The project

Documenting 21C will go to Madagascar to make a documentary about the « Malagasy Gospel Choir », a choir that allows 200 youth living in extreme poverty to receive health care, an education, as well as the joy to live through music and singing.


We plan to offer them a documentary film to help them to communicate and develop their action.





The global project costs 20,000 €*; we are already funded for 16,000 €*

There is still the sum of 4,000 €* to finance.


By giving your help to this project :


- You help that choir to communicate better and to develop their action

- You help to valorize a different look upon artistic practice

- You help to transform our society towards a more peaceful world…


*Indicative amount - see the detailed numbers in the budget below.


What is the « Malagasy Gospel Choir »?


The young choral singers of the Malagasy Gospel all come from disadvantaged districts of Tuléar (the south-west of Madagascar). 

In a country considered as one of the poorest of the world, the youth from the Great Island have a high drop-out rate, and are thus highly exposed to forced work and prostitution.


In 2007, Eau de Coco and its local partner, Bel Avenir, decided to start, as an annex to their schooling program, a small singing activity. The goal was to keep the girls far from the street and its danger, offering them to share a creative and fun moment.


This was originally planned to be just a small extra-curricular activity but it gave birth to an engaged and hope-filled show.


Rehearsal after rehearsal, the instructors of that activity pointed out exceptional talents.

With no experience other than traditional songs or pop hits, about 20 girls and 2 blind boys have revealed their natural gifts for gospel and the stage!

Motivated by the enthusiasm of these young people and their families, the association decided to create a choir and a show based on their common experiences.

The « Malagasy Gospel » was born.


After a year of rehearsal and great stage work, the troop made its first tour in Spain in 2008.

The annual tours give the young singers the chance to become ambassadors of the international cause of Children’s rights.






The documentary pitch :


Documenting 21C’s editorial committee chose to plunge into the international news stage with regards to the following issue:

« How can accessible musical practice help with the reconstruction and development of young victims of extreme poverty?”


The purpose of our documentary film is to completely immerse into the daily life context of those children from the Malagasy Gospel Choir and to observe how, in that disadvantaged area, musical practice can help their intellectual, psycho-emotional, relational, corporal and artistic development.


Those children, and the adults who accompany them, tour Europe regularly. Our documentary will also put into light the phenomenal impact those young singers make on others with regards to the question of children’s rights and the fundamental issues of musical practice made accessible to youth in a situation of extreme poverty. 


In September 2015, our team will go to Madagascar to benevolently make that documentary. 




                              Arsène Kapikian - Emmanuel Fontana




What are Documenting 21C defended values ?





Earlier in this document, the teaser presents our project shortly and with a humoristic point of view. Allow us to now specify the deep values defended by Documenting 21C.


In the Western context, artistic practice is often considered as a pastime, a performance, consummation, etc… Cultural organisms and sponsors often direct their money along elitist criteria.


All the members of the Documenting 21C team share the conviction that access to artistic practice as a fundamental human right of expression is an essential tool to transforming society.

Through abondant travel, we have all been participating in or organizing numerous artistic or educative projects and thus realised that throughout  the world, many people are carrying extraordinary artistic or educative projects trying to rebuild spaces of expression where they have disappeared; projects which bring a more lateral, participative and collaborative vision. 

Those exemplary projects (in conflict areas, extreme poverty, privation of liberty, hospitals, etc...) participate in giving back joy, hope, lost dignity and sometimes even contribute to saving lives. Unfortunately these initiatives are often unknown or not well-valued and their carriers have only limited ressources and not enough knowledge to communicate their action.

Filled with these convictions and strengthened by these acknowedgments, we created Documenting 21C to illuminate these types of projects and to help those who carry them, and to inspire 21st Century actors to get their action into that line : artists, musicians, social actors, politicians...


How does Documenting 21C act ?


Through its international network, which is still developing, Documenting 21C is on the outlook: they locate and select exemplary projects. Then they go on site to meet, film and give speech to the actors and to the beneficiaries of those initiatives. 



What does Documenting 21C offer? 


Documenting 21C offers to artists, NGOs, social/educative world actors the possibility to produce inexpensive documentaries through a lateralized, participatory and cooperative economic model.

Documenting 21C also offers to provide its international network to help project carriers to make new contacts.


In the past few years, our team has already gathered numerous testimonies throughout the world. You can appreciate a bit of this work on a trailer that gives a look at the different aspects of our editorial line.





By helping Documenting 21C you participate in enhancing that outlook on the world, you participate in transforming our society into a more pacified world.




                                       They have got their support 






                                          Pr. André de Quadros

                                          Boston University - USA


André de Quadros, conductor, ethnomusicologist, music educator, writer, and human rights activist has conducted and undertaken research in over forty countries around the globe.


Professor of Music, Music Education Department, College of Fine Arts; Affiliate faculty: African Studies Center; Center for the Study of Asia; Institute for the Study of Muslim Societies and Civilizations;  and Prison Education at Boston University.

Professor de Quadros also holds affiliate faculty positions in the African Studies Center, Center for the Study of Asia, Institute for the Study of Muslim Societies and Civilizations, and the Prison Education Program at Boston University.






                                                  Lone Larsen

                                         Voces Nordicae - Sweden


“I support Documenting 21C because it’s important to spread the word about how music and its uses make many good things with social projects to build a better world” 


Lone Larsen, one of Sweden’s most distinguished conductors, is an innovative choral leader with a strong musical integrity. As a teacher of conducting she is a role model for young conductors and singers.

In 1999, Lone Larsen founded the vocal ensemble Voces Nordicae, a prize winning vocal ensemble from Stockholm.

In Norway, Lone Larsen is the artistic director of the ensemble Vokal Nord which has a focus on music influenced by joik/sami music and baroque music.





                                                   Emily Howe

                                           Boston University - USA


"I applaud Documenting 21c for drawing attention to some of the most innovative and exciting projects in the global musical community. What a wonderful way to facilitate the exchange of ideas and to celebrate the joy of music-making!"


Emily Howe is a conductor, music educator and accompanist. A faculty member at Boston University’s Prison Education Program, Howe’s work co-designing a music curriculum at the Framingham Women’s Prison earned her the distinction of Prison Arts Scholar. Howe holds a degree in choral conducting from Boston University, where she also conducts the 60-voice Choral Society and its select ensemble, the Chamber Singers.





                                               Dr. Jeffrey Douma 

                                              Yale University - USA


"The inspiring work of the Malagasy Gospel Choir, and the impact it is having on the lives of its young singers, is a beautiful example of the intersection between music and social justice, and of the ideals to which the 21C project aspires." 


Director of the Yale Glee Club and a Professor of Choral Conducting at the Yale School of Music. He is the founding Director of the Yale Choral Artists and serves as Artistic Director of the Yale International Choral Festival.





                                                   Donald Nally

                                        Northwestern University - USA


"The record that Documenting 21C is creating with its beautiful and moving films is vital in capturing these artistic endeavors that cross cultures and styles and raise awareness not just about artistic practices and uses but also about the human condition emanating from those participants - the unique issues of individuals and groups that may be recognized and understood through such projects. This work is of great importance; it is inspiring for those participating for those given the opportunity to observe through this documentation."                          


Conductor, opera chorus master, and professor of conducting at Northwestern University, specializing in chamber choirs and new music. He currently conducts two professional chamber choirs: The Crossing in Philadelphia, and the Chicago Bach Choir, the vocal ensemble of the Chicago Bach Project.






                                                Pascal Hostachy

                                           Voltaire Project - France


"Access to education, culture and language skills will probably be the essential vector to lead humanity towards a better harmony. Victor Hugo said “You find culture expensive? Try ignorance”. The Voltaire Project makes writing accessible to everyone, Documenting 21C is interested by those who make music accessible to as many people as possible. We defend the same values; that is why I enthusiastically support Documenting 21C actions and invite you to participate in this nice documentary project".


Voltaire Project co-founder, n°1 in writing for updating and certification with more than 2 million users of which 400 companies and 800 educational institutions.




                                        Anna Lasrdotter Persson

                            Manager Director EIC - Stockholm - Sweden


« Eric Ericson International Choral Centre in Stockholm is happy to support Documenting 21C and the work that they are taking on. It is important that we, who share an interest in music and social justice help and support each other. »




















Why fund it?

                                      What will the collect be for? 


The budget :


The global project costs 19,500 €, we already have 15,180 € in funding for the following:


- Video material rental: 2,700 € (with 3 months free rental)

- Sound material rental: Tascam and microphones 1,000 € (with 3 months free rental)

- Plane tickets: 3,500 € (financed by Manda Spring association)

- Food and other expenses: 90 days x 16 € x 2 people = 2,880 € (paid by ourselves)

- Hosting estimation: 1,500 € (paid by the Malagasy Gospel Choir)

- Video editing estimation + post production costs: 4,500 € (volunteer work by the Documenting 21C team)


Still to be financed: 4,320 € with the following details: 


- 2 visas : 200 €

- 2 round-trips Tuléar/Antananarivo : 700 € (2 x 2 days : car + driver + fuel)

- Purchase of a sound pole : 500 €

- Purchase of a second camera to film concerts : 2,100 €

- Unexpected spending on site : 500 €

- Costs returned to the crowd-funding website: 8% = 320 €


If we reach our goal, we will be able to make the documentary. If we surpass our goal, we could invest in the second documentary on an Indonesian association. 


At the beginning of 2016, Documenting 21 C will go to Manado to meet the Manado State University Choir




The second documentary pitch


“How could the activity of choir singing serving human rights change Sulawesi Island northern inhabitants’ lives in a globalized context ? 

What is the impact of this practice on the singers and the audiences ?”

The Indonesian choir of Manado State University Choir (MSUC), led by professor André de Quadros, made the choice to provide accessible music in spaces which are deprived of it : jails, nursing homes, hospitals, shelters for the homeless … The choir also sings in prestigious places throughout the world and its repertoire links various cultures and religions.


Thus, the MSUC contributes to the transformation of society, aiming to build a more pacified, non-violent world, in which music and cultural life is a source of fulfillment for all. For that reason, it accords well with Documenting 21 C’s editorial line.

Furthermore, Arsène Kapikian, film-maker, and Emmanuel Fontana, soundman, offer to produce a documentary by meeting singers from the MSUC. It will involve observing them working, investigating their everyday lives, witnessing the experiences the young singers undertake and giving them a voice.


Through immersion, the documentary will question the humanist values which drive the choir:


- To what extent could this vision and artistic endeavour be an educational model? 

- How is this model reusable?


It will also attempt to underline the difficult economic and social environment in which the MSUC was able to emerge and evolve.  








                                  THE DOCUMENTING 21C TEAM






                                        Jean-Baptiste Bertrand

                                                  Choir leader



As the father of three children, choir leader and choir teacher in music academies (related to the French Ministry of Culture), Jean-Baptiste Bertrand is also a music teacher for French National Education. After having taught choir singing and choir leading in the National Conservatory of Saint-Etienne, France, for seven years, he became the choir leader and artistic and pedagogical director of the Maîtrise du Conseil Général of the Loire region (a school specialized in teaching Music to children aged 11 to 18). He is also the musical director the International Academy of Choir Singing named “In Terra Pax”  established in Poland and Germany. He represented France during the World Choir Game in Shanghai and Riga. In this context, he was also invited in 2011 to lead the Gala concert of the Grand Prix of Choral Music in Graz, Austria. In July 2012 and 2013, he was the choir leader and the jury head of the Bali International Choir Festival in Indonesia. As such, he also collaborated with the teacher André De Quadros to create a piece of work for Gamelan and an Eastern choir that performed in the Temple of Arts of Bali for the Final Award Ceremony of 2013. He was the musical director of the University Vocal Group of Saint-Etienne from 1996 and 2001 and of the Academy of young singers for the festival of Voix de l’Aure in Normandy from 2009 to 2012. As a music trainer, Jean-Baptiste Bertrand taught choir leading in many different cultural institutions. He prepared and led many choral and orchestra works  for the Opéra of Saint-Etienne, Lyon, the Sinfonietta of Lyon, the Youth Orchestra in Normandie, the Orchestras of National and Regional Conservatories of Saint-Etienne, Villeurbanne, Caen and last but not least, the Orchestre Musica.






                                                Arsène Kapikian




As a music teacher in secondary schools of the Roannais region, composer, arranger, documentary and film director, Arsène Kapikan has diversified his experience and developed his artistic and technical practices focalizing on show creation in schools, group and artist recording in various musical environments (jazz, classical, mainstream…). He is also able to provide music services in other fields such as : 

- Music composition for a teaching film made by the CPAM of Roanne in 2002 : 1st prize of the international competition “Jeune Public” of the medical film.

- Credits and ambiance music for radio programmes (France Bleu, 2003).

- Sound identity and advert music (Woonoz, 2005). 

His experiences and various contacts led him progressively to creating in the realm of image and video :

In 2007, he created a music and dance show with his pupils called “Ici et maintenant” (“Here and Now”), 1st on the French Academic Championship podium,

-In 2008, he joined the University Choir of St Etienne (Groupe Vocal Universitaire GVU) as a choral singer and video maker for a project called “Voix Baltiques”. In the Baltics, he brought back pictures to illustrate concerts and his videos (spring 2009). This experience allowed him to deepen his work about the link between music and image. 

-In 2011, after making a few movies for school trips, he worked on a documentary project ordered by the international choral academy “In Terra Pax”. For one week, he followed the life and work of choral singers and leaders from this academy, also led by Jean-Baptiste Bertrand, during an international choir festival in Graz, Austria. 

-The “Maîtrise du Conseil Général de la Loire” requested from him a background video he made for the show « Ch’pakoifaire » created with the author, composer, and interpreter Michèle Bernard. -Still in 2011, he started a full-length film entitled “Le Vieux” with a director friend, a fantasy comedy signed by Jean-Paul Guinard. Being present during the filming, Arsène Kapikian is led to compose the original soundtrack, to work on the sound design, the assembly and special effects. The movie was broadcasted in 2012-2013 in several cinemas around the Burgundy region and around Roanne where it was a great success. 

-In 2013, he made a trailer for the BICF (Bali International Choir Festival). 






                                             Emmanuel Fontana

                                                 Sound engineer



A middle-school music teacher, his activities as a composer led him to write school plays, animated movies and documentaries. As a choral singer, he participates in concerts in France, Germany and Poland (including the international academy choir “In Terra Pax”). 

Passionate about everything involving sound, he also acts as a soundman for different projects (Bali, France, Sweden). A great traveler (South America, Alaska, Eastern Europe...), he’s fascinated by meeting and exchanging with people from different cultures. 






                                              Guillaume Fabbri 




Senior Education Advisor, he contributed to the establishment of a middle-school in an isolated Native-American community at the Franco-Brazilian border. He also participated in the development of the Wayãpi and Teko languages and their introduction into their community schooling. As an association president, he led a photographic workshop that gave birth to an exhibition and a small book, in which a village population shows itself through photos as they see themselves and not as others usually show them.

From 1997 to 2001, he was a project manager and he participated in the creation of one of the first agglomeration communities in France. In charge of communication, he was the chef editor of a magazine. Discover, meet and learn are the guiding thread of his life which led him to leave metropolitan France in a cargo ship in 2001. He now lives in French Guyana. 


To go to our website, please click on the blue tab (world map) on the top left




Born in February 2014, Documenting 21C association has as a vocation to make documentaries to put in light musical projects that rebuild expression spaces in "unallowed" areas : hospitals,  prisons, conflict zones, areas of extreme poverty… The goal of these documentaries are : - to put in light that kind of projects and to build, on a long term,  an... See more

Newest comments

Belle réussite à votre projet ! Choeurdialement, Bruno
Bonne réussite à ce projet
Les membres de l'association Partage de Saint Etienne vous soutiennent pour aller jusqu'au bout de ce beau projet. Nous avons aussi contacté Partage à Lyon et à Grenoble, et tous ceux qui ont gardé un souvenir lumineux du passage des enfants de la Malagassy en Rhône Alpes.