The Manicouagan project is an initiative with multiple ramifications: it is an expedition to the eponymous crater and its surroundings; a meeting of different artistic and scientific disciplines; an investigation of the territory and a collection of information and data; the creation of works and contents having in common the same junction point.

Bringing together French artist Paul Duncombe, Innu poet Maya Cousineau Mollen, writer Louis Hamelin, geomatician Erwan Gavelle, underwater filmmaker Nathalie Lasselin and documentary filmmaker Kanien’keha: ka Marty-Kanatakhatsus Meunier – in collaboration with Station Mir and Interstice in Caen, Normandy – the Manicouagan project consists of a vast multidisciplinary initiative with an art-science focus, dealing with the territory of the Manicouagan, more specifically the impact crater and René-Levasseur Island.

Having first approached the region in 2015, Duncombe is continuing his initial research, which will lead to the realization of a new digital art installation project. This initial research – the first steps of the Manicouagan project – allowed him to win the Coal 2020 Prize, which annually rewards artists interested in biodiversity issues. Maya Cousineau Mollen and Louis Hamelin, two Quebec writers with complementary practices and a commitment to territorial issues, bring a reflective perspective and depth that only literary works can generate. Drawing on their research in history, geopolitics and archaeology, they will create works in hybrid and exploratory formats. The geomatician Erwan Gavelle, and the documentary filmmaker Marty-Kanatakhatsus Meunier, will contribute to the project with a more technical contribution by promoting everything related to the collection of information and data, and the recording of the different stages. It is also planned to produce a short documentary, directed by Marty-Kanatakhatsus Meunier. A publication documenting the entire project is also planned, as well as a series of public presentations in Quebec and Europe.

The strengths and interests of these creators, researchers and specialists will be brought together, multiplying the perspectives offered by this very special territory. Anchored in the prospective expedition planned for the summer of 2021, the project unfolds from the material collected during the meetings and the discoveries gleaned in the field. These strengths and interests are shared porously among the five participants and their respective contributions to the project. In fact, the background and knowledge of each will influence the individual creations, in the form of cross-views and informal contributions. The meeting and convergence of perspectives is essential here: this initiative is an opportunity for exchanges and discussions around what constitutes the specificity of the territory, and it is essential to make it a project with variable geometry where different angles are taken into consideration.

This project is co-produced by Station Mir and Sporobole, with the support of La Tonne de l’INSTITUT FRANÇAIS, the Normandy Region, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Conseil des Innus de Pessamit and for which Paul Duncombe, initiator of the project, received the COAL award.