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EACEA National Policies Platform


8. Creativity and Culture

8.9 Enhancing social inclusion through culture

Last update: 28 November 2023
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  1. Fostering equality and young people involvement through cultural activities
  2. Combating discrimination and poverty through cultural activities

Fostering equality and young people involvement through cultural activities


Democratising participation in culture is a key principle of the Ministry of Culture's policies which, through partnerships and funding for associations, helps to reduce the cultural access inequalities facing young people in difficult social circumstances.

 Cultural participation of young offenders under the Judicial Protection of Youth

Since 2009, together with the Ministry of Culture, the Minister of Justice has undertaken cultural and artistic initiatives in PJJ - Judicial Youth Protection (Protection judiciaire de la jeunesse) institutions, on the basis of an agreement protocol (30 March 2009) bolstering the partnership between the two institutions. This was updated with the "circular of 3 May 2012 on the implementation of cultural projects for prisoners and minors under protection". The young prisoners are 16-25 year olds subject to a restriction or deprivation of freedom measure in a penal institution.

The measures carried out in this context also set out to promote citizenship and respect for oneself and others. A great many projects all over France, including in its overseas territories, on a variety of themes (such as films, the plastic arts or theatre for example) have been rolled out.

Some examples include:

Parcours image Des Cinés, la vie !

Since 2006, young people living in the Parisian area or overseas, in the company of PJJ - Judicial Youth Protection (Protection judiciaire de la jeunesse) and film professionals get to attend workshops and watch a selection of short films on a given theme, talk about them and vote for the film of their choiceA ceremony is then organised at the Cinémathèque française so as to reward the director of the youngsters’ favourite short film. 

Alongside other stakeholders, the CNC - National Cinema Centre (centre national de la cinématographie), the Passeurs d'images association, the Directorate of Judicial Protection of Youth (PJJ) of the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Culture are involved in this project, which encourages the young participants to debate the societal issues and themes touched on in the films (relationships within the family, at work, with others, with one’s own body, adolescence, or violence for example).

For the 2019-2020 edition, a selection of 12 short films abouth the theme "Geography (s)" will be screened and analyzed by young people. The prize will be awarded to the director of the winning film during a ceremony  in 2020 at the Cinémathèque française in Paris.


Bulles en fureur

Since 1992, the annual operation “Bulles en fureur” has got youngsters and professionals of judicial protection and documentation alike thinking about comics, writing and imagery.This is a literary prize awarded by adolescents during the Angoulême international comic festival. At the same time,  adolescents have the possibility to compete for the "young designers" (jeunes créateurs) prize by coming up with an artistic creation inspired by the selected comics.

The purpose of this project is to:

  • "(Re)acquaint youngsters with the enjoyment of reading;
  • Develop reading and proficiency in the written and spoken language;
  • Spark discussion around questions to do with health, citizenship and otherness;
  • Encourage youngsters to share their opinion on a work, compare it with others, hone their critical thinking and make choices;
  • Combat illiteracy.”

This national event is promoted by the inter-regional director of judicial protection of the region Grand-Ouest in partnership with the City of Rennes, the International City of Comics and Image (CIBDI) of Angoulême and the regional directorates of cultural affairs (DRAC) of the Ministry of Culture as well as library and bookseller networks.


Combating discrimination and poverty through cultural activities


A whole host of initiatives aimed at combating inequalities are conducted by stakeholders actively involved in promoting cultural youth policies, the ministries, their departments and cultural institutions (private or public), jointly with the associations and social structures.


Public initiatives (non-exhaustive list)

"A day off at Versailles" (Une journée de vacances à Versailles)

Public heritage institutions put on their own cultural access schemes for people from all walks of life, in keeping with the recommendations of the Ministry of Culture and its cultural development policy.

For example, the public institution of the Versailles castle, with the sponsor Groupe Emerige, created in 2016 the « one day in Versailles » campaign, with a 2022 edition that welcomed 5,000 young people aged from 6 to 13 years-old.

This action is an initiative giving Parisian children who don’t get to go on holiday the opportunity to visit Château de Versailles in a special and altogether unprecedented way: actors in period dress, storytellers and mediators facilitate their visit. The children come face to face with heritage but also the contemporary showpieces in the Château. Based on a partnership with the holiday clubs across the Parisian municipalities.


"Concerts de poche"

Travelling concerts with awareness-raising workshops to begin with are organised for pupils from deprived school neighbourhoods or from rural areas. This initiative is run by the association "Les Concerts de Poche" together with the Ministry of National Education, with support from the DRACs - Regional Departments of Cultural Affairs (Directions régionales des affaires culturelles).


The mission "Community living" (Vivre ensemble)

Since 2003 the Ministry of Culture has had a "Community living" (Vivre ensemble) mission for which 32 cultural institutions have clubbed together to reach out to groups of people who have little experience of cultural institutions. The aim is to turn culture into a tool for tackling exclusion, thereby playing a role in cultural democratisation.

To benefit the most vulnerable people (in social terms), the mission’s institutions have chosen to work with intermediaries, who may be volunteers (bénévoles), social workers, educators or facilitators.

This mission achieves its aims by:

  • Appointing a correspondent in each institution who forges personalised ties with these intermediaries,
  • Hosting free discovery, awareness and training sessions,
  • Carrying out appropriate mediation,
  • Distributing visit preparatory and help guides,
  • Adjusting rates.

The institutions and intermediaries meet at regular intervals to work on common subjects. They have particularly drawn up a joint charter for improving access to cultural institutions. Every year, they get together at a forum where they can chat and define new project priorities.


Associative initiative

Financed by the Ministry of Culture, Culture du Cœur works in favour of the cultural social and professional inclusion of people who are in socially vulnerable situations or excluded from society, by advocating the sharing of “common goods”: culture, sport and recreation.

What Culture du cœur aims to do is: enhance access for vulnerable people to cultural, sporting and recreational amenities; with culture seen as a means for thriving on a personal level and becoming better integrated socially and professionally.

The association has a foothold all over France and relies on more than 5,000 cultural and sporting partners who cater for people on the sidelines by extending them invitations and/or offering awareness-raising and training actions: tours, encounters, debates and specific workshops for example.According to the association, some 600,000 invitations are up for grabs nationwide.