Female landscape

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: Lucile Biarotte, Oriane Letourneur/ students in geography, specialised in gender studies, Marianne Blidon/ geographer, specialised in gender studies

Project manager: Anna Mezey


The position of women in our society is so topical that a number of geographers have included it in their research.
To meet them and learn about the tools used in the "Geography of Gender", the pupils carry out their own survey on “public space”: Is this space neutral? Do men and women move about in the same way? Do men and women live in and use the space in the same way?

What is your gender?
In the first phase, the pupils were introduced to the approach and the theme by comparing their own movements in the city and discussing ideas like “atmosphere” and “urban time”. Little by little, the tutor made them realise that men and women, girls and boys do not apprehend the spaces in the same way and so do not behave in the same manner.

City watchers
In the second phase, the two classes were equipped with digital tablets (iPads) complete with geographical applications (camera, dictaphone, GPS, ArcGis, Google Earth, etc.). The tutor provided them with practical landmarks and interview forms so they could design a real field survey. Once the territory was established (city market, central city square, bus terminals, shopping centre, etc.) the pupils drew up a survey questionnaire and went to the site to observe and interview passers-by.

Types of spaces
When the fieldwork was finished, the pupils pooled their data (written notes, photographs and sound recordings), analysed them and sorted them by importance and relevance. The tutor helped them process the data and explained how they could be linked up, gradually working towards a group discussion. This phase ended with the willingness to demonstrate and explain the organisation of the space they studied, and show how practices and living habits vary with the sex of the user.

The work of the three classes was put together on a single poster so the surveys could be compared and the variety of subjects and conclusions demonstrated. Several copies of the 200 x 80 cm poster were printed. The classes put them up in their schools, commented on their surveys and answered questions from the audience.


Outings (selection):

Participating schools:
- Class (6th SEGPA) Collège Le Clos Saint-Vincent, Noisy-le-Grand
- Class (5th 3) Collège Jean-Jaurès, Pantin
- Class (4th D) Collège Françoise-Dolto, Villepinte

Female landscape
Female landscape
Female landscape