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Le Cèdre, Paris, January and February 2024

One month ago, as we left the Cèdre in the snow, a group was getting underway preparing banners for the demonstration against the new law on asylum and immigration: One sign read “Equality and Freedom for all immigrants in France”. Those of us in Paris were able to join with staff, volunteers and users of the service to march and protest at the weekend demonstration.

As signs of Spring begin to emerge, the atmosphere in the day centre is a bit lighter, the longer days and milder weather bringing some relief. Work is being done to maintain and improve the building, and we have been struck by the thoughtfulness and care with which the Cèdre centres people’s needs for the space.

There was much laughter around The Community Table yesterday as everyone immersed themselves with “bricolage” projects. People stayed throughout the afternoon, cutting out and constructing models of the moon and the Eiffel tower. One man continued to build an intricate scene in plasticine whilst others undertook a fantastical structure that incorporated elements made over several weeks from around the table.

Our parallel project with les Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers starts back up for the season in two weeks time. We are looking forward to inviting people back into the garden, launching into the building of new plantation beds, and firing up the bread oven.

Words by Muriel Bucher, Kate France & Naomi Press.

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