Project background : The Office of Nothing-ism (a pun resulting from the French word “rien” = “nothing” as opposed to “tout” = “all” in “Office of Tou-rism”) is an initiative conceived within the framework of Mediactivism, a European project aimed at bringing together young people (including activists and journalists) around right to the city issues.
During the first stage of the project that took place in November 2019 to produce a reflection on these questions and imagine forms of media campaign, a group of young activists imagined this project of citizen counter-labelling. Conceived during a roundtable discussion around gentrification and the discourse on the city produced by institutions and the market, the idea is to deconstruct this territorial marketing approach and to give another vision, based on the representations and experiences of the inhabitants. This critical discourse focuses on 3 main themes: poor housing, air pollution and video surveillance.
Although the current context poses a considerable challenge for the urban activist fabric, the vibrant associative life of Marseille does not stop, and neither does the desire of young people to participate in it.
In a situation of second confinement, then curfew, the Office of Nothingism had to adapt the format of its activities, but it was able to introduce itself to the citizens of Marseille.
Its online inauguration was marked by the launch of a series of thematic talk shows that involved the participation of several experts and activists engaged in relevant issues related to the Right to the City in Marseille : “Safe City” projects and public space (1), health impacts of air pollution (2) and the proliferation of inadequate housing (3).
These online meetings gathered many specialists and members of collectives, giving the opportunity both to the speakers and to the young participants to share knowledge and establish a real dialogue on these questions.
On this occasion, the Office of Nothingism could make itself digitally known throughout the city and make a tangible connection with a community of committed citizens.
Beyond the local level, the team had also the chance to present the project across Europe. In the presence of the european partners of Mediactivism and young people, and in the company of Les Têtes de l’Art team, they facilitated the second of a series of online MIRO workshops on february 25th.
During this meeting, the international participants could discover how the project has been shaped in Marseille, receive interesting insights about Right to the City issues and especially share their thoughts and perceptions from their own contexts and personal experiences
In the meantime, the Office also asserts its presence in the internet community by disseminating different media creations on Right to the City issues.
Follow the Office of Nothingism to discover its content :