“A Board of Reconciliation and Healing. » It is in these reassuring terms that Cathy Bouvard, director of the Ateliers Médicis, describes the vote, which took place on February 2, for the authorization to file the building permit for the future building which will house, in 2025, the artists’ residence. from Clichy-Montfermeil (Seine-Saint-Denis). On this occasion, the establishment’s budget for 2023, including the contribution of 150,000 euros from Ile-de-France, was also approved by the partners.
We come a long way. In December 2022, the region, chaired by Valérie Pécresse, had threatened to cut off supplies and suspended its allocation of 5 million euros for the new construction. The local community accused the Ateliers Médicis of financing the Les Chichas de la Pensée festival, organized by the controversial author Mehdi Meklat. The former columnist for France Inter had seen his rapid rise shattered after the exhumation, in 2017, of anti-Semitic, homophobic and sexist tweets that he had published, from 2011 to 2015, under the pseudonym of Marcelin Deschamps. The young man had apologized several times, even in a book, Autopsypublished by Grasset editions, in 2018.
In residence at the “Villa Médicis” in the suburbs, Mehdi Meklat and his accomplice Badroudine Saïd Abdallah had produced a monthly podcast, Les Chichas de la Pensée, associating young people from Clichy-sous-Bois and Montfermeil with artists from working-class neighborhoods . The adventure continued with the co-production, up to 20,000 euros per season, of a festival of the same name hosted at the Center Pompidou and the Théâtre de la Ville in Paris. Until the thunderclap in December.
Appearances are saved
Since then, the region has clearly softened its tone. “We are in a perspective of dialogue and listening”, says Anne-Louise Mesadieu, president of the culture commission, judging the project of the Ateliers “relevant and necessary”. “We do not wish to interfere in the programming, ensures the chosen one, but to ensure that republican values are respected. »
The region has called for the establishment of an ethical charter to ensure respect for republican values
It would have been legally complicated for the local authority to withdraw, the endowment of 150,000 euros being included in the statutes of the establishment. The withdrawal of the State-region plan contract, signed for the construction of the future building, would not have been less delicate. “To every principle, there are exceptions. No one is bound indefinitelysaid kicking into touch Anne-Louise Mesadieu, questioned on the legality of the previous announcements. We are a community, not a counter, we want our voice to be heard. »
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Source: Le Monde