When thinking of Paris, you might think of the Tour Eiffel, the Champs-Elysées Avenue, nice boutiques and little cafés… You’re right. But behind the scene, there is another reality, which tourists generally don’t have the opportunity to see.
Let’s have a look to the underground Paris. At Place de la République, in the heart of the French capital, scores of squatters occupy a 55,000 square feet building, which previously accommodated bank offices. Bankers have been replaced by artists, hackers, anthropologists and other residents. "Le Château" ("The Castle"), as they call it, is a massive place, where they help each other to build projects or rebuild their life.
It’s swarming inside. People keep moving, organizing an exhibition, computer workshops or manage day-to-day community life.
In our webdocumentary La vie de Château, you will walk through the imposing, big steel door and meet squatters. What are those geeks doing in their hackerspace? Could it be the spirit of the place that inspires crazy projects to those artists? How can a backpacker and jeweler live together with an anthropologist specialized in Africa and a former homeless guy crazy about Trance music?
Get immersed into open spaces within the building, and just choose who you want to meet. Discover the squat universe thought Marcel Aurange’s paintings. Understand how Médecins du Monde NGO cures patients, even when they don’t have any health insurance. Think about your freedom facing the powerful Web with the Loop hackerspace and the Quadrature du net collective. Ask your questions to the “key keeper”.
What do they have in common? They all struggle to find a place to live or work, because of real estate crisis. Instead of putting up with it, they assault a city center that rejects them. Gathering under one roof, they all bring their personal skills, energy, or just ten fingers, to keep the place alive. And fast: in essence a squat is a short-lived place.
Open doors with clicks to meet squatters
La vie de Château webdocumentary offers a virtual tour inside the squat. You will walk up and down floors and meet with occupiers.
Each floor focuses on one theme: collective life, heath in a fragile environment, artistic creation, tells of life, hacking… Scroll to next floor. Select a number, and a 360° picture will pop up. Now choose one item within that picture. Click Marcel’s pencil and discover his workshop, or click Tom-the-hacker’s laptop. The more curious you are, the more you gain access to bonus!
From testimony to analysis
To go deeper into each theme, access analyses, bibliographies, interactive compugraphics, and interviews shot outside Le Château.
We made our choice: telling the story of one place, Le Château. Not an idealistic place, for sure. But a place where scores of squatters jointly experiment new landmarks away from the mainstream patterns. This webdocumentary is not meant as an exhaustive review about squats, but rather as one adventure story, that of Le Château occupiers, which we met.