Stéphane Vatinel, king of the third places of the small crown

He arrives early, his gyroscopic wheel under his arm and a smile on his lips. Ecological and optimistic, the 50 years passed but "Always rock'n'roll", Stéphane Vatinel travels the fertile city of Pantin (Seine-Saint-Denis), his last baby, a "third place" of one hectare installed since 2018 in a former site of the SNCF. It is a real maze of a restaurant "Ethical, local and responsible", a start-up incubator with social and environmental impact, and large halls for events, soon a clothing sale organized by Emmaüs.

The greatest pride of Stéphane Vatinel is these dry toilets, in front of which he marvels. The second is this economic model, based on a certain idea of ​​green capitalism, which he now defends radio platforms in forums on cultural engineering. His company, Sinny & Ooko, founded in 2008 for the "Creating cool events and managing great places" (according to Wikipedia), stands as an entrepreneurial example in the world of third places. The REcyclerie, created in 2014 in an old station that adjoins the gate of Clignancourt, a popular district of the XVIIIe arrondissement of Paris, then the Canal Pavilion along the Ourcq canal (XIXe) were in a way the pilot fish of this company of 200 employees (full-time and part-time).

Campus. Not stopping in such a good way, it now extends in the Paris suburbs and even in the regions, winning new competitions and calls for temporary occupation projects (SNCF Immobilier, Reinventing the Seine 2017 …). After the fertile city in Pantin, it will settle in 2021 in the former court of Bobigny (Seine-Saint-Denis) before investing in 2023 the old water factory of Ivry-sur-Seine (Val-de-France). Marne) and the military district of Toulouse (Haute-Garonne.)

"In Bobigny, we will make a third place quite similar to that of the REcyclerie, with agricultural areas and an even bigger space to repair its objects, enthuses Stéphane Vatinel. We try to make demonstrative places, it's not for the challenge but to show that it works. "

Deco lechée (green plants, furniture recovery …), lunch formulas on weekdays between 13 and 15 euros and possibility of landing without even ordering a coffee, the model of Stéphane Vatinel seems to be duplicated to infinity. To the point that, for two years, he created his own campus: a paid training to learn to become responsible for a third-place sauce Sinny & Ooko. For a week, we learn the recipes of the box: a business model without public subsidy that is based on catering and bar (80% of its turnover), the privatization of spaces by companies like Disney and partnerships private sector (Veolia for REcyclerie, BNP Paribas for the Fertile City.) "What will bring the public, it is as much the quality of your programming as that of your carrot cake", teaches Laure Vergne, Programming Manager, to his students.

Gentrification. Conversation workshops for refugees, conferences on ecology in support of collectives like Extinction Rebellion, DJ set parties, their often free events are more concerned with societal issues than the emergence of an artistic scene. "I realized that a whole section of the population had never seen an exhibition or concert. So, I decided that my mission would be more turned towards the people who come to consume and to enjoy our places than towards the artists ", explains the leader of Sinny & Ooko, whose economy does not allow anyway "To develop ongoing projects of artistic residency".

And it is precisely this lack of "long course" that is criticized by some actors in the sector, recalling that the activities of Sinny & Ooko often remain cosmetic and without real anchoring in the territory. Stéphane Vatinel highlights the sincerity of his commitment "For equality", also defending itself to be a Trojan horse of gentrification. But if this "Anarchist", who came from the culture of squat as he likes to introduce himself, has been concentrating for a few years on the social and solidarity economy, it is also because he knew how to breathe the air of the times.

Yesterday associated with the movement of cultural wastelands and intermediate places, this music lover, co-founder in 1992 of bastion of the Parisian underground scene Glaz'Art, and who still owns the club Machine Moulin Rouge, took over in 2003 the Divan of the world in Pigalle, before seizing the opportunities offered by temporary urbanism. A career evolution representative of a change of cultural model, in which the company fills, for better or for worse, what the communities fail to insure.

Annabelle Martella photo Samuel Kirszenbaum

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