework of scientific culture. It was an opportunity to bring citizens in contact with all the sciences that try to analyse the foundations and mechanisms of memory.


QSEC In Seine-Saint-Denis:

1/ "La Butte aux Pinsons" Residence
City: Bagnolet
Theme: How to keep memory active?
Session 1: Introduction: how the brain works. Choice of a problem: tools for keeping memory active.
Session 2: Film: “Alan’s Memory.” Graphic art as a way of remembering someone.
Session 3: Memory games. A session on ‘Time’s Up’.
Session 4: Autobiography to pass on memories? Tutor: Henri Ostrowiecki, writer
Session 5: Report
Outing: Theatre and science: “Swan Song, or the Maiden, the Machine and Death” at the Regional Council on 25 March.

2/ Noisy-le-Sec History Association
City: Noisy-le-Sec
Theme: Memory and intangible heritage
Session 1: Introduction. General discussion of intangible heritage and the specific challenge of Noisy-le-Sec.
Session 2: Discussion of Noisy-le-Sec’s inclusion in the department of Seine-Saint-Denis, and the “Great East” conglomeration or how the issue of intangible heritage (in the broadest sense) affects local dynamics. Tutor: Wilfried Serisier, geopolitician.
Session 3: The complex relationship between history and memory: tensions and complicity. Tutor: Éric Lafon, director at the Museum of Living History, Montreuil
Session 4: Separate session “How to talk to the people of Noisy-le-Sec?”
Session 5: Report

3/ Drancy Papyrus Association
City: Drancy
Theme: Drancy, the history of a memory
5 sessions on the history of Drancy and the consequences of remembering the internment camp for deportees.
Sessions 1-5: Comparing films of historic events. Watching and discussing archive films on the history of Drancy; the problem of the partiality of the sources.
Tutor: Philippe Troyon, filmmaker and tutor at the Institut national de l’audiovisuel
Session 5: Report

4/ Maison du temps libre
City: Stains
Theme: “Memory and transmission”
Session 1: Exploration of the theme and choice of the subject “Memory and transmission”
Session 2: Memory and transmission, continued
Open discussion of the individual and collective aspects of the theme and the issue of transmission (Why do we transmit something? What do we transmit?)
Session 3: Transmission through music, with sound sculptor, Robin Meier, and through writing, with the writer Olivier Bruhnes.
Session 4: Group writing on the theme, with writer Olivier Bruhnes, (cont.)
Session 5: Visit to the Osmothèque at Versailles on the theme of memory and smell (talk on the Fifth Sense).
Session 6: Group writing session, with writer Olivier Bruhnes.
Session 7: Finalisation of individual writing projects. Mr Brunhes did specific work with each member of the group. Synthesis of the discussions and ideas for the final debate.
Session 8: report for the season, final debate and presentation of the posters featuring texts written by group members.

5/ Local History Society 
City: Neuilly-sur-Marne
Theme: What does a photo commemorate?
Session 1: Exploration of the theme and choice of the subject “Memory and photography”
Tutor: Florise Pagès, art advisor, FILAF festival
Session 2: Discussion and analysis of archival photos provided by each member of the group
Tutor: Florise Pagès, art advisor, FILAF festival
Session 3: Visit to the departmental archives
Session 4 and 5: Workshop avec Guillaume Lebrun, photographer; produce a photo report on the strange careers of people in the City of Neuilly
Session 6: Analysis of the images/contextualising individual photos, discussion
Tutor: Florise Pagès, art advisor, FILAF festival
Session 7: Report and final display

6/ Residents of Sesto Fiorentino.
City: Bagnolet
Theme: Resistance past and present: a comparative survey of social, historical and political memory, from the Resistance to the present day, in the centre-south of Bagnolet, through the testimonies of its residents.
Session 1: Discussion on the involvement of the memory of the resistance in the everyday life of residents of the Sesto Fiorentino district. Tutor: Anna Mutini, philosopher and psychoanalyst 
Session 2: Meeting with men and women in the Resistance in Bagnolet
Session 3: Discussion of the place of personal history in the geopolitical context. Who determines our historical, social and political memory? Tutor: Wilfried Serisier, geopolitician.
Sessions 4 and 5: Meeting with men and women in the Resistance in Bagnolet
Session 6: Report
Presentation of a documentary made by Afolabi Idowu.

7/ Class (1 B), Alfred Nobel High School
City: Clichy-sous-Bois
Theme: “Memory of war, war of memories?”
Session 1: The class expressed its ideas on the theme and asked questions. Later discussions developed from these questions.
Session 2: Conflicts in memories about the war in Algeria, with Benjamin Stora. The discussion established a frame of reference and compared the initial questions with reference research work in this field.
Session 3: Preliminary work before meeting Mr Perahiet
Session 4: Discussion with Victor Perahiaet, a deportee at the Drancy camp.
Session 5: Visit to the holocaust memorial
Session 6: Summary of the previous sessions
Session 7: Report on the project and list of items.

Regional Meeting:
On 7 June 2013, 230 group members and delegates, specialists and partners of the project filed into the large lecture theatre of the Ile de France Regional Council. 41 beliefs and ideas formulated by the residents themselves were expounded during the afternoon. The main issues related to memory were divided into four sections: history and heritage; function and dysfunction of the brain; individual and family memories; memory in the digital era. Several experts were present to discuss these topics with the audience: Isabelle Veyrat-Masson (historian, CNRS), Francis Eustache (neuropsychologist, INSERM) and Serge Tisseron (psychoanalyst at the University of Paris West).
Benjamin Stora (historian, professor at the University of Paris XIII) and Roland Jouvent (psychiatrist, Professor at the University of Paris VI) listened to the proceedings and gave the final address.
Far from trying to reach a consensus, the debate was led in such a way as to bring out the variety of ways of investigating the same theme, money, so that all the participants emerged enriched by the others’ points of view.

Graphic design: ONE MORE STUDIO