‘Investigative Walks’ in Saint-Denis, 2018 – 2019

 

 In Autumn 2018 and Spring 2019, AMuLoP organised a series of three ‘investigative-walks’ (‘balades-enquêtes’) in the centre of Saint-Denis. With these talks, participants could enter into the buildings, discovering the history of these places and their former residents. These walks built on a significant quantity of research carried out by the association in local archives – seeking to capture the traces left by former landlords and tenants – or through interviews with people living there currently.

 

 The concept of this ‘investigative-walk’ is based on connecting visitors with the questions that have driven our historical research. We involve visitors in analysis and in responding to our hypotheses, with different sources made directly available to them, including: censuses, birth, marriage and death records, land registers, architectural plans, local newspapers, postcards, private photographs, resettlement surveys. 

 

 Research on one of the buildings (rue du Jambon, Saint Denis) has resulted in a larger scale project, involving a fully interactive educational website, created in partnership with the Master’s degree in “Audiovisual Heritage” of INAsup – National Institute of the Audiovisual.

Investigative Walks in Saint-Denis in 2019 (© AMuLoP)

Workshops, Conferences and Talks

 

 With several experts in social sciences among its members, the association began a process of public reflection in 2016. An international conference, ‘Exposing the social history of migrations: scenographies, subject-matter, mediations’ initially planned for October 2020 but rescheduled to February 15, 2022, due to the pandemic, will address questions of the museographical representation of history in general. Within this, we include the representation of the social history of migrants, particularly the identification and critical discussion of practices that could better communicate historical material and reach a larger audience.

Workshop, Maison des Sciences de l’Homme - Paris Nord, 2016 (© AMuLoP)

 Between 2017 and 2019, the association proposed a series of seminars within the framework of “Workshops of Campus Condorcet” and around the theme ‘Entering Working-Class Lodgements: Intersections between social science, heritage and inhabitants’. These sessions resulted in presentations from historians, sociologists, archivists, anthropologists and leaders in the voluntary sector. This addressed a range of complex and diverse topics at the heart of this project, including: problems in assembling collections; the research and epistemological issues at play in the micro-history of dwellings; the political dimensions of heritage and space; and the pedagogical questions of teaching history. These participants helped further refine this project, as well as to expand our network of partners.

 

 On October 21, 2016, a one-day workshop was organised by the Maison des sciences de l’homme Paris-Nord on the topic of ‘Everyday Reality in Working-Class Areas: What Memories? Issues and Experiences of Heritage and Working-Class Lodgings’. This workshop was particularly important in creating a dialogue between the association, directors of museums and of important community associations and to test the potential for a museographic project involving local residents.