Des Maux, De Musees, Des Mots in Strasbourg 2017-2018


« Des maux, des musées, des mots »

Strasbourg  2017 – 2018

For the fourth year, the Educational Service of the Museums of Strasbourg and the Hans Arp Secondary School (Strasbourg, Elsau neighborhood) participated in the “Curating a Culture of Respect” program.

During the first semester, the 8th grade students went to the Tomi Ungerer Museum and the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Strasbourg (MAMCS), to think about the issue “Art and Conflict” and discover new works.

Back in class, the pupils expressed through drawing their feelings about the works exhibited in the museums and described their experiences. The students also collaborated on more complex works, using different mediums and techniques such as painting, collage or photography. These works challenge the viewer and talk about violence, its effects, and ways to overcome it. For example, a photo-novel tells the story of three young girls whose friendship is challenged by the arrival of a new boy.



The students also wrote letters to their American counterparts. They introduced themselves, talked about their passions and told them about their visits.

During the second semester, a new phase of the project began. Another class decorated a mobile booth – a cabin on wheels called “la cabin à paroles”– literally the “talk booth”. They created an “Eslau Voice” logo inspired by the forms of the artist Hans Arp and painted words echoing their visits in the museums. The “Elsau Voice” logo was also printed on t-shirts!


The project took the form of an ethnographic inquiry. The students met the residents of the Elsau neighborhood in order to collect their impressions and memories. Two postgraduate students, one in ethnology, the other in journalism, helped them to develop a questionnaire and to complete these interviews successfully. The mobile booth was used to signal a place of exchange and accommodate the inhabitants. The ethnographic inquiry was also turned into an artistic performance. The cabin was an allusion to the work of artist James Lee Byars and his “smiles cabin”, exhibited in the MAMCS in 2004.

The first interview session took place on Monday, May 28 with nearly 10 students, alongside with their teachers, members of the Educational Service and the two postgraduate students. Although intimidated at first, the pupils managed to talk with the inhabitants of the neighborhood who willingly answered the questions.



On June 6th, another part of the class went to meet the residents. Once again, interviewees responded to the questions heartily, and the students were able to learn more about the history and evolution of their neighborhood. All of these exchanges were recorded by Luc Leroy and Alexandre Alves, sound engineers of the web radio ODC, to make an audio report.



To end the 2017-2018 edition of the “Curating a Culture of Respect” program, the students and their teachers went to the MAMCS to listen to the audio report and see their works, exhibited on this special occasion in the museum. The teachers and the students were very proud of the result.



Then the pupils continued their interviews by asking visitors and museum employees questions about the Elsau district, the museum itself, its architecture and the works on display.


They also took a guided tour of one of the exhibitions at the museum called ExpériMAMCS, which explains, in a playful yet pertinent way, the life of works of art in a museum.






After their second visit in the museums of Strasbourg, the pupils had the opportunity to work with an illustrator. They were invited to draw a new vision of what they saw at the museum. They suggest a world changed thanks to art, echoing the beginning of the school year question “Can art change the world?”

Fine Arts Museum

“All lives matter”, Students drew the portrait of one another, of the elders who joined them for the visit and of some famous civil rights activists. They all share the same picture and become a protection for the civil rights of all.

Modern and Contemporary Art Museum

Imagine the museum of your dreams. A museum where there is a swimming-pool, where visitors can tag the walls or stand on the pedestals of the statues.

Historical Museum

Draw the symbols of the French Republic and modernize them. “Marianne” this bust present on the stamps and in every official buildings has become much cooler!

Museum Oeuvre Notre Dame

Iinspired by the first drawings of the Cathedral of Strasbourg, dating from the 12th century and revealed to the public for the first time this year, the students created their dream towers and spires.

L’Aubette 1928

Imagine this place in the future, what do you think the future will be like?

Museum of Decorative Arts

What does power mean? What are the symbols of power? The students re-thought the symbols and use of power.



Pen pals

The first letters of the French students to the American students from Bart are now ready!

As soon as the teachers manage to solve their IT problems 😉 the American students will be able to learn who their French penpal is, and what they did when they visited the Tomi Ungerer museum.

The French students are looking forward to the answer!

To catch a glimpse of the letters, follow this link!


Fashion Day

When the students arrived at Hans Arp school on Thursday 15th September, they discovered a strange fashion show: all the staff members were wearing the same tee-shirt.

img_4004The question “WHY?” was on everybody’s lips. Part of the answer was to be found with the question inscribed on the tee-shirt “Can art change the world?”.

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And to answer this last question, the pupils visited the Tomi Ungerer museum a few days later and discovered how an artist tackles this question.


An interview of Tomi Ungerer

8 boys and girls from Hans Arp college were the lucky students who had the honor and privilege of interviewing Mr Tomi Ungerer. Tomi spoke a lot about tolerance and respect. He also brought back memories from his childhood and of his time in the USA. He tells us about the drawing which became the symbol of this whole project!

Film directed by Aleksandra SZRAJBER, Ana films

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