This project involves the students of the class 1°L who participate in the extra English class called LVA (langue vivante approfondie). The project consisted of the students working in groups and writing the biography of famous Afro-American musicians dating back to 1910. The project was to show the progress of the popularity of African American musicians and also the progress of their music. We talked from people like James Brown, Louis Armstrong, and Ella Fitzgerald to more recent international icons such as Michael Jackson, Rihanna and Beyoncé.
What is the meaning behind the name of the exhibition?
Well, the students had seen a documentary on Arte and wanted to show the evolution. The title referred to the chains of the Afro-American slaves and to the gold chains of rappers nowadays.
Where did you find the idea to do this project?
I knew about their TPE and I wanted to give additional support that they could use. And also because I like black people’s music too.
How long did it take to make it with the students?
It took too long. It was meant to last 3 to 4 weeks but instead it lasted around 2 months.
What is the goal of the exhibition?
It was firstly to educate people about black musicians. And also to prove to the public, that the students understood and did everything in English. And also teenagers will be able to see that the Black music that they listen to, like for example, Rihanna, can have deep roots and meanings.
Why is this an interesting topic?
I think that segregation is ALWAYS an interesting topic because it’s a never ending fight. Everybody in the day to day life has a role to play against racism and even more now since Trump’s election.
Did the students seemed interested?
Personally at the very beginning it was interesting but it lasted for a long time so it got a little tiring.
How was the work organized? And was it efficient?
Firstly, we studied a documentary together. Then the students did research on Black musicians. We then selected a few musicians, who were chosen, so the students could write their biography. And lastly they set up the exhibition. It was efficient but quite time consuming.
Is it a new project? And if so will you do it again next year?
Yes, it was a new idea to make an exhibition. I could, but it will be better organized next time and I’ll do it on another topic.
Was the feedback of the exhibition positive or negative?
Not a lot of feedback, but from the few people they said it was good, clean and simple.
A bonus : Interview with a student
Did you enjoy working on this project?
Yes because it was interesting to discover afro-American musicians in the last century. Our TPE (travaux personnels encadrées) revolves around Jazz and it’s also a class project.
Did it help to teach you how to work in groups?
The work was given out equally to each student and each groups had to work together in order to finish the exhibition on time. So it did help us get better in communicating with each other in order to work efficiently.
Did you learn about new artists?
I didn’t know a lot in details about some of these artists lives such as James Brown and Ella Fitzgerald. So I got to understand the meaning behind why they wrote some of their most famous songs.
Amélie Gallou, Jade Reynolds-Brown, 1L, AP presse