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"I am a channeler of light"

Emma-Louise, 24, trained for 3 years as a glazier by actively taking part in the colossal project to restore the Chartreuse de Neuville-sous-Montreuil in the region of Pas-de-Calais. She has become an expert in color and light schemes and is really fulfilling her potential in this artistic profession through which she is actively contributing to the restoration of this unique, remarkable building: the only fully preserved Carthusian monastery in France.

A monastery, a cultural phalanstery, a hospital then a hospice – the Chartreuse de Neuville has had many lives, and the new ambition is to turn it into a European cultural center for gatherings devoted to artistic and societal innovation. In keeping with the site’s commitment to inclusion, the Chartreuse de Neuville is also a project for professional inclusion aimed at young people: in four years, 80 young people like Emma-Louise have acquired the know-how to become carpenters, joiners, roofers, master-glaziers, or stonemasons.

Since 2020, as part of its partnership with the Fondation du Patrimoine (the French Heritage Foundation), TotalEnergies Foundation has supported this exceptional project, one of the biggest historical monument worksites in France after Notre-Dame de Paris.

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“I am a channeler of light”

“I am a channeler of light”

La Chartreuse de Neuville

Fondation du patrimoine and TotalEnergies Foundation present
“I am a channeler of light”

Emma-Louise MANIA
Apprentice glazier
Pierre Brouard workshop

“I’m Emma-Louise Mania and I’m 24. I initially wanted to be a vet, but I got fed up with being buried in books all the time. It was all very abstract. I did my glazier training in 3 years. I really liked being able to put what I learned into practice immediately, and work with my hands. I was hired a year and a half ago, and it’s really rewarding.”

Alexia NOYON
General Manager
Association La Chartreuse de Neuville

“The Chartreuse de Neuville is a Carthusian monastery of the Order of Carthusians. It’s a gigantic building spanning 18,000 m2 and was left to wrack and ruin in 2005. It also has a fascinating history – monastic of course, as well as an artistic and hospital history.”

Emma-Louise MANIA

“What I like most about stained-glass windows, is when the light filters through and you can see the image projected on the walls or floor in color, or just the texture of the glass.”

Luc-Benoît BROUARD
Pierre Brouard workshop

“Emma-Louise came to see me one day, and she wanted to try her hand at the most beautiful job in the world, which serves only to create beautiful things, in this case, stained-glass windows. Very soon after that, she found her place in the workshop, and since then it’s been a joy to work with her. Today, our heritage is under threat. We need to train young people because they will carry and pass on our knowledge. We’re only on Earth for a short time. Back in medieval times, master-glaziers were called channelers of light. Light was passed from belfries to cathedrals. Today, these young people are going to continue that tradition. We sorely need them to continue working on this omnipresent part of our heritage.”

Alexia NOYON

“It’s one of the biggest restoration sites in France after Notre-Dame de Paris. This extensive site relies on many different partners, and partners from the private sector are crucial.”

Hauts-de-France regional delegate
Fondation du patrimoine

“Our partnership with TotalEnergies Foundation dates back 17 years. In the Hauts-de-France region, it’s helped boost and maintain 18 projects in total. The partnership on the Chartreuse de Neuville began in 2020. It’s a sizable partnership with a shared objective, i.e. to directly participate in the life of society and in particular by reintegrating young people through work.”

Hauts-de-France regional director

“Young people are one of the pillars of TotalEnergies Foundation if not the pillar. Through our participation in these restoration sites, we want to contribute to creating vocations and promoting arts professions. That’s why we have requested that, for all our heritage restoration sites, there is always a youth integration clause. It’s really gratifying for us to see young – and not so young – people find their niche and take part in these wonderful restoration projects.”

Alexia NOYON

“Over 4 years on the site, we have trained, reintegrated and given career advice to over 80 young people. They have learned skills to enable them to work as carpenters, roofers, stonemasons and master-glaziers.

Emma-Louise MANIA

“I’m doing a job that involves everything I really love – drawing, painting, art. Installing the stained-glass windows at the Charterhouse was a personal accomplishment, and I’m proud of knowing how to do something like that.”

On completion of the restoration project, backed by the Fondation du patrimoine and TotalEnergies Foundation, la Chartreuse de Neuville will become a third place of resources and commitment.

Dedicated to societal innovation, it’s a place where young people can meet up, do training and take residential courses.

Fondation du patrimoine with TotalEnergies Foundation