Leïla Slimani in New York, in the footsteps of Islam in the United States

70 projects, led by 80 creators, researchers and cultural professionals, and 90 partner structures representing the French scene in its diversity, will each give rise to an unprecedented exploration of the United States, made possible by tailor-made support from the Villa Albertine .

Thanks to a network of 10 branches, a team of 80 people and a dense network of partners across the United States, the Villa Albertine invites its residents to come out of the walls to form a community with the Americans they meet and create the conditions for a new dialogue on major contemporary issues.

The call for applications (October 2021 – January 2022) was open to any creator, researcher or cultural professional, regardless of nationality. A Franco-American jury steered a selection process also involving around thirty independent French experts and ten local juries, which brought together more than 40 American professionals in the Villa’s branches.

This jury, chaired by Gaëtan Bruel, director of the Villa Albertine, was made up of Nonny De la Peña, founder and president of the Emblematic Group and the New Media program at Arizona University; Gina Duncan, president of the Brooklyn Academy of Music; Dawn Hudson, CEO of the Academy of Oscars; Laurent Le Bon, President of the Center Pompidou; Glenn D. Lowry, director of MoMA; and Marie-Cécile Zinsou, President of the Zinsou Foundation and President of the Board of Directors of the Villa Médicis.

The final selection comprises 57% women and 43% men. With residents aged 24 to 58, it brings together a majority of emerging profiles, including several young graduates, but also mid-career profiles, and a few more established ones.

READ: United States: increasing violence against librarians

For literature, Alice Chemama, François-Henri Désérable, Nina Leger, Nicolas Mathieu and Leïla Slimani were selected by the Franco-American jury.

Alice Chemama, accompanied by Dargaud editions and the review Topo, will criss-cross Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming) on ​​the trail of the mythical American bear. François-Henri Désérable, for his part, will meet personalities from the world of wine in New York, in order to accumulate elements for his next novel to be published by Gallimard.

Nina Leger will leave for California to investigate the gold rush, the extermination of the Amerindians of the Yahi tribe and the construction of the Oroville dam, at the origin of a crisis and the displacement of populations in 2017. To work on his next novel, Nicolas Mathieu will travel to the lands of William Faulkner, in the state of Mississippi and in particular to Oxford, the writer’s birthplace.

Finally, Leïla Slimani, in New York, will describe the life of the Muslim community, while retracing the history of Islam in the United States, with the Institut du monde arabe as a partner.

Photography : Leïla Slimani in 2021 (DONATION CULTURE, CC BY-SA 2.0)

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