Manifesta purposely strives to keep its distance from what are often seen as the dominant centres of artistic production, instead seeking fresh and fertile terrain for the mapping of a new cultural topography.

Martine Derain, FR

Rue de la République runs through the heart of Marseille, and many of its homes were constructed in the same century as the Musée Grobet-Labadié. Originally built for the bourgeoisie of the 19th century, the street would later be inhabited by port workers and the middle class. After the oil shock of the 1970s, thousands of people left Marseille, leaving many of the homes deserted. By the early 2000s, three quarters of the apartments were empty. These buildings were then sold off to international investors, with the support of the municipal government at the time, and the remaining working-class tenants were forced to leave. An exemplary mobilisation followed, thanks to which many of the residents have been rehoused on the same street. Yet, many buildings still remain empty: too expensive for the poor, not attractive enough for the rich. Alongside a team of academics, activists, and local residents, the Marseillebased artist and publisher Martine Derain documented many of these empty homes along Rue de la République. The images presented in the museum’s stairwell were either produced or collected during this project and were also featured in her exhibition Invisible Archives #5 Par ses habitants même as part of Manifesta 13 Marseille’s Le Tiers Programme.