Culture from your couch: keeping up with the arts in Eastern Paris during the confinement

Across the capital, museums, art galleries and concert venues have closed their doors to the public due to the current lockdown. This hasn’t stop them from showcasing their collections virtually — a perfect occasion to discover local and international artists while staying at home!

Graphic arts, music, dance, cinema, and literature: culture still comes in many shapes around Eastern Paris.


Visual Arts


Nayla Hanna - Copie
“Réflexions isolées 2020” – Black pen on paper – A4 format © Nayla Hanna – Artistes de Ménilmontant

Artistes de Ménilmontant

The local artists’ collective regularly features pieces by some of its 200 artists on social media.

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Juan Diego Vergara Vergara - Copie
Confinement, 17e jour. India ink on paper, 30 x 30 cm © Juan Diego Vergara – – Ateliers d’Artistes de Belleville

Ateliers d’Artistes de Belleville

The Belleville association is also sharing creations by its many artists, bringing new perspectives to the confinement and the adaptations required to produce art today.

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Paul Signac - Copie
“Au temps de l’harmonie, l’âge d’or n’est pas dans le passé, il est dans l’avenir” – 1895, oil on canvas, 312 x 410 cm © Paul Signac – Mairie de Montreuil – Photo © akg-images/Erich Lessing

Atelier des Lumières

A little more patience will be necessary for those who have yet to discover the Ateliers des Lumières’ latest creation, “Chagall, Monet, Renoir… Journey Around the Mediterranean”. Every day during the confinement, the institution of rue Saint-Maur invites you to admire one of the artworks featured in its new animation, alternatively describing the history and artistic significance of each piece.


Fernand Leger - Copie
“Les Loisirs – Hommage à Louis David”, 1948-1949 © Fernand Léger © Adagp, Paris © Audrey Laurans – Centre Pompidou, MNAM-CCI /Dist. RMN-GP

Centre Pompidou

Europe’s leading contemporary art has launched several initiatives: virtual visits and podcasts, a guide to the museum’s iconic artworks, weekly digital screenings of new films from its collection, not to mention free access to online classes!


Nathalie Déposé
Stay Home(s) – Artwork exhibited for the Festival Circulation(s) © Nathalie Déposé –

Young European Photography Festival – Circulation(s)
“Stay Home(s)”

Initially planned to be held at the Centquatre cultural center, the Festival Circulation(s) has gone digital with Stay Home(s), an “epistolary web project in the form of an artistic telegram, day after day.” The 45 photographers featured in this edition express their vision of daily life during the lockdown, as their artworks are regularly shared on the festival’s Instagram account.


Cite des Arts - Copie

Cité internationale des arts

Visual arts, but also music and literature: with the collective exhibition Work in Progress (Everyday), the institution overlooking the river Seine dares us to “knock on the doors of the workshops”. Every day, discover an artwork, a portrait or a conversation with some of the hundreds of international resident artists the Cité internationale welcomes each year.


Lucy Skaer - Copie
Untitled (Eccentric Boxes), Lucy Skaer, 2016 © Lucy Skaer – From the confined office of L. Deloingce (Frac – Île-de-France).

Frac – Île-de-France

With its project “bureau des confiné.e.s”, the regional collection of contemporary art invites us to learn more about some of its 2,000 pieces. “Each day, an artwork picked by a member of our team will be shared on social media including a few lines, a commentary, an opinion” – not to mention a view from the room or office where each one is currently confined!


Marguerite Bornhauser - Copie
Journal de confinement, Troisième semaine, 2020 © Marguerite Bornhauser –

Maison européenne de la photographie

The institution dedicated to photography is also adapting to the confinement with online resources, videos and podcasts available from the website section “MEP from home” and on social media, contents mostly dedicated to current exhibits around the works of Gangao Lang and Erwin Wurm. Moreover, the MEP has launched a call for entries on Instagram with the contest “Fenêtre Ouverte” (Open Window). Following an initiative by photographer Marguerite Bornhauser and the city of Paris’ “Fenêtre sur l’autre” project, photographers wishing to enter need to create an artwork including this object of daily life.


Vasantha Yogananthan - Copie
21/03 – 10h47 – Artwork from the Confinement Diaries #5 by Polka Gallery © Vasantha Yogananthan – Polka Gallery – Artistic direction Cécile Poimboeuf-Koizumi

Polka Galerie

Also dedicated to photography, Polka Galerie follows the artists it represents through the “postcards” compiled in the project Journal de Confinement (Confinement Diaries), with regular updates of their artworks posted on social media. On the gallery’s website, you will find virtual visits of this season’s exhibitions, centered around photographers Bruce Gilden and Marc Riboud.

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Chedly Atallah - Copie
Extrait du trailer du film Iris © Chedly Atallah –

Villa Belleville

Sculpture, video, painting: with the initiative “La Villa confinée”, the shared workshops of Villa Belleville give us a glimpse of works by its new resident artists on social media!

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Music & Dance


Espace B
Visuel de l’Espace R #1 © Station Station – Espace B

Espace B

The Espace B staff teamed up with radios Station Station and Lyl Radio to compile podcasts alternating musical sets and interviews with several artists.

Espace R #1Espace Barré


New Morning Radio - Copie
Visuel de présentation de l’émission The Lockdown Sessions © New Morning Radio

New Morning Radio

The New Morning’s radio station keeps us dancing every afternoon during the confinement with The Lockdown Sessions, a series of “exclusive DJ sets made with love and solidarity by volunteer guests and friends of New Morning Radio.”


Grand Hotel Barbes Ramzi Ben Sliman - Copie
From the short movie Grand Hôtel Barbès by Ramzi Ben Sliman © Ramzi Ben Sliman – Opéra national de Paris – Les Films Pelléas

Opéra national de Paris

Interested in a ballet or opera experience from your living room? The Paris opera virtually transports us to one of its performances, making them available for free on its website! You will also find portraits and interviews with the opera’s artists, as well as short films and podcasts about the institution.


Philharmonie - Copie
Philharmonie de Paris © Paris Lights Up

Philharmonie de Paris – Cité de la Musique

Every day at 8:30pm, the Paris Philharmonic broadcasts one of its past performances online – and for free – for the next 24 hours. Its website and social media also feature 900 concerts, including around a hundred full performances, virtual tours of the Philharmonic and Cité de la Musique, as well as playlists by resident and guest musicians.


Station Station - Copie

Station Station

La Station – Gare des Mines remains on the air during confinement! Each day starting at 1h45pm, you’ll find “musical and literary mixtapes, chronicles, interviews, and accoustic creations.” The program for each day is available on the Station Station’s website, as well as mixtapes and archives from previous shows.



Film & Video


Henri - Copie
Presentation visual for the new platform Henri © Cinémathèque Française

Cinémathèque Française

The Bercy institution showcases rare films from its collections that have been restored during the past twenty years. Each evening at 8:30pm, another movie becomes available through the online platform Henri. The Cinémathèque has also opened its archives to offer interviews and “cinema lessons” with prominent directors.


Forum des Images Forum Numérique
Presentation Visual – Forum numérique © Forum des images

Forum des images

With the Forum numérique, enjoy more than 700 videos including “filmmaking classes, conferences, debates, interviews, webseries, animations and original creations.” The Forum des images is also part of the art initiative “Fenêtre sur l’autre”: here’s additional information to enter this call for movie makers to capture “a moment of life during the confinement”.


La Villette Collection Hauts de France
Presentation Visual – Hauts-de-France Collection © Ministère de la Culture – La Villette – Micro-Folies

La Villette

Following the launch of the #CultureChezNous by the Ministry of Culture, La Villette is going digital to share a series of videos conceived for the Micro-Folies program. On social media, the Parisian “cultural park” is also broadcasting live sessions of past shows (Oumou Sangaré, David Bobée, Mourad Merzouki, etc.), available for free for 48 hours. La Villette will keep updating its website with new contents, in partnership with the artists regularly scheduled by its many venues.





Paris244 - Copie
BnF – François Mitterrand Site © Paris Lights Up

Bibliothèque nationale de France

The BnF is keeping its readers in mind during the confinement and therefore added extra content to its different channels. Thousands of books and millons of documents are already available for free on the platform Gallica, and the library also shares many podcasts, virtual exhibitions, as well as graphic and musical artworks.


Bibliotheques de Paris - Copie
Presentation Visual – Digital Library © Bibliothèques de la ville de Paris

City of Paris Libraries

The network of Parisian libraries is offering exceptional free access to its digital ressources, with online registration open to local residents aged 15 and more. Furthermore, Paris libraries take us to the movies with a selection of resources around cinema, before a musical journey with Le Jukebox des confinés and new playlists shared each week. You can also visit the virtual exhibition Europe du Polar which was initially set to be held at Bilipo, the library dedicated to crime literature.


centre_pompidou_nuit-2 - Copie
Centre Georges Pompidou, © Cnac-gp, Georges Meguerditchian

Bpi – Bibliothèque publique d’information

Academic resources, educational tools, literary conferences, audiovisual archives and documentaries: the Bpi – Centre Pompidou pursues its mission during the lockdown through its website, social media, and WebTV.


Maison de la Poésie
Examples of entries for the contest “Fenêtre sur l’autre” © Maison de la Poésie & Oulipo

Maison de la Poésie – Literary Stage

Enjoy readings of texts with “Goûter d’écoute”, live on social media and on Arte Radio at 5pm, as well as podcasts and performances by guest artists. Along with the MEP (photography) and the Forum des images (video), the Maison de la Poésie is part of the artistic initiative “Fenêtre sur l’autre”: this time, the only things you need to participate are four A4 papers and your inspiration!

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