Festival Ono’u: A Meeting of Colours

Edouard Pack from our editing team writes about an important festival happening in Tahiti this month and what it means to him.


I didn’t grow up in a particularly cultured household- we didn’t go to museums or exhibitions every weekend nor attend the opera or theatre on Friday nights. But art does exist around us, and learning how to find it and appreciate it under its different forms is enhancing and satisfying to me. Through the tahitian festival Ono’u, I had the chance to discover street art while seeing the face of Papeete being modified progressively year after year.

The name of the festival, “ONO’U”, is inspired by the fusion of the two Tahitian words “ONO” (action of joining one thing to another) and “U” (colors) to express the action of connecting a color to another and “the meeting of colors” in Tahiti through the art of graffiti.

The festival was created in 2014 by Sarah Roopinia, a young Tahitian entrepreneur who discovered Street Art while studying in Paris and Berlin. After four editions and dozens of international and local graffiti artists, Ono’u has become an important event in the world of graffiti. It is also a popular festival that has helped change the somewhat sad face of Papeete, turning the city into an open-air art gallery.


Since 2014, the festival has attracted numerous artists each year, but also a charming crowd; gathering workers stopping by during their break, students coming after school, or simple passerbys. During those ten yearly days of reshaping, the festival has often turned into a seeking game for my friends and I, walking through the city to witness the new pieces that pop up around corners, on the shop walls, or near our high school.

At a first glance, we used to gaze these ten meter high walls with artists lifted in front drawing some abstracts forms. But as days went by, the advancing street art started to take shape, the pieces of the puzzle coming together until the final work is completed. The initiative of the festival was very controversial at the beginning, with the local population being afraid of the normalisation of graffitis that would allow small “gangs” and youngsters to draw freely wherever they feel like.


But one of the announced objectives of Ono’u? To bring a form of well-being, joy and poetry into the everyday lives of Polynesians through art- a gentle escape that takes them out of their sometimes dull immediate environment and routine.

The challenge for the 6th edition of Ono’u, specially created for social housing in partnership with the Polynesian Office of the Habitat, is to transform one thousand square meters into works of art in less than 10 days. Four social residences are involved in this operation which takes place from October 15th to 25th 2019 and will allow the transformation of 7 large social housing wall façades with a selection of 9 international and local artists.

Students residence “Paraita”, by OKUDA & RIVAL

Comparing the festival Ono’u to “un été au Havre”, I am thrilled of the ephemerality of both events, attracting people because of their limited presence, but at the same time leaving the remaining works of past editions which continue to adorn the cities, giving a charm to them.

On the occasion of the celebration of Le Havre’s 500th anniversary in 2017, Jace, a Le Havre-borned street artist called on Thai artist Alex Face to create this collaborative work. The piquant meeting of two emblematic characters of street art, the gouzou and the famous childish character in the costume of rabbit and the third eye.

During the floods in Tahiti on January 22th 2017, one of the graffitis has been photographed flooded, gaining a mystical yet realistic perspective, giving life to the Va’a (Polynesian canoe, ndlr) and the Vahine who navigates it.


The festival Ono’u is first and foremost a place of sharing colorful international artistic exchanges, and more importantly, a place of opening on contemporary urban art and culture in the heart of the South Pacific. I like to think that street art is crystalizing the essence of art, adding a more accessible aspect to it by mixing them with the architecture of the city.


WHAT’S ON? Le Havre – October

October’s here and so is a pick of what the city has to offer this month.

1st- 9th November

Exhibition: Une Éternité au Havre- Camille Rault








Les Nuits de Tourisme

Concert: Requiem for L

5th & 6th

Workshop– MuMa


Concert: Bare Hands

Concert: Abraham Inc.




Jean-Paul Julliand


BDA/AS Halloween Night


Classical Concert at MuMa


Concert: Who’s the Cuban?

Concert: Sadgirl X El Achaya

And then enjoy fall break x

WHAT’S ON? Le Havre – September

As the end of this month approaches, make sure to take some time to visit some of the last cultural events and exhibitions of the summer before the cold and busy months well and truly kick in.

21st-22nd – Journées Européennes du Patrimoine

Many cultural sites not usually open to the public will be open for visits, and other cultural sites will have special events, guided tours, free entry etc. All the info for this is listed here. It’ll be a fantastic opportunity to get out and explore the city! Don’t miss out!


Foul Weather Music Festival

Punk is Not Dead


Herr Krank EP Launch

Dance Battle


Second Hand Instruments and Vinyl Garage Sale

Until the 22nd

Un été au Havre




Campus Festival Université du Havre


Live HipHop


Martin Solveig Concert at 7pm Quai SouthHampton

Foul Weather Music Festival


Les nuits de Tourisme – many museums and galleries around the city will be open in the evening with events. Check some out here and here.


St Vincent Piéton

Until the 29th

Exhibition by Stephan Balkenhol au Portique

Until the 5th Oct

Exhibition “Vivas Nos Queremos” at Le Tetris

Chroniques Havraise photography exhibition


The City With Red Doors

[From the print] Our correspondent relates the experience of an anonymous prostitute on the streets of Kolkata.

Source: Sandra Hoyn

Society has always viewed prostitution as a universal evil and the people associated with it are vessels that harbour an unimaginable form of sin. Society has certain names for us, names that are meant to demean, for the purpose to abuse and shame. People in the sex industry can never escape the tag of their profession, I often feel as if there was a tilak (mark) on my forehead. Everyone I know, knows who I am and what I do. Most of them do not know my name but that does not matter because to them, I am a whore.

I was named after the Hindu Goddess of Wealth, Lakshmi. In the dichotomous framework that India finds itself in, Lakshmi was both a goddess said to bring prosperity and fortune and a prostitute with broken dreams and nowhere to go. Amma, the woman whom I was sold to by my trafficker refused to have one of her ‘girls’ be called after a goddess, whose legs were open like one of Lakshmi’s lotuses. Amma was a pious woman and her tolerance towards blasphemy, freedom, and justice was an incontestable nil.

For years, the only escape, I had was my tiny window with an ineffective mosquito net and broken dreams. I would take refuge in the dream of going back to my village but quickly shook away the thought. I was one of them, a whore, a sex worker. My village would never accept someone with that label.

So, eventually Lakshmi was forgotten and Munni was born. There were three other Munni’s where I worked. They all probably had stories similar to mine but we never asked one another. Our name had no character, no significance, a perfect fit for the profession. A prostitute was a person with no stories, to be used as an object to please and fulfil fantasies. If my client replaced my name with another, it did not affect me. I was an artificial host of the dirty and unmentionable, who was less than the rest and society had chosen her to be the sacrifice of its community.

Source: Bernard Henin

The words used to describe my kind are considered vulgar and offensive in almost every spoken language in the world. From Bengali to English, prostitution has negative connotations. My profession itself was an offence. A whore, slut, prostitute, hooker are words that are meant to bring shame to the person who is called one. Language, often provides, a good insight on society. For instance, the tone and language used for prostitution tells you just what the community feels about it: filthy and immoral. When one joins my former profession, it is near impossible to escape from its clutches. Where do we go? Everywhere we try to run or hide and all they can see is a woman who has lost her morality and ergo her identity. If you were to go to any sex worker their thoughts or educate them on societal labels. They would laugh at how little the world knows. How little the world knows and how much the world hides. The slurs that were thrown at me stopped bothering me after a while because they had helped erase all that made me human.

Source: Prateek Jain

The Sonagachi red-light district in Kolkata, my former home was and still is a favourite amongst men, the kind that always had narcotics with them and greeted us with slurs. It was also the home to men who had large bungalows in the affluent localities of Alipore and Park Street . They were awful, they saw me as nothing more than the products of their sick twisted fantasies. These men were responsible for Sonagachi’s prosperity but refused to acknowledge their acquaintance with the place. Sonagachi is known for a lot of things in the city of Calcutta but it is most certainly not known for its justice. The Government of India has failed miserably to rehabilitate sex workers. The promised voter cards have been given but we can’t do anything. The powerless do not give the powerful power, it is taken away from us. Sonagachi is a label that never goes away. Your identity revolves around it and society only fixates on that.

Yama, the Hindu God of Justice, was always a busy person and rumours spread that he had a bigger disdain for prostitutes than the society we lived in. We never saw him, he had become a myth, a legend, that would help us fall asleep but he never showed up. The police, the ‘protectors of justice’, turned out to be regular customers. So, as quickly as we had thought of Yama, he had given up on us and we were once again alone and still whores.

After all these years, it is very easy to vouch that a life of a prostitute in India can never truly escape the experiences of physical and mental displacement, feeling unrooted, and unlearning and relearning their identities. A prostitute can never forget staring at another sex worker’s eyes because the lifelessness of her eyes mirrors hers. One learns the truly understands society when one works in an industry that feeds on exploitation. Even when you have escaped the label, the profession, you can never forget the language and its meaning. Society and taboo, both do not believe in a fair trial. A name is enough.

This letter is in no means for sympathy but serves as a reflection on Indian society. The pride that we hold so close to us about the balance of the ancient and the modern is nothing more than a nicely wrapped fallacy. Oppression has not been moderated but has merely transformed into other forms, just as bad as its predecessor. We live in our own cocoons that keeps us ignorant to the grave injustice, millions face right outside our doors. We turn our heads away from taboos because of the blasphemous and licentious stamp stuck to it. Taboo is blasphemy and all the greatest truths start as blasphemy.

If you want to learn more about the lives of sex workers in Kolkata, you can give this short video by the Youtube channel Ross Kemp Extreme World.


Edited by Pailey Wang, Philippe Bédos and Maya Shenoy

« Grease », le musical débarque au Havre à la Salle François 1er

[English below] Après «Hairspray», «Mulan» et «Mamma Mia!», c’est l’intemporel «Grease» qu’interprète cette année le club de comédie musicale du campus du Havre de Sciences Po.

Une fois de plus, la troupe de comédie musicale du campus du Havre s’est surpassée pour proposer un spectacle de qualité qui enchantera les petits comme les grands.

La comédie musicale « Grease », introduite à Broadway en 1972 met en scène Danny Zuko, adolescent rebelle au style ténébreux, leader de la bande d’amateurs de cire coiffante et de courses de voitures: les T-Birds, et la douce Sandy Dumbrowski, un brin naïve, dont la pureté et l’innocence font le charme. Tous deux pensent se dire adieu après une romance estivale secrète, mais c’est sans compter sur la récente inscription de Sandy dans le même lycée que Danny, dont la réputation de « bad boy » est à défendre. La comédie musicale de renommée mondiale suit leur relation face aux pressions exercées par leurs pairs à Rydell High.

« Grease » à la Salle François 1er le 13 avril prochain :

C’est dans un véritable marathon que les 53 membres du club (24 acteurs, 24 membres de production et 5 capitaines) se lancèrent en septembre dernier pour la réalisation de cette œuvre qui verra son avènement le 13 avril, à la salle François 1er du Havre. En effet, durant les sept derniers mois, toute l’équipe répéta les quelques 2 actes, 11 scènes et 16 chansons qui composent la comédie musicale. « Les répétitions auront été fatigantes, […] mais la magie réside sur scène, sous les projecteurs, le micro fixé, lorsque tous les efforts sont oubliés et qu’il ne reste que la joie » nous confie Salomé Cassarino, interprète de Rizzo.

Cette longue préparation ne fut pas pas sans sacrifices, nous indique Tatsuaki Tsukuda, qui endosse le rôle de Danny Zuko. « On commença par deux répétitions par semaine, mais au fil du temps, le rythme s’intensifia pour atteindre les cinq-six répétitions par semaine. Il m’a fallu sacrifier quelques heures de sommeil ». Restant positif, celui qui a déjà participé à plusieurs performances musicales ajoute : « Je ne pense pas que cela affecte négativement mes performances scolaires, […] c’est parfois difficile, mais ça n’en reste pas moins excitant ».

Mais que se cache-t-il derrière un tel engouement pour le musical ?

« C’est avant tout parce que c’est le plus grand club du campus ; un sixième y prend part, et la diversité des gens investis couvre l’ensemble du corps étudiant » nous explique Noa Liaudet, la coordinatrice des danses. « Le fait que la performance soit le moment phare d’une année de travail ajoute également à l’attrait du musical. Le CROUS, l’administration ainsi que Vincent Fertey [le directeur du campus, ndlr] s’investissent. Tout le monde attend ce moment ! » ajoute-t-elle.

L’an dernier déjà, les représentations de “Mamma Mia !” avaient enchanté les spectateurs. Dans les couloirs du campus, on entend encore les louanges de ces performances passées et l’engouement pour la comédie musicale qui les accompagne. “C’était très professionnel, j’ai été impressionnée par leur jeu d’acteur et la qualité des chants!” nous confie Inès Benkacem, une étudiante du campus du Havre. “C’est l’une des principales raisons pour laquelle j’y retourne cette année, j’ai hâte de voir un spectacle organisé par des étudiants du campus, […] de découvrir leurs talents!” renchérit-elle.

Les tickets, mis en vente dans le hall principal du campus à partir du 1er Avril vous permettront de plonger dans l’univers pétillant de Rydell High. Alors succombez aux sons riches et entraînants de « You’re the one that I want » ; le rythme électrifié de « Greased Lightning » et les déhanchés endiablés de « We go together » et n’oubliez pas : « GREASE is the word ! ».

[English translation]

“Grease” the musical set to take Salle François 1er by storm

After “Hairspray”, “Mulan” and “Mamma Mia!”, the Musical Theatre Club of Sciences Po, campus du Havre will be performing the timeless “Grease” this April 13th.

Musical club has once again outdone itself, and is set to offer a first class show that gets the whole audience jiving.

“Grease” the musical, introduced on Broadway in 1972, tells the story of young teen rebel Danny Zuko, the leader of the leather jacket-clad T-Birds, a gang of drag race aficionados; and the sweet, yet a little naïve, Sandy Dumbrowski whose beauty and innocence becomes the center of Zuko’s attention. After an intense summer romance, they painfully say their goodbyes, but suddenly find themselves head to head again, when by a sheer stroke of fate Sandy enrolls in the same high school as Danny. The classic bad boy-good girl story narrates their relationship amidst the pressures exerted by their peers at Rydell High.

“Grease” at Salle François 1er this April 13th

It has been a long run of preparation for the 53 members of the club (24 actors, 24 production members and 5 captains) which started in September and will culminate with two showings on April 13th at the Salle Francois 1er. During the past seven months the whole team has poured their hearts into the 2 acts, 11 scenes and 16 songs of the two-hour show. “The rehearsals were tiring, […] but the real magic will be on the stage, under the lights, mic turned on, when all the hard work is forgotten and only joy remains” said Salomé Cassarino, who plays Rizzo.

The long preparation took a toll, as Tatsuaki Tsukada, who stars as Danny, explained: “We started with two practices per week, but with time the pace picked up to reach five to six practices per week. I had to give up a few hours of sleep”. Perhaps drawing on his previous experience in several musical performances, he added: “I don’t think it negatively impacted my academic results, […] it’s sometimes difficult, but that doesn’t make it less exciting”.

But what explains the campus’ passion for musicals?

“It’s first and foremost; because it’s the biggest club of the campus, one in six students are part of it, and the diversity of its members covers the whole student body” Noa Liaudet, the dance captain, pointed out. “The fact that the performance is the apogee of a full year’s work also adds to the great appeal of the musical. The CROUS, the administration, and even [campus director] Vincent Fertey have given us their support. Everybody is waiting for this moment!” she noted.

Last year’s performance of “Mamma Mia!” enchanted spectators. In the halls of the campus, you can still hear praises of the past performances and the fervor that the annual theatre production brings with it. “It was truly professional, I was really impressed by the quality of the acting and singing!” Inès Benkacem, a student of the campus, commented. “It’s one of the main reasons I’m coming back this year. I’m looking forward to seeing a show prepared by the students of the campus, […] and to discover their talents!” she continued.

The tickets, still on sale in the main hall of the campus, will allow you to dive into the thrilling world of Rydell High. So let yourself be swayed by the catchy tunes of “You’re the one That I Want”; the electrifying rhythm of “Greased Lightning” and the joyous tune of “We Go Together” and don’t forget: “GREASE is the word!”

Edits and translation by Philippe Bédos & Pailey Wang