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Traversées-Travessias – Penser l’architecture à l’heure du confinement
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Traversées-Travessias – Perspectives on architecture in a time of lockdown

Between 28 September and 28 October 2020, over 200 French and Brazilian participants responded to the call for contributions launched as part of the Traversées-Travessias competition. The aim was to take a creative look at the unprecedented experience of lockdown, the hardships it represented and its impact on our perception of the places we inhabit on a daily basis.

Updated on 03/02/2021

2 min

The Traversées-Travessias competition was proposing two themes, the first to all volunteers, the second to French and Brazilian architecture and urban planning students. 147 contributions were received from the general public and 56 from students, the majority of them from Brazilians.

A jury was convened in November featuring the architect Mauro Munhoz and the Franco-Brazilian writer Pauline Alphen. It selected around twenty texts that were particularly perceptive and illuminating, offering a wide variety of perspectives from very different towns and cities across France and Brazil, in order to address the experience of lockdown and consider what housing in the wake of the pandemic might represent. Two winners from the “general public” category were published in the catalogue of the FLIP (Paraty International Literary Festival, one of Brazil’s top festivals) and two “student” winners won a trip to the partner country.

The work of the French and Brazilian winners was published on a Franco-Brazilian bilingual online platform, created specifically as part of Novembre Numérique, as well as in a bilingual journal. The platform is designed both as a space for publication and for reflection, with selected texts and other content.

Discussions are further enriched by interviews conducted with three architects from either side of the Atlantic (Pauline Marchetti and Jacques Ferrier in France and Pedro Varella in Brazil). An audio project, presented in the form of capsules, allows us to listen to the voices behind the accounts and open up new potential avenues for fiction.

The competition was concluded with an online debate as part of the FLIP, held on 5 December 2020. As well as the two winners, it featured French and Brazilian architects (Pauline Marchetti, Pedro Varella, Francesco Perrotta-Bosch), the writer Jean-Christophe Bailly and Monique Eleb, the psycho-sociologist specialising in housing.

Access the debate (in Portuguese only)

The Institut français and the competition

The Traversées-Travessias competition was organised by the French Embassy in Brazil and Campus France Brasil, in partnership with the FLIP (Paraty International Literary Festival) and the French multidisciplinary collective 614, with the support of the Institut français.

The Traversées-Travessias online platform was created as part of Novembre Numérique, the digital cultures festival run by the Institut français.

Find out more about Novembre Numérique 

L'institut français, LAB