In a distinctive format – a blend of artist residency and walkabout – the Grand Parc Miribel Jonage, in conjunction with the EPLEFPA agricultural secondary school in Cibeins and the youth services department of Vaulx-en-Velin, is hosting the students on the TRANS MFA degree in Socially Engaged Art Practices at the HEAD art school in Geneva for a long-term artistic project.

The degree, coordinated by the Microsillons artist collective, offers students an ideal framework for reflecting on collaborative production modes, on issues of address and reception, and on art as a vehicle for institutional and social transformation. As part of this collaboration, several students are addressing these issues through the Grand Parc’s ecosystem, with reference to their own current research relating to ecology, climate and forms of activism. Environmental activism, which emerged in the 1970s and was first a protest-based minority activity, is now a full-fledged social movement. Grand Parc Miribel Jonage, which is deeply involved in nature-conservation matters, symbolises a form of practical ecology that takes account of social, cultural and economic dimensions.

The master’s students, working under the collective name of Les Écholègues and assisted by the artist Mabe Bethônico, who teaches on their master’s course, are exploring this environment, which is conducive to an ecological debate that makes the park’s users aware of what has become a vital cause. Since early summer 2021, they have been running a series of workshops, visual-art activities, debates and other events that mix creating, awareness-raising and idea-gathering. Using a game they have invented, Les écollectes, Les Écholègues invite participants and visitors to explore word associations to create new slogans and open the way to a different relationship with the world and nature. In 2022, these various collective situations will form the basis of several common forms of encounters, discussions and creations.

In collaboration with the HEAD school, Geneva.

Photos: Écollecte workshop in Grand Parc Miribel Jonage, with beneficiaries of the Passerelles Buissonnières non-profit, 2021 © Blandine Soulage

The project in pictures

Veduta 21/22 - Ateliers Écollecte à L'îloz du Grand Parc Miribel Jonage.