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Le temps ce grand sculpteur

Time passing sees developing work conditions, along with work’s challenges and collective forms of mobilization. New techniques call for new know-how. New skills are required which thwart the absence of qualification. Last of all, the story affects the use of a place.

Thierry Verbeke

L’Avenir nous appartient, 2016, 8 mn 35

Collection FRAC Grand Large – Hauts de France

L’Avenir—The Future—is the name of trade union premises in Dunkirk, occupied by former dockers who are now retired. But L’Avenir is also a sign installed on the building’s façade when it was being constructed in the 1960s. Since then it has suffered the ravages of time; it had developed cracks and was on the point of falling down, when I saw it for the first time in 2013. Like an echo, L’Avenir with its bright promise, found there an illustration of its current dilapidation. After meeting the people using the place, I suggested exchanging their old sign for an identical new one. The video “L’Avenir nous appartient”/”The Future is Ours” records this exchange and tries, through a series of interviews, to retrace the history of the place and the social struggles associated with it. TV

For the exhibition « Que fut 1848 ? » at the FRAC Grand Large – Hauts de France.

A meeting with THIERRY VERBEKE at the FRAC in Dunkerque, Friday 30th november at 6:30pm in collaboration with ESA Dunkerque.

Elizaveta Konovalova

Melanchthonkirche, 2016, 6 mn 12

The film is constructed around the history of a place, an old Lutheran church, located in the Kaliningrad region, a Russian enclave in the middle of the countries of Eastern Europe. The region was part of Germany until 1945. At the end of the Second World War, this territory was returned to the USSR. Following the deportation of the German populace, the church was abandoned. Later on it was converted into a foundry. The foundry burnt down in the 1970s and the roof caved in during the fire. The building was then crudely rebuilt and turned into a warehouse; it became a storage place and a workshop making gravestones. Today, the walls of the old church help us to decipher every stage in that brutal transformation. The vision of that layering, exposed in a hybrid assemblage, makes it possible to palpably experience the story. EK

Eléonore de Montesquiou 

Femmes de Cerbère, 2014, 23 mn, NB

Film produit avec le soutien de la Commune de Cerbère et de l’association Shandynamiques

« In 1906, there was the first women’s strike. It was in Cerbère in 1906. Why ? Because they wanted to be paid five or six cents more per ton, per wagon. The transiters who responsible for the wagons did not accept their request, so they went on strike. »

Cerbère is a border town between France and Spain. In Cerbère, Spanish and French trains must stop, because the width of the rails differs in both countries. Until the 1980s, goods had to be carried from one train to another. The women of Cerbère and the région were working as « transbordeuses », it was their task to carry the oranges in large baskets. The men had heavier goods to carry. In 1906, these women went on strike and it was the first women’s strike in France. Nowadays, this specific work does not exist anymore. The film « Femmes de Cerbère » is an hommage to these strong women and those times and could be made thanks to the participation of the last « transbordeuse », and children of « transbordeuses » as well as archive material. EdM

Pierre Gaignard

Stronza Valentina, 2016, 13 mn

In the Abruzzi, people used to sing during the olive harvest. Today, Valentina, the mechanical rake, helps the Palmerini family to pick the olives faster. The machine becomes increasingly whimsical and noisy, and people no longer sing these days. PG

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