food, sustainability and art projects in Europe

Research-creation: Récits-Recettes

For a year, the research laboratory LADYSS-CNRS has collected 40 stories of Saint-Denis locals on their way of cooking. Where to buy vegetables, how to choose them, how to cut them, cook them, transform them, all the tips, and stories, that compose the Saint-Denis terroir. 

Yuhan, wwoofeuse at Zone Sensible, 2018, © Jean Pierre Sageot


How about telling us your favorite recipes? …
Recipes from the past, present and future:
recipes that you no longer make, or those of your parents,
everyday recipes, for you, for your children,
the recipes that you would like to make one day?


With the 135 different nationalities it hosts, the city of Saint-Denis is home to an exceptional dietary diversity that manifests itself in particular through its recipes but also the gestures, stories and customs attached to them. In order to discover this cultural diversity, we want to invite the inhabitants of Saint-Denis to share their food and culinary practices.

These stories were heard, recorded and then transcribed through workshops held at Zone Sensible, the Parti Poétique’s permaculture farm. The objective was both to bring together his recipes in the form of a recipe book from Seine-Saint-Denis, but also to produce artistic works and events from these interviews, such as the planting of the necessary vegetables, recipes, and the making of these same recipes during meetings and banquets. The overall aim of the project is to develop the terroir of Saint-Denis, to work on the aesthetic, taste and nutritional qualities of local culinary know-how in order to imagine together what would be the specificities of a sustainable diet to come in Seine-Saint- Denis.

This gustatory heritage will be remembered thanks to an edition produced by the SILO, a pluri-disciplinary collective and publishing house.

Zone Sensible, 2019, © Parti Poétique


Researchers and artists who are interested in these questions of cuisine and heritage, and who want to take advantage of the installation of a farm in the city of Saint-Denis to think about a way to make food that is more ecological and closer to the inhabitants.

Parti Poétique – The Parti Poétique runs Zone Sensible, the Urban Farm of Saint-Denis. It comprises artists, thinkers and doers putting their bees and their questions into the public space. This collective, questions the everyday, searches for it elsewhere, in art and using territorial resources. Its founder Olivier Darné is a visual artist and urban beekeeper known for his city hives. His artistic approach focuses on cultural, social and urban diversity. He also harvests of a honey cultivated in an urban environment, “Miel Béton” or “Concrete Honey”.

COAL – COAL aims to foster the emergence of a culture of ecology and to support the essential role of creation and culture in raising awareness and implementing concrete solutions. COAL designs and organizes contemporary art exhibitions, cultural events, awards the COAL Art and Environment Prize, supports artists, contributes to the transformation of territories with its Sustainable Culture Laboratory and is notably the initiator of ArtCOP21, the cultural agenda of COP21 in 2015. As part of the Lab, the association is represented by director Lauranne Germond and project manager Jessica Leclercq.

LADYSS-CNRS – the Laboratory of Social Dynamics and Recomposition of Spaces is a multidisciplinary laboratory combining two main disciplines, geography and sociology. Its research focus is the study of social and spatial recompositions related to globalization and environmental problems. LADYSS is represented for this project by its director Nathalie Blanc. Also research director at the National Center for Scientific Research, she specializes in environmental and aesthetic issues and is also an artist and curator.

Collective SILO – The activities developed by SILO are numerous. We define ourselves as a collective, a music label and a publishing house, but above all a group of friends. Our meeting goes back a few years when we were still students. The desire to come together to create and the need to organize ourselves in the face of the constraints imposed on us led us to identify the beginnings of what the SILO collective would later become. Subsequently, this small group of friends was enriched with new individuals, drawing practices that were as diverse as they were assertive.

Associated researchers – Pauline Guinard is a lecturer in geography at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris. Her research focuses on the links between art and cities. Marine Legrand, post-doctoral fellow in environmental anthropology at the National Museum of Natural History, will lead the writing workshops. She uses fiction writing to create illuminating experiences. Lou Gauthier is currently a student at the ENS ULM in Geography, and a student at the Museum of Natural History in Environmental Anthropology.

Franck head of gardening at Zone Sensible, 2018, © Jean-Pierre Sageot