The cultural action of the Festival d’Avignon is a universal mission of general interest. Beyond the specific actions in partnership with the Minister of Education for colleges and REP¨and REP+ schools, the Festival d’Avignon has worked for years with the Le Pontet prison and with associations and social centres working on cultural and artistic support in territories targeted by the city’s urban policy.
Antigone, directed by Olivier Py, with the Avignon-Le Pontet prison, 2018 © Christophe Raynaud de Lage
Performance of Antigone at the Avignon-Le Pontet prison, 2017 © Christophe Raynaud de Lage
Rehearsal for Hamlet, directed by Olivier Py, with the Avignon-Le Pontet prison, 2017 © Christophe Raynaud de Lage
A Lad’s Word, rehearsal at the Maison pour tous Champfleury, 2018 © Christophe Raynaud de Lage / Festival d'Avignon
Rehearsal for I AM, directed by Lemi Ponifasio, 2014 © Christophe Raynaud de Lage / Festival d'Avignon
I AM, directed by Lemi Ponifasio, 2014 © Christophe Raynaud de Lage
Since 2004, the Festival d’Avignon has worked with the Le Pontet prison. Every year, a show is performed inside the prison and one or two trips to discover the Festival are organised. At the request of several inmates he met in June 2014, Olivier Py created with Enzo Verdet a drama workshop which meets regularly. They’ve performed Prometheus Bound, Hamlet, Antigone, and The Persians. The inmates now also perform outside of the prison as part of the Festival d’Avignon itself.
A performance of Prometheus Bound was given on 6 July, 2015, within the prison, in front of about one hundred people, including Christiane Taubira, Minister of Justice. This work led to the creation of a film focusing on the February workshop and produced by the prison’s own video team. This partnership is but one example of the permanent dialogue between the centre and its peripheries the Festival has established to erase the arbitrary borders that engender inequalities and social violence.
With the support of the Fondation M6 since 2017.