My city as seen by…

6, May 2010  |  Published : Workshops  | 


An cultural exchange program between youth of the European community.

A  Centre Pompidou / Institute for Research and Innovation / Maison du Geste et de l’Image collaboration

2008- European year for intercultural dialog
2009 – European year for creativity and innovation

Crossed visions on the city, exchanging points of views, creation …

«My city as seen by…» promotes cultural exchanges between youth from the European Union, through a creative and analytic approach of cinema.

The European project «My city as seen by…» has been initiated by the Department for cultural development / Centre Pompidou in may 2008. It extends the experimentations on cinema initiated with Lignes de temps in parisian schools, during Centre Pompidou’s projections of Victor Erice’s and Abbas Kiarostami’s movies.

The « Maison du geste et de l’image » (House of gesture and picture), a center dedicated to research and arts education, is also a structure of cultural « mediation ». Playing the intermediary between schools and cultural institutions, the MGI supports and coordinate and initiate projects, while proposing training courses and presentations in relation to the initiation of young children to the arts. It aims at putting this public in direct connection with creation and creators, and to take part in collective creations.
Cinema and citizenship
European meetings , cultural exchanges, sharing knowledge, exchanging points of view.
Cinema and the city
Crossed views of the city, point of view exchanges, creation ; Innovation ; cinematic language discovery ;creativity ; trough a correspondence with a pen-pal will be guided into producing « film-essays » about one’s own city (through script-writing, shooting and editing); exploration of other views towards the reviewing of its own movie by others (« film-facing » montage from rushes produced by its partner); movie screening; participants’ meeting…
Ever since its origin, cinema has had a special relationship with cities (think of L’arrivée d’un train en gare de la Ciotat by the Lumière brothers). The city is a set, as well as a character and it takes a central part in many productions, with such intensity that sometimes the fictional picture lays itself over the real one. The presence of the city confers a specific aura to the movies and puts them under the sign of a culture.
The urban space has a very strong identity, revealing the history of its country. It embodies a whole culture. But if one shares a deep relationship with his own city, the city of the stranger remains too often a mere postcard, a memory or a fantasized journey. Talking about one’s city, discovering the other’s means sharing an intimacy, an identity, beyond prejudices and cliché. It means giving out an true vision of how life enfolds day by day in another city. Exchanging such experiences and visions, the cinema can become the place for such a meeting.

Featured movies

The movies analyzed by the pupils taking part in the project are « The cameraman» by Edward Sedgwick and Buster Keaton, with Buster Keaton and « Sunrise» by Wilhelm Friedrich Murnau.

The Cameraman
Co-directed by Buster Keaton and Edward Sedgwick
With Buster Keaton, Marceline Day, Harold Goodwin
The Buster’s adventures, a tintype street-photographer in New York during the 20’s.
USA, 1927
Directed by Friedrich-Wilhelm Murnau
Scenario : Friedrich-Wilhelm Murnau, adapted from « Journey to Tilsitt » by Hermann Südermann
With George O’Brien, Janet Gaynor, Margaret Livingstone, Bodil Rosing
Photo Karl Struss, Charles Rosher
Music : Dr Hugo Riesenfeld
Seduced by a Woman from the City, a farmer tries to drown his own wife during a boat-trip on the like. Stricken by remorse he cannot fulfill his crime. The young woman escapes.
The network of schools established during the partnerships around the Erice-Kiarostami project has spread toward Europe. It gathers around fifteen schools and twenty pairs of pupils who work to their project in or outside their school time.
Participating countries : Germany, France, Italy, Romania

The pairs: Once sorted according to their age and level, the French class and the group or class from a European country proceed according to specific requests from the participants and the relationship between the pairs is organized around a number of stages set with the teachers.

Partner websites :

European organizations partners:
Berufskolleg, Herzogenrath, (Allemagne)
Colegiul national B.P. Hasdeu, Buzau (Roumanie)
Colegiul national I. C. Bratianu, Pitesti (Roumanie)
Colegiul national Mihai Eminescu, Iasi (Roumanie)
Colegiul national Radu Negru, Fagaras (Roumanie)
Collège Thomas Mann, Paris 13ème (France)
Collège Darius Milhaud, Sartrouville (France)
Collège Jean Moulin, Paris 14ème (France)
Ecole à aires ouvertes Saint-Merri et Renard, Paris 4ème (France)
Ecole élémentaire Maurice Genevoix, Paris 18ème (France)
Liceo classico M. Gioia, Piacenza (Italie)
Lycée Maurice Ravel, Paris 20ème (France)
Lycée Paul Valéry, Paris 12ème (France)
Scuola centrala n° 10, Bucarest (Roumanie)
Scuola media Irnerio, Bologne (Italie)

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