In the Banlieues/Centering the Margin: Oakland/Saint-Denis opens in San Francisco Bay Area

PAST PRESENT FUTURE, Narrative Papercutting and Maps par Oakland International Media Academy (en haut) et portraits par l'artiste Sophie Comtet-Kouyaté dans sa série «Dionysiens Dionysiennes» © Yann MAMBERT


After a successful launch of the exhibition in Paris at the Pavillon de l’Arsenal mid-June, Villa Albertine San Francisco and California Humanities are proud to announce the arrival of the exhibition in the US.

29 July, 2022 (Oakland, CA) — After a successful launch of the exhibition in Paris at the Pavillon de l’Arsenal, Villa Albertine San Francisco and California Humanities are proud to announce the arrival of the exhibition in the US. The exhibit will open at SPUR, San Francisco on August 23 and will be followed by the opening at Oakstop, Oakland on August 25. The two Bay Area venues, one a nonprofit focused on urbanism and public policy, the other a social enterprise dedicated to empowering Oakland’s communities of color, are deeply committed to gathering people together to explore how the arts and humanities can help inform urban development and build more equitable cities.

This exhibition, which is guided by an international advisory committee, highlights the symbolic pivot from the center to the periphery. Embodying similar artistic movements, social struggles, and urban innovations, Oakland, California and Saint-Denis, France are today exerting their influence and inventing solutions to the challenges posed by inequity and the rapid urban development of metropolitan areas.

This initiative aiming at centering the margin will be presented in four venues in France and the US. In California, the exhibition will be hosted at the San Francisco Bay Area Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR) from August 23 to November 30, 2022 and at Oakstop from August 25 to October 30, 2022.

“Bringing together a hybrid corpus of images, archives, models, paintings, artistic installations, objects, and videos, this exhibition explores cultural and inhabitant practices in urban planning. They are composed of places, people, and stories, drawings – far from clichés – portraits of composite urban areas on the peripheries. There is an urgency, today, to recognize and understand the day-to-day experiences of those who live, work and create in our cities.” June Grant, and Laure Gayet, co-curators of the exhibition.

The exhibition is co-produced by Villa Albertine San Francisco and California Humanities; in partnership with SPUR (San Francisco), Oakstop (Oakland), Pavillon de l’Arsenal (Paris), Maison des Sciences de l'Homme Paris Nord (Saint-Denis); with the support of the foundation 836M, Art Explora Foundation, the Institut Français, Bank of the West; in collaboration with the cities of Oakland and Saint-Denis, Périféeries and with the participation of ARTE.

Villa Albertine San Francisco thanks the French American Cultural Society and its major donors, Audrey and Chris Allexandre, Dolly and George Chammas, Melanie Desliens Flint and Pete Flint for their support.


PHOTO: PAST PRESENT FUTURE, Narrative Papercutting and Maps by Oakland International Media Academy (top) and portraits by artist Sophie Comtet-Kouyaté in her series "Dionysiens Dionysiennes" ©Yann MAMBERT

In partnership with

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California Humanities

California Humanities, a partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities, promotes the humanities - focused on ideas, conversation, and learning. The nonprofit organization has offered grants and programs across the state since 1975. For more information, please visit or follow California Humanities on Facebook at @calhumanities. 

Logo Spur

SPUR is a public urban planning organization based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Working on innovative practices to address contemporary urban planning issues, SPUR will present the In the Banlieues exhibition from July 21 to November 30, 2022. For more information, visit

Logo Oakstop

Oakstop is a social enterprise that uses commercial real estate as a platform for economic development and community empowerment by providing workspace, meeting/event space, and creative space to entrepreneurs and communities of color. 

Logo Pavillon de l'Arsenal
Pavillon de l'Arsenal

The Pavillon de l'Arsenal is an information, documentation, and exhibition center for urban planning and architecture in Paris and the Paris metropolitan. The center will present the In the Banlieues exhibition from June 15 to the end of August 2022. For more information, visit the Pavillon de l’Arsenal on Facebook at @PavillonArsenal.

Logo de Maison des Sciences de l’Homme Paris Nord
Maison des Sciences de l’Homme Paris Nord

Fondée à Saint-Denis en 2001, la Maison des Sciences de l’Homme Paris Nord, unité de recherche soutenue par le CNRS et les universités Paris 8 et USPN (UAR 3258), est une structure d’accueil, d’impulsion, de promotion et de diffusion de la recherche en sciences humaines et sociales,  s’appuyant sur la recherche orientée projet. Elle est membre du Réseau National des MSH.

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blink!LAB architecture

We are a research-based architecture and urban design practice.  Our focus is spatial transform through designurban advocacy and technology exploration. Open and collaborative, Blink!LAB is a small multi-disciplinary practice bridging between economics, architectural form, urban design, industrial design, furniture and fabrication.  Because we are designers committed to new forms of knowledge through making, we prefer to situate ourself in the middle of catalytic design- where new challenges and emerging opportunities are addressed through integrated-thinking and design. 

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Légendes urbaines

Parcours artistiques, spectacle vivant, architecture temporaire, graphisme : quelle que soit sa forme, l’art en espace public puise dans les représentations, imaginaires, histoires qui habitent les lieux. Il fabrique de nouvelles situations urbaines et sociales, suscite un nouveau rapport à l’espace, à l’autre, au collectif.

836M Logo

836M is an innovative foundation based in San Francisco that brings contemporary art to life through exhibitions and by supporting emerging and established artists. Beginning in 2021, 836M initiates partnerships in Europe promoting diversity, social inclusion, and dialogue between cultures. A laboratory for artists to explore new creations from Paris to San Francisco, 836M supports the In the Banlieues program in all its dimensions: exhibitions, artist residencies, and cultural exchanges between the two countries. For more information visit the 836M on Facebook at

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Art Explora

The brainchild of entrepreneur and philanthropist Frédéric Jousset, the Art Explora Foundation, which launched in November 2019, aims to close the cultural divide through a series of initiatives in France and abroad, drawing on new technologies and mobile systems open to everyone. It seeks to connect works with their audiences and to support new creation and innovation. The Foundation is co-curating eight residencies for the inaugural season of Villa Albertine.  


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arte logo

ARTE is a public service, cultural, and European media group. 

Within ARTE France Digital Department, the team's aim is to support creativity, originality, and public service innovation for cross-platform and online projects.  

We co-produce linear projects for digital distribution on and social platforms as well as interactive and immersive projects, including video games. 

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Institut français

The Institut français is responsible for France’s international cultural program. Supervised by both the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs and by the Ministry of Culture, it promotes French culture abroad through cultural exchange initiatives. Operating in a space where the arts, intellectual exchange, cultural and social innovation, and linguistic partnerships interact and intersect, it is also responsible for promoting the French language and the sharing of works, artists, and ideas all over the world. The Institut français is one of Villa Albertine's main French partners.


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Saint Denis

The Cities of Oakland (@VisitOakland) and Saint-Denis(@VilleSaintDenis), a partner in the international cooperation program, have been active participants in the In the Banlieues program since its inception in 2018.

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Périféeries 2028

Périféeries 2028 est le nom de la candidature du territoire de Saint-Denis, Plaine Commune et de la Seine-Saint-Denis au titre de Capitale européenne de la culture 2028.

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City of Oakland

The Cities of Oakland (@VisitOakland) and Saint-Denis(@VilleSaintDenis), a partner in the international cooperation program, have been active participants in the In the Banlieues program since its inception in 2018.

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Bank of the West

Bank of the West is a fundamentally different bank – it has the strongest environmental stance of any major US bank, a diverse leadership team, and a global reach and impact through its parent company BNP Paribas. It also has a long tradition of supporting the arts.