Dans les murs de la Casbah

Winner of the MEDEA Award for Professionally Produced Educational Media 2013

MEDEA Award Winner 2013

"Dans les Murs de la Casbah" (Inside the Casbah walls) is a web documentary developed by Université Rennes 2, France, under the guidance of Céline Dréan.

This web documentary shows to the public the urban problems of modern Algeria. The Casbah, symbol of the Algerian identity, is dying slowly from a complex renovation and glaring social emergency.

The web documentary "Dans les Murs de la Casbah" offers two distinct parts which are interconnected. The first part is a visual exploration of the Algerian Casbah: you can look around people's homes, walk on the soccer pitch, go into the library, cross rooftops. You really meet people and bit by bit you discover this very special part of Algiers. The second and scientific part consists of videos that can be found along the exploratory path that brings the visitor through the Casbah. Each visitor to the site can choose if they want a more detailed scientific explanation or preferto discover the place as an observer.

The showcase video of Dans les murs de la Casbah including an interview with Céline Dréan.

The videos are offered in the French and Arabic languages, with variations according to the function of individuals (the Immam expresses himself in a near classic Arab, young people do not use the same words as the former casbadjis). This resource offers a new and interactive exploration of the legendary district of Algiers. The work relies on the Algerian and Rennes university research in urban sociolinguistics. The use of history, urbanism and social geography is used to understand the background. Different topics are covered: language, history, heritage and planning, identity, role of women.


What the judges said

The judges described this entry as "This touching project is really well done, you can see the different aspects of the history of the city of Algiers through videos from local people who are telling their stories about the city. These testimonies show a different point of view of the history of the city and reflect on the sociocultural aspect of the project. A very rich resource, allowing engagement along a range of trajectories. It is very comprehensive, with insightful commentary that is combined with open exploratory pathways."

About the creation of Dans les murs de la Casbah

Screenshot of Dans les murs de la Casbah


This web documentary 'Dans les murs de la Casbah' is a project that originated during a meeting with the Laboratory of Urban Sociolinguistics at the University Rennes 2. Urban Sociolinguistics is the science that deals with how inhabitants describe their habitat in words, how people talk about the place where they live.

Screenshot of Dans les murs de la Casbah


Céline Dréan about the making of the web documentary "First we wanted to make a movie. But when we were in Algeria we noticed that the Casbah was very well suited for a more labyrinthine dimension, a work about the space and the de-linearisation of content. The idea was to portray the neighbourhood through the eyes of the inhabitants, by meeting the people living there. But the project should also be available for students and researchers who study the Casbah and study how to carry out urban sociolinguistics. The entire executive production was done by the audio visual department of the University of Rennes 2, which is one of the largest audio visual services of all French universities. We certainly could not have done this without them."

Screenshot of Dans les murs de la Casbah


The producers thought it would be interesting to try and recreate this experience of visiting a place for the first time for the web surfer. So, every time you watch a video, you will first see some pictures to give you an impression as if you are walking down the alleys. The specific creation of a documentary for the web offers new opportunities for development and dissemination of valorisation projects. The writing of multimedia allows the creation of programs conceived to transmit knowledge at several levels of reading. Aimed at both the general public and educational communities (school teachers, students, young researchers, knowledge sources such as museums etc..), this web documentary about life within the Casbah walls shows how film media can be used to enhance educational activities.

About Céline Dréan

Céline Dréan

Céline Dréan

Born in Trappes in 1975. Céline Dréan receives a Masters in cinematography, while participating in the organization of the Travelling Film Festival in Rennes. Between 1998 and 2005 she was Director of Production at Vivement Lundi! where she was involved in a variety of documentaries and animated films. She wrote and directed her first film in 2004 and in 2005 participated in the writing of the animated series "La Tête dans le guidon." In 2011, she received a SCAM star for her first 52-minute film "Le Veilleur."

During the MEDEA Awards Ceremony that took place during the Media & Learning Conference, “Dans les murs de la Casbah” was announced as the Winner of the MEDEA Award for Professionally Produced Educational Media 2013. Céline Dréan received the MEDEA Statuette as well as a Go Pro Black Action Camera and a Camtasia Studio & Photoshop Lightroom 5 software bundle.

Web Documentary

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