Walking along the curve of the Quai de Jemmapes in the 10th district of Paris, you arrive to a corridor that leads you into the buildings that Le Comptoir Général occupies. It is a foundation and cultural space with its hand in many genres, functions and topics. Le Comptoir Général hosts a cafe, a vintage shop, a book shop, a gallery space, a record listening section, a retro hair salon and a venue space for concerts and film screenings. The space comes alive at dancing at night with great tunes to compliment the well-landscaped spaces covered in plants.
As walk through the halls, you can find portraits of various african public figures. The self-described “Ghetto Museum” re-appropriates the racialized term to celebrate (Franco-/)African culture through the design, music, film, books, politics, food, fashion, and dance. The details of Le Comptoir Général arouses a curiosity in exploring the marginal cultures presented around the building. The references recognize the often excluded and underestimated histories and customs from Africa and beyond.
Le Comptoir Général’s mission is to protect, produce and broadcast these cultures, through movie production and screening, exhibitions, conferences, themed attractions, a record label and a radio, shops (record shop, second hand store, library, toy shop), events, workshops, shootings while reinvesting the funds to finance more artistic and sustainable projects. The spaces are even able to be rented out from Monday to Thursday by businesses, charities, NGOs and other organizations working on environmental issues, solidarity, social innovation and cultural diversity.
It creates hip while simultaneously open and inclusive place for the historically marginalized Franco-Africans. The warm and diverse nature of Le Comptoir Général garners a layered cultural awareness in an unique and pleasant experience.