l'Embobineuse is an independently organised "Cultural Laboratory" in the La Belle de Mai neighbourhood of Marseille, an area synonymous for its poor and underprivileged French Arabic/African communities. The name of the location refers to its previous incarnation as an electric winding plant which existed for 40 years until its eventual abandonment and subsequent regeneration into a lively social meeting point and platform for concerts, theater, discussions and workshops. There are 4 paid staff at l'Embobineuse (1 administration, 1 communication, 1 technical, 1 director) and 15 volunteers. There is a capacity for 192 persons with approximately 60 events and 9000 visitors per year plus a support base of between 4000 and 6000 people which has helped to create a wide network which guarantees qualitative production. The l'Embobineuse mission is to further integrate in the immediate surrounding area, by means of appropriate cultural activities that include local residents.
Many of the association activities involve local graphic and print masters Le Dernier Cri who are are an important part of the wider team for creating promotion artefacts, books and magazines. Print master Pakito Bolino makes regular collective print workshops with local residents and other socially marginalised clients in cooperation with l'Embobineuse and is an active cultural organiser in Marseille. SATB will visit and use his workshop together facility for creating posters and a booklet, together with local people to complement the theater workshop activities. l'Embobineuse has hosted 3 Grundtvig projects: "D.I.Y. Skill Sharing” coordinated by Czentrifuga , "Bridging the Gap -Learning to Learn Through Music and Media" and "Everybody is an Illiterate - How to Know, How to Learn" which included public workshops, live music events and discussions on the themes of social marginalisation, gender discrimination and the future of work. l'Embobineuse also offers creative residencies which are supported by local and national institutions e.g. Region PACA and The City of Marseille Other notable supporters and partners are La Friche Belle de Mai, le Cartel de la Friche, Radio Grenouille, Radio Galère, Radio Chantier, Radio Nova, WFMU, Vice Magazine.
l'Embobineuse has constructed an intercultural model for 2 music and 2 theater productions each year. In 2015 Compagnie Peanuts, a theater group founded from people in the immediate neighbourhood, participated in a weekly theater workshop,working on a theme of creating theatrical personalities which involved meeting and filming different people from the neighborhood. These resulting recordings of local "cultural memory" were presented in accompaniment with theatrical performances and presented for friends and families of the participants, the neighbours that inspired the piece, and people from the neighborhood. As a form of cultural production, pedagogy is implicated in the construction of and organisation of knowledge, values and social behaviour. Workshops participants engage in discussion and argument, learning critical thinking, media literacy and group social dynamic, which can embolden them to use their voices in
social participation and active citizenship.
The core SATB team are:
Elsa Gobert - administration, accounting, coordination between activities, public relations and cultural mediation for 4 years at l'Embobineuse.
Blandine Voineau is president and production manager at l'Embobineuse and director of Compagny La Fêlure which organises workshops and public performances that center around issues related to femininity and the place of women in society, provoking the discussion about gender and power, women leadership in cultural organization, feminism and hierarchy. Her work combines research in the social sciences and artistic experimentation, She is a singer and sound poet, integrating voice texts and movement in a collective theatrical performance as well as resident ofthe Belle de Mai area, and has qualifications from University in Musicology (Master 1), Cultural Mediation (Master 2) and currently studies for a masters degree. She also has a diploma of High Studies of Social Practices.
Magdi Rejichi Since 2009, Magdi is the director of the l'Embobineuse based Compagny Peanuts which is a form of social theater that integrates people from the immediate neighbourhood into the various facets of a live production. He is a local resident and comedian who began theater work in 2004 when he joined the "Sonneur au Ventre Jaune". In 2007 he worked at the Avignon Festival and, in the same year, played his part together with other locals to create Compagnie Peanuts - exploring the mechanisms of violence and exclusion through the mediums of performance, theatrical readings and cultural projects created together with local residents. Today he is active in the local area making cultural proposals and workshops with local inhabitants. Themes that are addressed include - young adults feeling isolated, newcomers, beneficiaries of solidarity policies and unemployment. The first “The Scapegoat” workshop was carried out in 2015, with Magdi Rejichi as director together with video artist ,documentary maker, radio programmer and event organiser, Jérôme Fino who is also an important team member to the SATB Marseille activities . Local inhabitants participated in a week long workshop, creating theatrical personalities, interacting and filming with their neighbours. These informal recordings helped to capture the local "cultural memory" and were presented in a combined multimedia show and theatrical performance. The resulting production was presented for friends and families of the participants, the neighbours that inspired the piece, and others from the neighborhood. The process helped to encourage discussion, group discussion, social dynamics and team spirit as the various functions (technical, artistic, promotional) are distributed amongst the group.