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LES CLAMEUSES - Sound documentary series of 4 episodes - Investing a public expression space

Original photos : Haska, Houda, Iga Vandenhove. Photomontage : Iga Vandenhove

Les Clameuses is a sound documentary series of 4 episodes about the experiences of a group of suburbian women becoming cultural ambassadors of their city by invading the elite environment of theater critics. Their voices are carried and accompanied by the theater company L'Île de la Tortue; who have had an artistic space in their district for the last 3 years. The project was born thanks to their encounter. The 4 episodes follow the women as they view performances and become theater critics during 2019/2020 cumulating in a final preview performance day in which they saw 6 shows; choosing one that would be performed in their local theater "L'Espace 93". Bringing a theater show to the space they share with their community brings them pride and a sense of responsability.


These women, suburbian inhabitants (like sub-urban -> "beneath the city") in the Bois-du-Temple district of Clichy-sous-Bois near Paris; are 30 to 70 years old housewives or working women more used to being made invisible rather than being heard. In this project, they defend through self expression and affirmation the taking over of a public space to assert their visibility as women of ethnic minorities and the vibrancy of the suburbian area. Being able to express themselves in this way gives them the feeling of really existing; to create a link where there is currently a fracture. Investing in this space for expression allows them to voice another narrative of themselves and the suburb they live in (generally dismissed and shown as run-down and violent).

The new, joyfull and spontaneous female critics joined a theater space with rather confined and codified rules developed over centuries by the elites of society. They raise the question of cultural access for all and the lack of performances that mirror the society surrounding their local area. Their experiences were documented in a podcast giving their narrative of pushing against the dominant culture.

The whole experience nurtured and created a dialog between all participants that offered a space for each to be listened to. This openness leads each participant to desconstruct, to review their own biais and sense the feeling of being "as one". As Sofia and Sarah from the theater company say, the project switched from the idea of a cultural democratization to a cultural democracy.

While directing the episodes and in the experienced lived, I wanted to share through a vibrant and lively choir of voices the appropriation of self expression and affirmative space. If speaking publicly implies responsibilities, it also gives a sense of choice and freedom. Speeches can be a wonderful vector of possibilities and new narratives (of oneself and of the world).

Partners / Le Théâtre Louis Aragon de Tremblay-en-France, la MC93 de Bobigny, le CDN-Théâtre de La Commune d'Aubervilliers et l'Espace 93 -Victor Hugo de Clichy-sous-Bois

Supports / Commissariat Général à l'Egalité des Territoires, de la DRAC Ile-de-France, du Département de la Seine-Saint-Denis et de la Ville de Clichy-sous-Bois

Grant funding / "In Seine-Saint-Denis"

Podcasts broadcasting / Espace 93 - Théâtre de Clichy-sous-Bois, soirée de lancement du premier podcast, Soundcloud, Deezer, Spotify, Applepodcasts

Press / Télérama - Article "Podcast : à Clichy-sous-Bois, les Clameuses, des critiques de théâtre pas comme les autres", Télé 7 jours - Article "Podcasts : Les Clameuses", Le Mag Seine-Saint-Denis - Article "Les Clameuses, la critique joviale"

Interview / IRM Radio - Les Clameuses sont les invitées de l'émission "Crache ton venin"

Distinctions / Télérama - Was in the top 50 podcast of national broadcaster Telerama

1st PODCAST LAUNCH NIGHT - Sept 2020 - Espace 93, theater of Clichy-sous-Bois


Episode #1

"Meeting les Clameuses"

Les Clameuses went to the first performance of the season and tell us about the echos provoked between the show and their lives.

Episode #2

"Cultural ambassadors"

Les Clameuses continue with their unquenchable quest of performances and are asked to become "cultural ambassadors" by the director of their city theater in Clichy-sous-Bois.

Episode #3

"Finally they choose!"

Intense preview performance day at the regional parisian Festival "Chaînon Manquant" in Elancourt! Les Clameuses finally choose one performance that will be programmed in their local theater

Episode #4

"Photoshoot in Clichy!"

Under the spotlight, les Clameuses take part in a photoshoot in the hearth of their district!

Photos taken by Hashka