Presidential: Marine Le Pen praises the culture in Hénin-Beaumont, the former director of L’Escapade responds

“The cultural offer has never been so important” in Hénin-Beaumont since the RN manages the city, the candidate said this morning. Bruno Lajara, former director of L’Escapade, the city’s cultural center, disagrees.

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Since Sunday night, various cultural actors have been concerned about a victory for Marine Le Pen on April 24. The director of the Avignon festival, Olivier Py, spoke at RMC about the program ” xenophobic of the National Rally. In a column published in the newspaper Liberación, more than a hundred executives from the sector warned of the ” identity culture of the candidate

Guest this Friday on RMC-BFFMTV, Marine Le Pen reacted. ” I don’t understand why the artists are against my project. she wondered. ” My project aims to accelerate cultural production. I want to create incubators for artists to make themselves known, to exhibit their works. I want to establish a national heritage service to allow all young people between the ages of 18 and 25 to spend six paid months in associations and state structures to defend and maintain our national heritage… Members of the culture have nothing to worry about. “.

And then brandishing the example of Hénin-Beaumont. ” When we did the municipal campaign with Steeve Briois (mayor since 2014, editor’s note), the cultural community confronted his candidacy. He was full of a priori, saying that he was going to lower the culture budget, eliminate subsidies. The reality is that the cultural offer has never been as important in Hénin-Beaumont as it has been since Steeve Briois was mayor. she stated.

Today at the head of a structure for the reintegration through art of school dropouts, which is spreading throughout France, Bruno Lajara was in charge of L’Escapade, the cultural center of Hénin-Beaumont, from 2017 to 2020. And he n really not have the same analysis. ” With the arrival of the National Front, the three-year agreement that linked L’Escapade with the city was broken to make way for an annual agreement, with a discount of more than €100,000 at stake. “, he explains. ” Isolated “, the former director will have had to decide to abandon ship. The continuation ? ” It is true that there was no direct censorship, but rather a climate of pressure installed in (…) As in the media library, where book purchases are controlled, author signatures are controlled “.

Bruno Lajara especially remembers the 50th anniversary of L’Escapade, in 2019, with a concert by Sinsemilia, a group committed to ska and reggae. ” Emissaries from the city council were sent to film the concert. I was entitled to a lot of pressure for having dared to program a “leftist” program. Another day, during a cultural action with children, there were songs in Berber. The children were not allowed to continue with the workshop. And I received a phone call from the director of culture and cultural affairs asking me to stop my provocations. “.

“During the last months of my administration there was a deliberate desire to isolate myself. We can’t argue with them. »

There has never been a cultural policy in the city. “says Bruno Lajara. The tribute festival, the Henin Rock festival, is according to him only ” The puppet of one of the mayor’s deputies. ” Otherwise, there is the Miss Henin fashion show! “, mocks the former director of L’Escapade. Who, in four seasons, claims to have never seen Marine Le Pen, deputy for the constituency, in the room.

During the last months of my administration there was a deliberate desire to isolate myself. We can’t argue with them. We are with them or against them “Concludes Bruno Lajara, worried about a Marine Le Pen victory on April 24.

On Sunday night, Marine Le Pen was way ahead at Hénin-Beaumont with 51.32%. This is five points more than in 2017 when she got 46.5% of the vote.

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