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At LE BAL, young people come to discover the world of images and make their voices heard

In Paris not far from the Place Clichy, LE BAL was created at the initiative of Raymond Depardon, a renowned photographer and filmmaker, and Diane Dufour, editor and former head of Magnum Photos. The former cabaret and dance hall has been converted into an exhibition space dedicated to the document-image in all its forms (photos, video, cinema). It is now a forum for exhibitions, publications, debates and get-togethers. La Fabrique du regard, the educational platform at LE BAL, aims to help young people reflect on the world and its images. Since 2009, the Fondation TotalEnergies has sponsored several of these projects.

In addition to its missions to support creation and discussion centered on different ways of approaching reality, LE BAL is dedicated to implementing educational programs for young people aged 8 to 18, and in particular for those from underprivileged areas. In 11 years, some 25,000 young people in schools or from social organizations, have benefitted from the program of events. What is the aim? To help them to understand that the images that surround us every day obey codes and usages, and directly influence the way we see the world. 

Children and teenagers thereby learn to look at things critically, understand image codes, and analyze the inherent political, social, historical and artistic references. For example, the Que faire program supervised by artists, gives young people the opportunity to create their own films, fulfil their potential and discover how, as citizens, they have the power to act together and make things happen through images.

Committed to youth inclusion and education for young people in socially vulnerable situations or with educational difficulties, the Fondation TotalEnergies supported the renovation of the site in 2009, and went on to contribute to promoting many of the programs offered by LE BAL. In 2016, La Fabrique du Regard won the award from the La France s’engage foundation, of which the Fondation TotalEnergies is a partner.

Since 2021, the Fondation TotalEnergies has contributed to funding experimental work on “orality” over three years in three regions: Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Hauts-de-France and the Île-de-France, through which young people combine film production work with oral expression. In this way, they become fully-fledged ambassadors of their projects in festivals or  for the Assises de l’éducation à l’image. Each group practices speaking in public to defend their projects and express their point of view in front of the camera. A whole range of competencies that contribute to honing their critical assessment of society, improve their self-confidence and boost their personal fulfilment and professional success.