October 2011 - December 2012
A relational participatory project, to renew inter-communal dialogue with disengaged young people through the creation of social spaces and place for expression

A Common ground for social ties

Friches Théâtre Urbain was invited by the two municipalities  of Gennevilliers and Asnières to devise a re-enchantment of public space to encourage its peaceful and legal reappropriation by young people and to ease tensions for all sectors of the population.

With a street-project to challenge notions of territory, involving young people in intergenerational, poetic or material acts of affirmation, the company sought to reduce divisions and to forge closer links between the inhabitants of the two towns. Offering alternative ways of inhabiting common place - it proposed a performance of citizenship.

The long-term project with inhabitants of both towns gave rise to a joint celebration at the Les Courtilles metro station for the inauguration of a monumental installation.

A context of territorial tensions

2012 marked the recent arrival of line 13 of the Paris metro to the northern districts of Asnières and Gennevilliers, crystallising pre-existing territorial tension between rival gangs around the station, Les Courtilles, and resulting in violent clashes between youths.

After the death of a teenager, both town halls worked with associations and local actors in order to bring their populations closer together to pacify public space.


A street journal : co-created by a mixed group of teenagers, and distributed in both towns, in the metro station and on neighbouring housing estates.

A web radio podcast:  by young people from the Courtilles neighborhood: this involved vox-pop interviews recorded in the housing estates of Courtilles, Mourineaux, Luth and on the metro station forecourt inviting passers-by and residents to give opinions on their neighborhood.

A letter exchange project:  between a children's centre in Le Luth with "unknown" correspondents, who turned out to be a group of children from Asnières.

An ephemeral vegetable garden created by the SNAKE snack van team with local residents, transforming, for a day, a wild waste dump at the bottom of a residential tower block into a surprise edible garden.

Concerts, SLAM and open-mics:  around the SNAKE snack van, participatory open mike stages with slammer DGIZ as host, or karaoke between young people. Films were projected at the bottom of the buildings with popcorn service provided by teenagers.

Bienvenue chez nous (Welcome to our home) was a monumental installation in the public space of the metro Les Courtilles. The event was a symbol of a new twinning between the two municipalities.

A giant stained glass window, the result of more than a year of collecting images and working with inhabitants of both towns, was exhibited for eleven months, transforming the station into a hall of lights and colours.

Its inauguration transformed the space into a museum of local curiosities with books and furniture created for the occasion, photos and videos of local residents projected live on the walls from an interactive photo studio. A neighborhood party took over the metro with music, and performance... a winter fair was co-organized with inhabitants from Gennevilliers and Asnières.

A ritualised performance, orchestrated by Sarah Harper and Fred Tousch, involved the  sewing together of two parts of a giant torn tablecloth, as a symbol of new bonds, undertaken by the inhabitants, officials and mayors of the two cities. And hot chocolate flowed on a cold winter’s day…


Creative Team & Partners
Creative team and Partners
“It would be better if our memories were of when we played together, rather than when we beat each other up”

Creatives and crew

Directed and written by Sarah Harper and Juliette Dieudonné
Photography : Juliette Dieudonné
Technical collaboration: Pascal Laurent, Group LAPS  (Pierre Froment, Pierluigi de Palo, Erwan Quintin, Nadir Bouassria and Thomas Veyssière)
Sound editing Radio Lieu Commun: Alice Guerlot-Kourouklis
DIY workshops: Jerôme Mathieu
Graffiti workshops: Derba and Matthieu
Performance: Dgiz, Fred Tousch, elected officials and residents of Gennevilliers and Asnières


Ville de Gennevilliers, Ville d' Asnières, RATP, DRAC IdF, ARCADI, ACSE, IDF Region, Hauts de Seine General Council.