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Home / Resources / News / Can co-creation help reach (more) social justice in the city? A research workshop preliminary to the Saint Denis Case Study

Can co-creation help reach (more) social justice in the city? A research workshop preliminary to the Saint Denis Case Study

Creativity and (In)justice in Saint-Denis: Can co-creation help reach (more) social justice in the city?
A research workshop preliminary to the Saint Denis Case Study in Saint Denis

Dates: 20-22 September

From the 20th – 22nd September we are running a workshop with the objective of co-create a mapping of spaces of creation and co-creation in Saint Denis, a commune in the northern suburbs of Paris, from a researchers’ point of view. The mapping will be continued by inhabitants during the October workshops (22-26 Oct) and then it will be reflected upon within the case study (a potential Case Study Kick Off would take place in January/February 2019).

co-creation workshop

Co-Creation workshop – photo by European Alternatives – creative commons

Activities of the workshop

• Reflect about the topic of creativity and social justice.
• Discuss and Exchange on definitions creativity in the city
• Discuss how co-creation seem to apply to the territory of Saint Denis
• Learn about/ Discover/Identify spaces/locations linked to creativity and social justice (first mapping exercise). For instance: institutional spaces, occupied spaces, socio-education centres, some street corners, underground spaces…

• Identify existing co-creation activities and assess their relationship to social justice.

• Understand what makes co-creation participate to the goal of ensuring social justice in the city. (define the steps that ensure that a co-creation activity participates to social justice)

• Meeting of Academics, Walks within the city, possibly meetings with local NGOs // creative spaces managers // local decision makers (in the making)

For whom?

We welcome researchers from partner universities of the co-creation project and beyond (researchers interested in the topic of co-creation and in the topic of creativity in less advantaged areas of the city). We expect the researchers to contribute to the whole research after the workshop either by writing a blog post with their observations for the co-creation blog or by planning a mobility based on their research interests to work on a possible chapter to the case study. The workshop will run in French and English.


Saint Denis – exact location to be confirmed

Case Study: Saint Denis – Towards a just creative city?

Can arts and co-creation contribute to building a just city? Investigating creativity and its potential social impact: The case study of Saint Denis, France

Authors such as Kagan and Kirchberg (2013), Ratiu (2013), Boren and Young (2013) have proposed to investigate how the concept of creativity can be rethought to plan for sustainable cities, taking into account all dimensions of sustainable development: economic, social and environmental. Can creativity and social justice be combined? What mechanisms could make the ‘creative city’ more just?

The Saint-Denis case study will investigate how the notion of creativity is articulated with that of social impact of the arts by actors involved in the making and financing of art activities
(artists, art venues programme directors, political decision makers, audience). The case study will propose a mapping of spaces and locations of creativity in Saint-Denis by diverse actors (academics, inhabitants, public servants). It will also focus on how and under which conditions arts and creativity can have a social impact and contribute to social justice. What are the key element a creative process should have to become a vector of social justice?

The main questions for the case study are:
1/ what do the actors who plan and practice creativity expect from their activities?
2/ where do they practice creative activities?
3/ Are these spaces/ activities on the map of public policy? What are the relationships with the public actors and financers?

The case study focuses on the city of Saint-Denis, one of the poorer cities in the first belt around Paris. The city – led by a communist mayor – has an active creative city policy, with ‘districts of creation and culture’ and is part of the Innovation Arc, recently launched in and around Paris.