6 oct 2021

A giant shisha bar is setting up in Pantin this weekend

On October 8, 9 and 10, the festival “Les chichas de la pensée”  will take place at the Magasins Généraux in Pantin. Within the building,  a former disused factory in the northern suburbs of Paris that became a place of multidisciplinary experimentation in 2016, the event will offer free debates, workshops, masterclasses and screenings for a weekend. Organized around decolonial issues, the festival is a celebration of a new generation of artists and thinkers, born in the 80s and 90s.

© Dünya

A giant and ephemeral shisha bar is coming this weekend to the Magasins Généraux. On 8, 9 and 10 October, the writer Medhi Meklat and the journalist Badroudine Saïd Abdallah, both born in 1992, are organising a festival in the former industrial building located in Pantin,  on the banks of the Canal de l’Ourcq by transforming the artistic center into a real shisha bar where it will be possible to smoke hookah while screenings, debates, conferences and performances take place. A place of artistic experimentation since 2016, the Magasins Généraux hosts exhibitions and residencies with a program as rich as it is eclectic, just like this new event. But before being a festival, “Les Chichas de la pensée” was a podcast launched in 2017 by Medhi Meklat and Badroudine Saïd Abdallah. Every month,  accompanied by residents of Clichy-sous-Bois or Montfermeuil, the two men welcomed artists and researchers such as the Franco-Algerian visual artist Neïl Beloufa or the French director Ladj Ly (Les Misérables, 2019). Celebrating a whole young generation that is taking up decolonial issues, the festival, designed as an extension of the podcast,  will offer workshops, debates and performances for free for a weekend.


This program will honor the Franco-Senegalese director Mati Diop, who will return during a masterclass on several of her films including Atlantics, Grand Prix of the Cannes Film Festival in 2019. Through her melancholic cinema, the young woman evokes both sub-Saharan migrations and the idleness of African youth. A series of performances will punctuate the festival, including one by theyoung artist Sara Sadik. Inspired by the “beurcore” culture, the Marseillaise plays with clichés about the culture of the youth of working-class neighborhoods in its viral videos. As for the videographer Seumboy Vrainom:€, he will participate, along with photographers Mona Varichon and Silina Syan, in workshops accessible to all. Under the name Histoires Crépues, this young man born in Gennevilliers offers videos explaining the colonial history of France. On the literary side , a group of writers is invited to intervene during the festival during readings and debates. The novelist Faïza Guène, whose novels (La discretion, 2020) explore the identity of French people of immigrant origin, will also be there.



Les Chichas de la pensée, October 8, 9 and 10 at the Magasins Généraux, Pantin.