Chayma Drira

Freelance journalist

June 2022

Portrait Chayma Drira


  • Literature
  • Cities
  • Chicago
"What I would like to offer during this residency is a series of sound interviews, where I would meet these social actors fighting against the lack of awareness of the destroyed places where they lived. "

I am a Ph.D. student at NYU. I previously studied at the Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences-Po). My research focuses on the urban inequalities caused by the expansion of the Grand Paris project into Seine-Saint-Denis. For the past two and a half years, I’ve been conducting a monograph in the housing project where I grew up, the Cité des 4 000 in La Courneuve. I recorded the voices of the residents of my building as part of an audio documentary on the memory of housing estates, in light of their gradual disappearance from the Paris urban landscape, as part of urban renewal policies. I have also been involved in a transatlantic dialogue with Henry Shah.


We met when he was working as an advocacy officer at an organization that focuses on inner-city poverty in Chicago. We decided to co-author a series of articles comparing the systemic inequalities in these two areas. These chronicles appeared in a variety of outlets, including the Bondy Blog, Libération, Open Democracy, and Politis. They made even more sense after the death of George Floyd, which sparked a global outcry decrying the injustices endured by the residents of these disadvantaged neighborhoods.


We will be exploring these comparisons further as part of an essay we are writing, to be published next fall by Éditions Amsterdam.


In partnership with

atelier medics logo
Ateliers Médicis

Located in Clichy-sous-Bois and Montfermeil, in the Seine-Saint-Denis department, the Ateliers Médicis endeavors to promote new and diverse artistic voices. Its artistic residencies, open to artists working in any artistic field, support the creation of works conceived in collaboration with French territories and fosters encounters between artists and inhabitants.


Learn more

6018|North in Chicago

Founded in May 2011, 6018North is an artist-centered, sustainable, nonprofit platform and venue for innovative art and culture. Located at 6018 North Kenmore in Chicago’s Edgewater neighborhood, 6018 North encourages artists to collaborate and reconfigure its intimate space. This intimacy allows artists and audiences to connect in transformative ways. At home and away in other non-traditional spaces, 6018North’s site-specific exhibitions and events include artists performing, creating installations, and directing communal engagement events. 
Learn more