Little Interpreters

Little Interpreters focuses on the agency of the new generation of ‘primo arrivant’ (recently migrated) children, while touching on the subconscious of the inhabitants of a working class city in France.

Through a series of thematic workshops, a group of adult French language learners wrote their ‘dreams, desires, fears’- working on their personal and the social subconscious. This content was then translated and interpreted in text and drawings by primary and middle school students of French scholarization programmes, highlighting the important bridge role and responsibility these children adopt within their families as they face new codes and systems. Next, the children transferred the images and texts onto 60 m of silk that was chemically died and installed in the form of a giant labyrinth. The entire process connected the contemporary reality to the origins of the city, based on migrant labour and established to host the chemical factories related to the silk industry of nearby Lyon.

Little Interpreters involved the participation of 64 children, 15 dream donors, 5 seamstresses and 6 budding historians and was produced for LE CAP Centre des Arts Plastiques Saint Fons, France. Special thanks to Mélanie Bouilly, Émilie Moussière, Francesca Pinyol and Régine Roméas.