The Nazairiens

Following our immersive process, we encounter the Saint-Nazaire citizens and stakeholders in the middle of the city centre for several weeks, to enhance an empathic dialog and collect their stories related to their identity and their relations with their city. During the second world war, they suffered a lot by the nearly total destruction of the city; the harbour is still hosting the ghost of this era within the massive submarine concrete base, still being there as the cost of deconstructing it is as enormous as its foundations. Some of our collected insights brought us to speculate that after the war, the city decided to relocate the city centre away from its original place, the harbour, to turn back to its painful memories and build a future. The fact is now that the city in its core still belongs to the harbour. And the rebuilt city centre is nameless, surrounded by neighbourhoods having a narrative and a name: the city centre still does not, consequence of a post war vision, which did not connected with the essence of the place: the ocean. To operate a new collective pride and memory, we decided to focus on their identity, their meaning in life. And nothing will be more powerful than caring about the guardians angels of the harbour: the loose men, or the Lamaneurs in French.

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