Quartier du LUTH

In the near future, Mars could become a real destination: the speed at which space technology is evolving these days suggests that our children will surely see a manned mission to the Red Planet in their lifetime, and Sarah Harper invites us to imagine Gennevilliers as the first French city to seriously engage in the recruitment and training of its first travelers for Mars. A space-exploration fiction, told on the scale of the city.

Inspired by hard science, the company and residents co-created a series of events inviting scientists andpublic to debate, enact and perform the process. How should it be done? Who should go? Who should select the candidates? On what basis? With what skills? How to prepare for such a journey... perhaps without return? How would loved ones left behind on Earth feel?

These emotional, philosophical, political and scientific questions were the subject of exploration.

The story gave rise to the creation of a Space Oratorio, on the passion for exploration as well as on the vision and courage it takes to leave everything behind, in the name of humanity. Shifting the gaze of the inhabitants, the question of the future of humanity replaces the notion of community on a larger scale.

"If anything can make our children dream today, it is space exploration. It is up to us to encourage youth to continue what our species has always done: explore. We have always instinctively gone in difficult places, into increasingly hostile places, and we always realized afterwards that it was thanks to this that we had survived.

It's not enough to have generations of young people eagerly awaiting the next version of a cell phone with built-in video...they have to yearn for exploration, expansion and technological breakthroughs. We must inspire them because they will be in charge of leading us and helping us to survive in the future. And this inspiration comes to you when you are young... rather than having a better phone, shouldn't it be better to go explore, colonize space and avoid the extinction of the human species? "

Burt RUTAN aeronautical engineer.


• Philo-scientific cafés and Colloquia -  philosophical debates, inviting astro-mechanics, physicists, sociologists and philosophers, organized at city level with local actors and inhabitants.  " How to choose the candidates for Mars ? ", " The ethics of a journey without return ", " What relationship do we have with a journey into the unknown? ".
• Constitution of the astronaut selection committee and its operating charter.
• Mars Rover - developed as a device for street meetings, a Life Support Rover full of images and sounds, allowing exchanges and recorded interviews around the theme: "And if you went to Mars...?"


The stages of an interstellar "reality-event".

The inhabitants were invited to develop an application protocol, the selection, the training and to participate in the ethical and philosophical reflection around such an adventure.

1st space encounter: The selection
A performance-conference “Why I want to leave”. Presentation of the Gennevillois candidates for a trip to Mars with video and sound installations, photographs and a public debate.

2nd space encounter: An Oratorio from Space
Composition by Erwan Quintin, for local musicians, singers and poets, of a series of “Songs for Space”.

2nd space encounter: Departure

The take-off performed simultaneously in two theatres with a live-feed to space.

Creative Team & Partners

Creative team

Sarah Harper - writing and direction
Rose Guégan - assistant director
Pascal Laurent - design and technical direction
Quentin Douriez - stage manager
Julie Philippe - production and administration
Antoine Dumont - photographer
Claudia Verdejo - costume designer
Erwan Quentin - composition / sound design
Enzo Laurent - technical advisor
Violaine Sautter - Visiting scientific specialist (NASA Mars Rover)
Camille Fréchou - design and installation of the Martian greenhouse
Groupe Laps - sound and video installation
Philippe Abillou -vidéomapping
Pierre Froment - video editing (LAPS)
Nadir Bouassria - video editing (LAPS)
Clémence Passot - graphic designer

Ville de Gennevilliers
Maison de Développement Cuturelle Gennevilliers
Espace Aimé Césaire
Hauts de Seine General Council
Direction Régionale des Affaires Culturelles d'Île-de-France,
Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication
Cinéma Jean Vigo - Maison Pour Tous
Bibliothèque Rabelais
L’Antenne de Quartier des Agnettes

Tiphaine Lanvin, Antoine Dumont, Nadir Bouassria, Didier Comellec, Friches Théâtre Urbain