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2016-2017 editorial

In 2009, a journey began. Right here. With you. A rightful reason to be proud.

A shared space of emotions, exchange, artistic workshops where elementary school children, senior citizens, young parents, performing arts companies, associations, secondary school students, high school students, university students, politicians and committed citizens mostly came from our metropolitan territory.

A shared space where half of the artists came from Hauts de France, from Brazil, Tunisia, Turkey, the Middle-East, Canada. Some of them came from Europe as well, six of their projects did enjoy the support of the European Commission, of which the phenix was a partner.

Today, shared spaces are something rare. It is our responsibility to take good care of them and make next generations appreciate them: culture, health, education as well air and water…

A culture that would choose « sameness » over open-mindedness as reference and claim of its identity would be following a dangerous path.

The identity of a country, a territory is the common good that thrives on openness, « ipseity » as stated by Paul Ricoeur. Doesn’t it?

This shared space is what we choose to fight for. To stand up against ignorance, fallacy, fanaticism, it is our responsibility to shape our common future. The Cabaret of Curiosities will be dedicated to this topic. Meeting Sophie Wahnich and Marcel Gauchet will enable us to question the connection between secularism and democracy.

Every ingredient composing the phenix’ originality will be present throughout the coming season. An all-audience challenging programme, great classics remade by young artistic collectives, family events, creation highlights, mobile workshops, decentralized activities, audience awakening, pilot projects mixing culture, work and economy, a childcare centre, a restaurant and an always caring team.

Some major innovation! We are launching a European Creative Hub enabling our associate artists to be more present in Valenciennes. It also enables to support artists shining all over the world.

Since 2009, 32 shows produced in Valenciennes have been performed more than 1,800 times in 27 different countries.

From New York to Sydney, Rio to Jerusalem, our metropolitan territory is labelled as a place of innovation, a place of artistic creation and change thanks to the artists we have been supporting.

Now more than ever, Valenciennes do deserve its sweet name of « Athens of the North ».

Romaric Daurier, director of the phenix