Christophe Adji-Ahoudian: an active youngster of the nineteenth district



Christophe Adji-Ahoudian is a man of the field before being a political actor; through his policy he is highly determined to put an end to the prejudices in the districts. It is for him a real “citizenship action”. Elected deputy mayor of the XIXth district of Paris, in charge of the youth department since 2008, he remains faithful to his program and has not stopped activist involvement.: it is more that an appointment it is a fight.
It is with this idea and faith to his commitments that he has set up the young talents festival, an event supervised by Mayor Roger Madec, since 2009, which values the skills of the young people in the “districts”, an unavoidable event where all the fields of cultural activities are revealed for a couple of days.

Q: How will you define yourself?

As an Associative activist I joined the political field in a natural way. I subscribed to the PS in 2005 and then supported Roger

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Madec’s list during the municipal elections of 2008. From then on, he elected me deputy mayor in charge of the youth affairs. It is my first political mandate.

Q: How did you go from your associative action to the political arena?

The BGA (Bold Boys of Africa) is an association of friends, all young. It compensates the lack of initiatives for the young people. All the fights we had led for the training as well as for the cultural interest of the youngsters in the district, led me to political action. In our activist policy, there is necessarily a link between the associative and the political field.
But my political project reached its highest point during my journey in 2006 in the United States with our association BGA. We met a lot of Afro-American activists in several sectors and it opened our eyes: if we want to improve our fight it is necessary to get involved in all the sectors of society. When we came back in France, each of us undertook a mission in the sector which interestged him most. I have chosen the political arena..

Q: As Deputy Mayor in charge of youth affairs, do you consider yourself as a spokesman of the young people in the districts?

Before being interested in politics, I was committed to the creation of many associations, and I still stick to my role of man on the field which strengthens my link with the other young people.
They see in me the associative activist who has chosen the political tool to bring about more concrete answers. In my role of associative activist, I only had limited actions
I do not claim to be able to say that I am a model but hope my policy will meet its expectations as much as possible.

Q: Which results have your action brought about since 2008?

Concerning the training and jobs opportunities for the youngsters, we are in a very positive dynamic. Some examples of our actions: we lowered the cost of the BAFA to 50 euros to allow young people to have access to training and work as guides in children camps(the usual cost of the BAFA was 450 euros). We had 70 subscribers for 40 available jobs. The training in computing was a frank success because we had 7 times more subscribers than we expected. In September the forum on the Cooperative Education, gathered 350 young people, while we expected 50. This is concrete action which enables us to facilitate the professional integration of young people. It is

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necessary to know that all the led actions are made according to the needs and expectations of the young people of the district. Roger Madec, the mayor of the XIXth district dedicates a big part of his policy to the notion of diversity, which also defines the district.
Q: On the theme of cultural and ethnic diversity, the « salad bowl » ,…. You set up in 2009, the festival of the young talents. Where does this idea come from?

It is a kind of participative democracy. Indeed, this festival was born in a meeting between Roger Madec and the young people of the district, during the municipal campaign. During the meeting, young people voiced the will to be valued in their know-how. They did not want us to limit their images to crimes and passiveness.. The idea of the festival was born. We held our promises. When elected, we set up “the festival of the young talents” of the district in several sectors. The first edition was in July, 2009.

Q: What is the aim of this festival?

It is an initiative on 6 days, taking place in July and in various places in the XIXth district of Paris. To present the cultural and sports talents we also want to show the geographical heritage of the district.
The implementation of the festival requires the creation of a specific program for the necessary costs and various stages to be followed.
First of all we elaborate and submit a program; and I make a budgetary proposal to the Mayor. Once validated, I present the godfathers thanks to door-to-door canvassing. Godfathers are the persons who are going “to chair” the festival. Once we’ve found the godfathers, we appeal to applicants for the young talents in the field of: the textile creation, Music, and humorist careers. These 3 domains will define the first three days of the festival. The three following days will be about: football, basketball and dance: the organization is delegated to local associations. For example for FOOTBALL it is BJA, for basketball it is Solitary FC and as regards dance it is Ivoiry Ebony.We organize committees with other associations to make sure that the actions are indeed in connection with the presented discipline. This year we shall add a competition of young talents entrepreneurship to encourage the young people who want create their own business. A message we give them is: “we support you in what you are, what defines you”.
This festival would not be possible without the mobilization of social actors. It is the tripartite commitment which takes place between the institution ( the City hall), social associations and young citizens ( the initiators).

Q: How are the godfathers chosen?

For the first edition in 2009, we have chosen the godfathers among the former inhabitants of the XIXth distirict and who are now famous: the main godfather are OXMO PUCCINO; Nasty, a dancer; Mamoutou Diarra, a basketball player; Mickael Djarousso; Sadio Bee or again the Comedie Club with whom we had worked previously.
For this second edition, we selected Agnès B for fashion, Djamel Debouze, Gad Elmaleh or Omar and Fred for the humorists. For the concert, we hope to get Yannick Noah or Kelly Rowland.
Our motto is to remain in a spirit of diversity so that the festival remains a real platform of human meeting and common experience.

Q: How are your financial partners chosen ?

For the 2009 edition, it was largely public financed (the city of bets, the city hall of the 19th district, the League of the Education, 3F, Paris housing association) and many associations and shopkeepers of the XIXth.
For this

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new edition, we want to widen our financial partners. Have more support from private partners (Banks and shopkeepers). Wide private support is a guarantee for the success of this citizenship intiative.
Q: How are you going to advertise this event?

We are going to use all means of communication to reach a wide and diversified target: pamphlets, posters,, Facebook (Facebook talents19ème), radio stations, TV channels. Last year Trace TV was present during the festival, this year we are also trying to get M6 as a godfather.
The dates 5th to 9th of July are held for the second edition of the Festival of the young talents. We hope to have as much success as last year.

Where do you have enquiries for the young talent’s festival ?

Christophe Adji-Ahoudian

Tel : 01 44 52 28 18


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