Le Theatre des Negociations

Invited by
Philippe Quesne et Nathalie Vimeux / Theatre des Amandiers


Make It Work – Le Théâtre des Négociations is a project by
Sciences Po (Paris-Climat 2015: Make It Work),
les étudiants du G8 Sciences Po,
les étudiants de SPEAP,
le comité pédagogique de SPEAP (Bruno Latour + Team),
Théâtre des Amandiers (Philippe Quesne et Nathalie Vimeux + Team)


A political, diplomatic, scientific, pedagogical and artistic experiment took place in May 2015 at Nanterre-Amandiers.

Théâtre des Négociations was conceived by SPEAP (Programme d’expérimentation en art politique de Sciences Po), around Bruno Latour, the make it work-team at SciencePo and implemented by Philippe Quesne / Nanterre-Amandiers and raumlaborberlin:

200 students from all over the world took part in a simulation of the international conference of parties on climate change, the COP21 in front of an audience for 5 days. The real COP21 will take place in Paris, in December 2015. It will be a major deadline in our race against the increasingly rapid changes that our planet is now facing.


The conferences on climate change have accumulated a terrible delay for the past 20 years, in regards to the urgency of global warming caused by our CO2 emissions. The lethal ineffectiveness of all political efforts is a consequence of the enormous complexity of issues in play, as well as the formats of such international negotiations.


The initiator of this event, Bruno Latour, believes that the failure of the past conferences were caused by a crisis of representation: who represents the problems at stake and who the different communities of people effected? Who represents the oceans and forests, the polar regions, climate refugees and extinct animals in a conference of nations? What if the athmosphere, the soil and the cities had it´s own vote in the negotiation on a reduction of CO2 emissions?




As the experimentation with forms of representation is a basic element of theater, it seemed appropriate to work with and within an institution that is dedicated to the production of theater. The Theatre of Nanterre Amandiers was build in the 70´s to house the experimental practice of Patrice Chéreaux. The buildings aestectics remind more of a place of production than of representation. With two big stages, one of them a black box, the other one a traditional fourth wall stage, a small planetarium and a large workshop, added by a number of flexible rehearsal spaces it is one – if not the – largest scene national in France. All rooms are designed with extraordinary features, that open up a caleidoscope of possible spaces. Some – like the planetarium, the enormous door that opens the side of the black box and the assembly hall of the workshop, which functions also as a movie studio – were never used. This is due to the french theatre system, which requests performances that can be played anywhere. A play that needs a 20m door to the outside can only be performed here. Nanterre Amandiers is presently directed by Philippe Quesne and Natalie Vimeaux. Together they are trying to break the rules of this system and implement new forms of theatrical practice in the french and european world of performances. Together with them and for Thèâtre des Négociations raumlaborberlin (Benjamin Foerster-Baldenius + Andreas Krauth) for the first time since the construction of the theatre had the chance to take full advantage of all these features:


A climate conference where you can open the door to let the present climate influence the negotiation
(Salle Transformable)

A real space of negotiation, where the size of the debate and the way that chairs, tables and walls assemble the set up become part of the debate
(Salle Transformable)

A new entrance to the theatre

A subterranean globe for the introduction for the visitors

A theatre where the audience becomes the scenery of a debate between experts
(grand salle)

An inside the iceberg video archive
(rehearsal space)

A space where an artificial lake and an artificial sun serve a space for reflection

4 kiosks,

A canteen,

A bar,


Big letters MAKE IT WORK

And an inflatable chimney to give smoke signs to paris on top of Salle Transformable.


In addition we designed two types of tables: the 5 corner folding flip chart table – one for each delegation (one delegations consisted of 5 people) and the multicornered conference and lunch table with legs adjustable in different lengths („table dahu„)
and some small signs that indicate your origin to hold up if you wish to speak.



Salle Transformable



Video by Benoît Verjat











Photo by © Martin Argyroglo



Photo by © Martin Argyroglo




Photo by © Martin Argyroglo



Entrée Parc / R.E.R.



Photo by © Martin Argyroglo






Photo by © Martin Argyroglo











Photo by © Martin Argyroglo





Photo by © Martin Argyroglo



Grand Salle



Photo by © Martin Argyroglo



Resource Area



Photo by © Martin Argyroglo



Universal Reflection Studio



Photo by © Martin Argyroglo










Theatre de Verdure



Photo by © Martin Argyroglo








Bruno Latour





raumlabor berlin developed a discourse on spaces of negotiation with students from the heterotopia institute at the Folkwang school of arts/Essen, the master students in the SPEAP programme/SciencePo/Paris, students of the Malaquais school of Architecture/Paris and in relation with all the team of Nanterre Amandiers. It was a complex design process that did not leave everyone satisfied. But the result was impressive and worked perfectly for the Theatre des Negociations.


Jeu des Negociations in March 2015






Photos by © Martin Argyroglo





Photos by © Martin Argyroglo






Photo by © Martin Argyroglo