‘Les enfants de Val d’Europe’ studies and depicts the youth of Val d’Europe, a new town located 35 kilometers from Paris. Built around Disneyland amusement park, the distinctive landscape of Val d’Europe area inhabit the dreams, hopes and disillusionment of each of its inhabitants.
In 1987 an agreement between the French State, local authorities, the RATP and the Walt Disney Company resulted in a 30-year public-private partnership. EuroDisney was granted priority rights to purchase land, and committed to developing residential neighborhoods, offices and economic activities, gradually imposing its imprint – both postmodernist and sanitized – on the area now called Val d’Europe. As an urban planner, a factory and a fatherly figure, the Disney firm shaped the area to make it fit its own values. Economically sustained by the park, the zone is embracing the implied social contract and the values carried by Disney universe, making sadness and poverty’s existence impossible in this environment. ‘Les enfants de Val d’Europe’ juxtaposes the landscapes of the Val d’Europe with the words of its inhabitants, asking itself how has Disney’s presence in the area affected the childhood and adolescence of these young people and how does one grow up and live in a place that appears to offer an unreal relationship to the world.