As part of the project to convert the abbey of Clairvaux, while the central house is preparing to permanently close its doors, and in order to enhance the redeployment of the site while proposing a strengthened artistic presence in the territory in 2023, The DRAC Grand Est is launching a call for photo residency on the site of Clairvaux, its inhabitants, and the actors of the territory.

Presentation of the device

What is the photographic residence at the Clairvaux Abbey?

Anticipating the closure of the central house, the State, owner of the former abbey of Clairvaux, wishes an economic, tourist and cultural renaissance for this site, leaving to operators (public or private) the possibility to propose adapted projects. By September 2023, the project leader selected under a call for expressions of interest and authorised to occupy the domain will be known.

For a virtual tour of Clairvaux, go here:

Programmed as part of an action of prefiguration before the implementation of a new program of cultural development with national influence for the site of Clairvaux, this call for artistic residency aims to enhance the redeployment of the site while proposing a strengthened artistic presence in the territory in 2023.

The call for residence will be part of the DRAC Grand East Cultural Summer and the Ministry of Culture and will benefit from the communication dedicated to this event.

Residency will run from June 2023 to early October 2023:

  • May: a week of site identification in order to meet the partners of the project and the actors of the territory previously identified and to develop the mediation program of the residence (identification of possible restitution sites in addition to the main site of Clairvaux).
  • June to August: time to create and implement mediation actions.
  • September/October: post-production and restitution of the residence.

Objectives of the approach

The creative residence aims to produce a photographic report of the site of the Clairvaux Abbey as well as portraits of inhabitants and actors of the territory.

Witness to the different eras it has passed through, the site of Clairvaux reflects the two worlds that have succeeded, monastic and prison. Located inside a fencing wall, with a total area of 320,680 m² of which approximately 50,000 m² of built elements, it includes 35 buildings protected as historical monuments.

The proposal:

  • will be part of an approach involving the public, residents and stakeholders of the local area;
  • include an arts and cultural education project, particularly during the summer and during the month of September (meetings, sharing of experiences, participatory workshops);
  • take into account the particularities of the site, in order to understand its historical, heritage, geographical and territorial specificities in particular the historical dimension in order to propose a reading of the site in its internal component (life of the site, heritage, architectural dimension) and its external component (representation, industrial context of the valley);
  • can integrate a mobile solution to meet the inhabitants and promote ownership of the project.

Am I concerned by this approach?


A question?

If you have any questions about the photographic residence at the Clairvaux Abbey, please contact:

Pascale Valentin Bemmert
Advisor for Cultural and Territorial Action


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