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Quatre vingt treize
2011

“Quatre-vingt treize (ninety three) is a strange thing.
In French, three words to name a number.
Unlike the other French départements generally known by their names, this one is known by its administrative number.
Quatre-vingt treize is difficult to write and spell. Especially for a stranger like me.
And yet, it’s a département where a lot of people from foreign countries live.
Writing it with numbers is a way to simplify…but it condemns it too.
The ninety three became the 9-3…with a hotchpotch of negative connotations from the riots to the no-go areas.
For my first meeting at the MC93, I asked for the route to Seine-Saint-Denis. A man answered me: “I don’t know, but here is the 9-3” – I thanked him, he just gave me the project’s idea.
As MC93 assigned me for a job, let's see how the employees of this cultural place will express their own 9-3.”

Rip Hopkins

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