Culture and Fashion


With a budget of 90 million Euros, 40 constructions site, and 97 associated towns over more than 4,600 square kilometers, Marseille Provence 2013 is readying to pounce. Let’s take a look at what’s in store…

By Elodie Liénard - Photos MP 2013 - May 30, 2012

On September 16 2008, Marseille-Provence was designated European Capital of Culture 2013 by a European jury. But everything had started a year and a half earlier with the preparation of the Candidature File. Indeed it’s a long and involved project that will soon crystallize into 80 exhibitions, and 300 theatre, dance, music and street theatre events… Dreamt up by Mélina Mercouri and Jack Lang in 1985, the concept of European Culture Capital has always had for goal to create links between people. For that matter, the main theme behind the project Marseille Provence 2013 – developed by Bernard Latarjet – is the meeting of Europe and the Mediterranean

or more poetically “Sharing the South” (Le Partage des midis).

The majority of the Bouches-du-Rhône department – with over 100 associated towns, including of course Arles, Aix-en-Provence and Marseille and almost 1.7 million inhabitants – is concerned by this full year of cultural events, which is difficult to summarize given how wide ranging it is. All artistic categories will be represented: theatre, music, literature, visual arts, circus, cinema, street theatre, cooking… We will also be able to enjoy very original artistic installations, like the “Pop-Up House” by Gilles Desplanques, an ephemeral architecture that will graft on to the façade of a building like pop-up windows on our computers.

Grandes Carioles” or big carts run by a cook and an artist will criss-cross the city introducing street food, the airplanes of the French Air Force will be directed in a “gravity-free choreography” by Kitsou Dubois…

Marseille Provence 2013 will also create artist residencies that will be – in the context of the “Quartiers Créatifs” program - associated with residents of a neighbourhood with the goal of completing an artistic project.

MuCEM, architecture Rudy Ricciotti © Christophe Fouin



Marseille Provence 2013

Des « Grandes Carioles » dirigées par un cuisinier et un plasticien sillonneront la ville pour faire découvrir la cuisine de rue, les avions de la Patrouille de France seront dirigés dans une « chorégraphie de l’apesanteur » par Kitsou Dubois…

Marseille Provence 2013 mettra également en place des résidences d’artistes qui seront – dans le cadre du programme « Quartiers Créatifs » associés aux habitants d’un quartier pour mener à bien un projet artistique.

The Cultural Capital year will also see spectacular construction projects, of which the most emblematic, le MuCEM – the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations – should open in May 2013. And finally, one can’t talk about Marseille-Provence 2013 without talking about the “Off”, so creative and audacious that it deserves the spotlight by itself. We’ll be telling you more about that very soon…


Alea 4 sauts© Agnès Mellon


Digue du large © Akram Belaid


Quartiers créatifs © Sylvain Duffard


FRAC © Kengo Kuma