“Sons…Jardins Secrets” : Community engagement project

Photo credit : Léo Paoletti

This intergenerational project was carried out in 2016 prior to Laurent Dupont’s creation “Sons…Jardins Secrets“, in partnership with the Gérard Philippe leisure centre and the Boris Vian community centre in Villiers-le-Bel.


From March to June 2016, a first series of workshops was organised with a group of 12 children aged 6-8 from the Boris Vian and Gérard Philippe centres. The group worked on the theme of the garden through different disciplines: 2 meetings with Léo Paoletti and a gardener from the shared gardens, 3 arts workshops with Vladimir Kara and 3 theatrical and poetic writing workshops with Céline Bellanger, the aim being to explore the subject also through different disciplines, in order to solicit an imagination derived from these encounters in the garden.

A restitution of this first cycle of actions was carried out in the shared gardens adjacent to ACTA’s premises, on the occasion of the “Garden Rally” (2 and 3 June 2016) organised by the Association La Case, and during the City Fête (4 June 2016).

Photo credit : Léo Paoletti

In July 2016, a second phase was launched with 2 cycles of one week in a leisure centre. Each cycle began with a meeting with a gardener and a visit to his garden. During the first week, Cécile Bellanger and Nebil Dagshen worked with the children of the Boris Vian leisure centre on speech, writing, putting words to one’s own secret garden in writing or orally, in a spontaneous or poetic way. In the second week, during the visit to the allotment gardens, the children took advantage of the opportunity to collect plant material: two human-sized fresques were thus created during the workshops with the painter Faïna Kremerman.

petite fille tenant une fleur dans sa main
Photo credit : Léo Paoletti

From September to December 2016, the third part of the actions: the children met two new gardeners from the shared gardens to discover new sensations linked to autumn and the passage towards winter. At the same time, two meetings on speech and writing with Cécile Bellanger and two plastic arts workshops with Vladimir Kara took place.


From May to July 2016: participation in gardening discovery workshops organised by the ANRU in the Carreaux district at the Boris Vian shared garden, and a workshop-meeting with the gardeners of the Jardin des délices (DLM district of Villiers le Bel). This was an opportunity to discover each person’s traditions, in relation to the plants they decided to grow in their plot, to bring out the memories they evoke.

Between September and December 2016: friendly debates were also organised in the gardens on the themes of “childhood memories linked to the garden” or “the different pleasures that each person finds in this activity”. These meetings between gardeners succeeded in creating a real dialogue, a sharing of experiences and confessions: a strong emphasis on pleasure, a need, a way of learning, of meeting, sharing and helping each other.

Laurent Dupont led these workshops, accompanied by Manon Sauvage – in civic service – and Rosa Palmieri, in charge of cultural action.