Mayor of Boulogne-sur-Mer, President of the CaB
To surprise, question, intrigue and arouse curiosity… this is the philosophy of Street Art which places art in the public space, space that belongs to everyone. Following on from the success of the first edition which delighted local Boulogne people and tourists alike, the Town of Boulogne-sur-Mer is getting ready for another summer featuring the creativity of local and international artists, gathered here to beautify our town and your living environment through their talent.
For this second edition, internationally renowned artists Cobra (Brazil), Alaniz (Argentina), Case Maclaim (Germany), Evoca 1 (Dominican Republic) and 4 Letters (France), draw liberal inspiration from our town and its history to lend a new dimension to the circuit created last year.
Grenoble-born French artist Nikodem, will give a new look to the columns forming the entrance to the Université du Littoral in the Rue Saint-Louis. These will become “Pillars of culture”, a fine symbol to place in front of this place of learning and research.
Finally, the urban furniture will also be embellished and humanised – and will hold some wonderful surprises in store – thanks to the talent of local Boulonnais artists, FLAG, Florian Lajouanique, Marie Lou Peeren, and Gaawouel.
The outward appearance of Boulogne-sur-Mer, a town with a 2,000-year history, is in large part the result of reconstruction following the Second World War. Thanks to the “Urban Art – Street Art Circuit” festival, the walls and gables that are the fruit of that history, now take on a new look and form an open-air gallery that is accessible to all.
I therefore urge every one of my fellow citizens to walk through the streets, at their own pace and as their mood takes them, to take a fresh look at the town.
With its 2,000 years of history, the town of Boulogne-sur-Mer constantly gives thought to its heritage while continuing to develop the “Town of Art and History” concept. Rethinking, reflecting on our city’s visual identity is essential if we are to create a strong image, but that alone will not suffice: today’s challenge consists in developing more widely the positive dimension of the imagination, around an urban centre as a place of art and history. It also consists in creating the opportunity for passing visitors, new incomers and Boulogne-born residents alike to follow an urban art circuit.
This change of appearance will help to propel the Boulonnais region towards a more dynamic image, a place where artistic creativity will find its place in the participation of local residents.
The challenge today is not only to generate a real sense of “living together” and a feeling of collective belonging to our city, but also to help Boulonnais citizens to look on 2,000 years of history as a real and perpetually renewing opportunity.
The arts and culture can certainly contribute to this: they have an important role to play in the construction of an identity and an image (at regional, national and international level). Indeed, culture promotes questioning as to the values of a city and a society. Artists have this power to change the way we look at things, to prompt us to think about our choices and our future.
The urban art circuit of Boulogne-sur-Mer is intended to provoke a fresh look at the city through the initiative, placing emphasis on the street arts in the public space, and this body of work in the town should become an incentive for the development of the city and its reputation… Boulogne-sur-Mer is a city with an incredibly rich history; it is creative and open to the world… twinned with four cities in four countries. All hold promise for a bright future. An artistically productive future is a diversified one.
Many processes of societal reflection have placed emphasis on the impact of cultural environment on the economies, attractiveness and renewal of large cities. At the crossroads between sociology, geography, urban planning and political and economic science, this multidisciplinary debate regards the artist – and innovation more generally – as a driver for the revitalisation of towns and cities, as a new urban resource.