Mamadou chose the word « Soudés » (united / welded in french).
Mamadou is 19 years old and lives in La Fauconnière, a typical French council estate in the low income suburbs North of Paris. The neighbourhood was built in the 60s and is home today to thousands of families, of which a majority have immigrated from North Africa, Sub-saharan Africa and the Middle East.
Mamadou, whose parents came from Mali, chose this word to describe the feeling of his diverse yet united neighbourhood.
As usual I painted the mural freestyle without a plan or any form of sketch. I painted it in the heart estate, making references to the neighbourhood in the patterns. The black and white chiseled zigzags represent the buildings from above, the green equilateral triangles represent the shape of the neighbourhood and the blue waves are for the nearby swimming pool which gives the name « square des sports » to that specific location in the estate.
I was thrilled to be able to work on « Share The Word Project » in a French estate. I’ve been painting the words of people who I feel are ignored since 2013, self-funding murals in slums and refugee camps around the world. But for a huge mural like this one, self funding was never an option, and I want thank Le Grand Palais in Paris for giving me the opportunity to paint Mamadou’s word as part of their « Histoires d’art à Gonesse » project.
Big thank you to Vanessa, Martin and Margaux for organising this! Thank you to the owner of the building I3F and Ville de Gonesse ! And of course thank you the inhabitants for being so generous with me!