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The XIX century building that now hosts Maison des Metallos (MdM)  was a former music instruments factory, and then became headquarters of the Union Fraternelle des Métallos, a situation that lasted for 60 years and that left an important legacy in terms of place identity. Since the Union left in 1997, the building was run by a committee of inhabitants of the neighbourhood, who occupied it because they felt it was part of local identity. They were concerned about the forthcoming gentrification, which was starting at that time in the former working class neighbourhood. This sense of belonging of the local community had an important role in pushing the municipality of Paris to buy the venue, but also created at first some tension with the occupants as the city decided to convert it in a cultural venue run by an appointed director, that opened in 2007. So the first audience “issue” that MdM had to face, was to find the way to involve and resolve this tension. The relationship with the associations and former occupants took time to be reconstructed, but it’s today an important part of the identity of MdM and of its relation with the neighbourhood.


Maison des Metallos Paris, France

The XIX century building that now hosts Maison des Metallos (MdM)  was a former music instruments factory, and then became headquarters of the Union Fraternelle des Métallos, a situation that lasted for 60 years and that left an important legacy in terms of place identity. Since the Union left in 1997, the building was run by a committee of inhabitants of the neighbourhood, who occupied it because they felt it was part of local identity. They were concerned about the forthcoming gentrification, which was starting at that time in the former working class neighbourhood. This sense of belonging of the local community had an important role in pushing the municipality of Paris to buy the venue, but also created at first some tension with the occupants as the city decided to convert it in a cultural venue run by an appointed director, that opened in 2007. So the first audience “issue” that MdM had to face, was to find the way to involve and resolve this tension. The relationship with the associations and former occupants took time to be reconstructed, but it’s today an important part of the identity of MdM and of its relation with the neighbourhood.

 

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