Samia Ghali: Marseille and the Faro Convention.

We continue to put online the texts of the speakers at the meeting of 2 March 2013 in Venice following the signing of the Faro Convention by the Italian state (see the presentation of the meeting and see the texts already online). Here is the text of the speech of Samia Ghali, Senator Mayor of Marseille, Vice president of Marseille Provence Métropole. Ladies and gentlemen, I am a local elected mayor of the 8th sector of Marseille, which represents about 100 000 inhabitants and is commonly referred to as the "North Quarter". I am also a national elected representative, since I have the honour to sit in the Senate since 2008. The relationship with Europe seems indispensable to me in the exercise of these two mandates. It is absolutely necessary that every time Europe produces a positive idea for the population we put it into action on the ground. What for? Because otherwise Europe will remain unpopular, perceived as an institution at best, useless, at worst harmful. The Faro Convention is a convention which, in its very essence, creates, permits the exercise of citizenship. In fact, allowing everyone to designate their heritage, to value it, is to enable them to act on their environment, to be an actor of their city, and in a certain way, of their life. What for? Because heritage is the story of a building, then of a neighborhood, and then of a human history. In the 15th and 16th arrondissements of Marseille, our heritage is that of the industry, the Port. It is, as a corollary of the Italian, Spanish and North African immigration, and then the whole world. Many historians, sociologists, and other researchers have studied the working world, the functioning of the port, the problems related to immigration, integration, etc. But the words of the very actors of this story where is she? In what space can the inhabitant tell what his neighbourhood is, the human relations, the struggles, the places important to the community to which he belongs. And here I use the term "community" in the sense of a heritage community as defined in the Faro Convention. Namely a group of people who can decide, for example, that an elementary school is part of the common heritage. This is the integrated heritage. For me who are native to these neighborhoods, I know that this is a fundamental issue because it helps restore dignity, our dignity. Nothing less. To say that our history has value, that our territory contains natural wonders (coastline, waterfall, Hill), and architectural and that the best placed to preserve them, to present them, are the inhabitants themselves. That is why I asked for the creation of a heritage Commission as early as September 2008 and ratified the Faro Convention in January 2009. The action of this heritage Committee will be presented to you by Pascale Raju, my elected delegate to the Culture who chairs her. I am proud and happy that this dynamic has inspired three other town halls (two in Marseille and the trolls). I am also honoured to be among you and to play, in a way, the benevolent role of godmother of this Convention. 2013 is the year when Marseille is the European capital of Culture. In September we will be hosting the European Heritage Forum. This will be an opportunity for us to discover our territory through the heritage walks organised by our Commission. Already I invite you there, and you can reside in one of the 50 rooms managed by "Hôtel du Nord", a cooperative born of the Heritage Commission. You will see then that there are times when the political miracle is fulfilled, and that a European convention, can suddenly, change the look on one another, on oneself; Be proud of its past to build the future where everyone finds its place. Thank you. Samia Ghali, Venice, March 2013.

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