What is Peuple et Culture ?

Its origins

During the Resistance against the Nazi occupation, in the Vercors maquis, a small group of people, notably Joffre Dumazedier and Benigno Cacèrés, created "flying teams" that went from maquis to maquis to train young Resistance fighters, most of whom were workers and peasants.

The aim was simple: the resistance fighters had to learn how to handle weapons, but they also had to keep thinking and learning. Once peace had returned, the country would have to be rebuilt with people who had thought things through and were trained.

When the war ended, Peuple et Culture was created, in 1945.

From the outset, the Peuple et Culture project set itself the challenge, through culture, art and education using éducation populaire (non-formal education) methods, of trying to overcome the barriers of social and cultural inequality through emancipation, social advancement and training.

The Peuple et Culture network is independent of all political parties and religious denominations. Peuple et Culture develops non-formal education approaches that encourage critical education, autonomy, cultural and intercultural openness, the transmission of knowledge, a taste for expression and collective action, creativity and living together while respecting cultural rights.

Morgane Masterman
Morgane Masterman

As a network of thought and action, Peuple et Culture is characterised by the coexistence of three fundamental dimensions:

  • territorial, because a non-formal education action is conceived and developed as close as possible to the realities of a local territory and the people who run it,
  • thematic, because while preserving a resolutely cross-cutting approach, non-formal education develops specific approaches, partnerships and know-how according to its areas of expression and fields of intervention,
  • activist, because Peuple et Culture's project is rooted in a personal commitment to regularly re-reading its history, in direct reference to the present and in a forward-looking vision of the future of non-formal education and society.

The notion of experimentation is at the heart of our associative project. This implies a network on a human scale and autonomy from institutions. This autonomy also enables us to participate, as far as possible, in the co-construction of public policies.

Intercultural education

The detours and new perspectives provoked by the journey helps us to better perceive our own realities and identities. But the process is only meaningful if it is not closed. Rediscovered identities are a new point of departure.

Peuple et Culture's approach is more like an intercultural process that seeks to encourage dialogue and mutual enrichment between identities that are themselves plural. It presupposes a process that inevitably involves communication, proximity and direct exchange: displacement, openness to others, work on the codes, signs, preconceptions, prejudices and categorisation systems that govern us.

Traveling is an educational tool that can be used to create opportunities to meet others. Intercultural meeting opportunitys involve both cultural belonging and the social situation of individuals. These two dimensions, in constant interaction, need to be taken into account in order to overcome social divisions and respect cultural diversity, in particular by encouraging modes of expression and creation.

The journey is a privileged sequence of socialisation and training that constantly provokes movement.

In concrete terms

The network Peuple et Culture sets up intercultural exchange cycles for young people and professionals.

The idea is to bring together a group of people from two or three countries for a one-week residential stay, with the aim to give them an intercultural experience. Reciprocity is the guiding principle behind our exchanges. Translation is used systematically, so that each language is valued. No linguistic knowledge is therefore required.

Reciprocity also applies to the way exchanges are organised, with a Franco-German cycle corresponding to two exchanges, one in France and one in Germany. Three exchanges if the cycle is trilateral. The aim is for each participant to have the experience of traveling once and hosting once. 

The topic can be wide-ranging. It is defined with the project partners from the different countries involved. So we always design projects from several perspectives. Peuple et Culture works in two different ways when it comes to setting up groups: either by recruiting the participants itself with a free call for participation at national level, or by joining forces with a local organisation that has a group of young people (school, community centre, civic service organisation, etc.).

The associations of Peuple et Culture network in this field

  • IPEICC, Montpellier
  • Peuple et Culture Gard, Nîmes
  • Peuple et Culture Puy-de-Dôme, Clermont-Ferrand
  • Union Peuple et Culture, Paris
  • Strollad La Obra, Pont-Croix