Strasbourg, July 2016

Mélissa

Can you introduce yourself ? How old are you ? What have you been studying ?

My name is Mélissa, I’m 23 years old.
I’m currently finishing my master degree in European Project Management. I would like to give a cultural and artistic orientation to the competences I have acquired during the master, that’s also the reason why I wanted to do a civic service at Apollonia.

Why did you apply to this civic service?

I was searching for an internship of six months and it has finally turned into a civic service of eight months. I think that it is more favourable in the sense that I am involved in a long-term project with concrete tasks and I have more responsabilities. The professionalizing dimension should also be taken into account because it is the logical continuation of the civic service. A follow-up is forseen afterwards.

Why Apollonia ?

It is the only organization working on cultural projects at a European scale. Furthermore, Apollonia has a strong engagement towards Eastern European countries artistic scene ; these geographical areas are deeply raising my interest.

How do you take part in the Artecitya project ?

I am taking part to the Artecitya project particularly through the administative coordination linked to the program.

What’s your reflexion process regarding the importance of art and human being in our cities ?

I’m extremely sensitive to artistic interventions in urban spaces. This essential element of the city, that has always existed, is a connection point between citizens and the urban environment they are living in. It is sometimes a way of addressing a message to the civil society or to foster reactions.
The artistic urban object is very often motivated by a claim, shaking the existing moral or spatial order. A public intervention is never insignificant because it disturbs, it pleases: It’s a direct confrontation with the citizen that has no other choices than to consider the object.
I am convinced that artistic actions in urban spaces push the citizen to reflect and perhaps to reconsider the surrounding environment in which he/she is evolving and to tame it. Indeed, raising awareness about the role of the citizen in the city is completely necessary. Promoters should not be the only ones to design the urban landscapes anymore ; what is public should be common, isn’t it ? Artists and citizen can and have to be part of the decision taking process and to take action within the city. I think that beyond the aesthetic aspect of an installation, the resulting reflection “ mostly when it comes to arbitrary urban art“ should be considered in the future urban policy of our cities. And that is only possible through a recovery of urban spaces by citizens via the creation process that makes even the impossible possible.