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Jean-Marie Petitclerc, LIVING IN THE GHETTO

Documentary « LIVING IN THE GHETTO »

A documentary film directed by Jean-Baptiste Martin

written by Marie Mitterrand

Coproduction with the french TV PUBLIC SENAT - 53 minutes (2006)

Broadcasts on the TV channel PUBLIC SENAT.

To Order a DVD, in French

Click to enlarge
Jean-Marie Petitclerc, street teacher, sailing with teeagers.


The explosive situation in the poor and working-class areas of the French suburbs made the front pages in the autumn of 2006, as it did October 2005 and earlier.  Everyone who lives and works in these districts knows that the current calm is fragile and illusory.  But how did we get there?
Experts on the problems of the French suburbs explain and decode the daily life of young people living in the projects, explaining with passion their experiences as well as their recommendations:
*  Joelle Bordet, psychologist and sociologist whose expertise lies in the domain of poor and working-class districts;
*  Pierre Cardo, mayor of Chantelooup-les-Vignes (Yvelines), the location of the “Noé” project which houses 6,000 persons living near the poverty level;
*  Patrick Bertin, Professor of City Planning, specialist in large urban housing developments; and finally
*  Jean-Marie Petitclerc, the famous mediator and street teacher
Jean-Marie Petitclerc, a writer, educator, and for over twenty years a priest of the Order of Salesians of Don Bosco, leads the Valdocco association, which runs a variety of programs for troubled children and teenagers in the working class districts of the Parisian suburb of Argenteuil and of the greater Lyon area (Lyon’s 5th arrondissement and Vaulx-en-Velin).  Jean-Marie Petitclerc is a member of the National Council of Cities and of ANRU, the National Agency for Urban Renovation.
Grappling with the question of violence among young people on a daily basis, Jean-Marie Petitclerc describes his practical experience on the ground, and outlines the keys to the success of Valdocco’s programs:
-->   to recognize the particular intellectual, emotional and athletic capacity of each youth, so that he or she can be encouraged in an area in which he or she will succeed and gain self-confidence;
-->  to group youths together according to their interests, in order to encourage better socialisation, and also to channel their violence, as, for example, in contact sports;
-->   to encourage young people to expand their social and geographic horizons, to help them to open themselves up to other worlds, outside their housing project; and
-->   to help teenagers with their schoolwork, in order to encourage them not to drop out of school.

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Sailing in Britanny for the youngs of the Valdocco.

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Jean-Marie Petitclerc in front of a train station in Paris to speak about mobility.

Pierre Cardo, mayor of Chanteloup-les-Vignes.

Joelle Bordet, psycho-sociologue.

Patrick Bertin, urbanism teacher

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