[Translation (French-English) : EPALE France)]
In Rennes, in 2015, KEUR ESKEMM (a mixture of the Wolof and Breton languages meaning 'House of Sharing') was created. Maxime LECOQ, a founder and current coordinator of the association, and fellow-founder Fransez POISSON, from the Ligue de l’Enseignement (Teaching League) of Ille et Vilaine, speak about this four-year-old adventure. LAP (Public Art Workshops) were created right from the start. Thirty young people, aged between 18 and 30, are able take up six-month temporary places, lent by the town or the social sector.
During these 6 months, they (the unemployed, students, people in the course of integrating, immigrants, etc) create spaces for discussion, training, exhibitions, initiatives and displays, organising them among themselves. At the same time, KEUR ESKEMM arranges artistic workshops to enhance participants' skills and then to help them commit to following up the effort by recreating a new group space.
WHO ARE THE PARTNERS?
The Mission Locale, University of Rennes 2, the AROEVEN of Brittany, the town itself. These partners are present at the selection phase of participants, and then support the project in a practical and theoretical way. The town of Rennes has just signed an agreement to support KEUR ESKEMM and the LAP's activities. When the group was set up, the idea was to establish a diverse social group, by insisting on motivation, interest and availability, on a temporary basis. The locations are lent to the group: for example, for the coming year, there is the possibility of using apartments in a challenging part of the city.
WHAT SKILLS? WHAT QUALIFICATIONS OR RECOGNITION?
To begin with, neither skills nor recognition were formalised. It was at the request of some participants that letters of recommendation were created. Then, thanks to a University study, the skills were inventoried (please see attached article). Today, the idea of recognition has emerged, since the courses offer training not only in artistic practices, but also in artistic policies. As a result, both the pedagogy of the project and the acquisition of transverse skills are involved.
CAN A TEMPORARY LOCATION BE A PLACE FOR PUBLIC EDUCATION?
The thrust behind the creation of KEUR ESKEMM and LAP has been the desire to invent free spaces, in an age where we affirm the construction of identity. Reaching majority, or arriving at the time to find work or undertake training, is also the time for people to start to find their place in society. The temporary location becomes a transient, interstitial space where each and every individual can take the time to innovate, to create, to invent.
It is also a place of civic and social commitment, offering a sensitive and creative reflection on politicisation. Not in the highly institutionalised arrangements of policies, but rather as a strengthening of citizen participation.
Finally, these temporary locations are spaces of freedom on the fringes of the institutions, where we can visualise freer places which put the learner as an individual at the centre. All in all, it's just another form of popular education.
CONTACT : Maxime Lecoq. Project coordinator for Keur Eskemm.
7, Quai Chateaubriand. 35000 Rennes - France
David LOPEZ, Head of the Europe & International sector of the Ligue de l'enseignement and thematic coordinator (informal and non-formal learning) for EPALE France .