• Events

MoMA's Carte Blanche to Yto Barrada—A Raft

Image: "Monsieur Deligny, vagabond efficace" by Richard Copans

For this edition of MoMA’s Carte Blanche series, and in conjunction with her exhibition Artist’s Choice: Yto Barrada—A Raft, artist Yto Barrada has selected films connected to the ideas and work of French social work pioneer and writer Fernand Deligny (1913–1996). A filmmaker in her own right, Barrada is the founding director of the nonprofit Cinémathèque de Tanger, North Africa’s first and only repertory cinema and film archive. Together with Deligny’s publishers Sandra Alvarez de Toledo and Anaïs Masson, Barrada has gathered titles associated with Deligny’s independent project based in the rural Cévennes region of France, where he lived with other volunteers and children with autism in an informal network that Deligny referred to as a “raft.”

These films, many of which appear with newly translated English subtitles by Robin Mackay, will be featured alongside others, including recent titles inspired by Deligny and shown here for the first time in the United States.

Le moindre geste. 1964-1971. In French; English subtitles. 100 min.
Directed by Fernand Deligny, Josée Manenti, Jean-Pierre Daniel

Available Online Jun 3 - 8, 12:00 p.m.

Yves is the main character of this film. In 1950, he was considered as incurable. The only solution for him seemed to lie in an endless stay in a mental institution. Fernand Deligny who has always shown distrust for arbitrary decisions started to look after him. In 1962, Yves became the central character of a film shot for two years in the Cevennes.


Manifeste Janmari (The Janmari Manifesto). 2021. In French; English subtitles. 45 min.
Directed by Florian Fouché

Available Online Jun 3 - 8, 12:00 p.m.

A non-verbal manifesto. Two characters: Janmari and Philippe. Janmari is an autistic child that educator and writer Fernand Deligny met in 1967, and with whom he remained until his death. Janmari is the most well-known personality among the experimental network Deligny created towards the end of his career to work with autistic children who also suffered from mutism. Philippe is my father, Philippe Fouché. A stroke suffered in 2015 left him paralysed on one side of his body. Now he lives in a care facility and is confined to a wheelchair. Janmari and Philippe both require assistance. As does everyone, from the most powerful to the powerless. Nothing and no one exists alone. We are all both assistants and assisted.


Ce gamin, là. 1975. In French; English subtitles. 96 min.
Directed by Renaud Victor

Available Online Jun 8 - 13, 12:00 p.m.

Ce gamin, là is about the "Deligny Experiment", the communal life, at Monoblet in the Cévennes, of a group of children whom specialists had pronounced to be incurable and unteachable. The "Deligny Experiment" is neither an istitution nor a counter institution, it is just a place where a child can begin "his" own life. Since 1967, at Monoblet in the Cévennes, grown-ups have been in close contact with autistic children living, small scattered, loosely integrated units. Deligny is, so to speak, the pilot of "radeaux".


L’enfant sauvage (The Wild Child).1969. In French; English subtitles. 83 min.
Directed by François Truffaut

Available Online Jun 8 - 13, 12:00 p.m.

Truffaut combines the historical account of Dr. Itard’s attempt to educate and assimilate a ‘wild’ boy found living in the woods of Southern France in the eighteenth century, with observations of the children living in Deligny’s network, and Deligny’s descriptions of Janmari in particular. 


Projet N. 1989. In French; English subtitles. 56 min.
Directed by Alain Cazuc

Available Online Jun 10 - 15, 12:00 p.m.

Both an account of the life of a network of autistic children and a documentary on the 1970s and final years of the back-to-the-land movement.

Fernand Deligny: A propos d'un film à faire (Fernand Deligny: About a film to make). 1989. In French; English subtitles. 97 min.
Directed by Renaud Victor

Available Online Jun 15 - 20, 12:00 p.m.

Fernand Deligny has been working on autism for more than 50 years, in a psychiatric hospital in the North of France. In this film, he underlines the power of moving pictures and how useful that form of language can be when one lives with those who are deprived of conventional language.


Monsieur Deligny, vagabond efficace. 2020. In French; English subtitles. 95 min.
Directed by Richard Copans

Available Online Jun 15 - 20, 12:00 p.m.

From Armentières hospital in 1940 to the hamlet of Graniers in the Vercors region, Deligny invents living spaces that enable autistic children and teenagers to escape confinement. 

More info here.

Organized by Yto Barrada with Lucy Gallun, Associate Curator, and River Encalada Bullock, Beaumont & Nancy Newhall Curatorial Fellow, Department of Photography.