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Alliance Française celebrates Francophonie

Alliance Française celebrates  Francophonie

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Every year in March, the Alliance Française of St Vincent and the Grenadines, like many other cultural institutions and countries over the world, celebrates the Francophonie, which is a wide-ranging cultural and political concept involving the promotion of the French language around the world.{{more}} The International Organisation of La Francophonie represents one of the biggest linguistic zones in the world. Its members share more than just a common language. They also share the humanist values promoted by the French language. (http://www.francophonie.org/English.html)

This year, in the context of the celebration of National Heroes and Heritage month and of the month for la Francophonie, the Alliance Française SVG organized a number of activities, such as the display of a poetry exhibition from Italo-French poet Maria Salamone, the Francophone Film Festival, screening movies from French-speaking Africa and Caribbean countries (Mauritania, Senegal, Martinique and Haiti) every Monday at Flow Wine Bar & Kitchen and the involvement of students in upcoming contests on Poetry and Heritage. The main event of this month was a tribute to an important French Caribbean figure on the centennial anniversary of his birth: Aimé Fernand David Césaire!

Aimé Césaire, one of those not yet recognized heroes, was a famous poet, playwright and politician from the island of Martinique. He passed away in April 2008 at the age of 94. He was widely hailed as a principal crusader for civil rights within the French West Indies, both through his writings and in his 55 years serving as the mayor of Fort-de-France. “The most influential Francophone Caribbean writer of his generation, Aimé Césaire was one of the founding fathers of Negritude, the black consciousness movement that sought to assert pride in African cultural values to counterbalance the inferior status accorded to them in European colonial thinking” (www.independant.co.uk).

In tribute to his work and life, Mr Jacques Martial, French actor from Guadeloupe, visited St Vincent to perform a play on one of Césaire’s famous works “Cahier d’un retour au pays natal” (Notebook of a Return to my Native Land), on the 22nd March 2013, at Peace Memorial Hall.

The event started with a reading of some of Cesaire’s poems by first year students of French of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Community College. The Alliance Française commends the involvment and work of Mr Darrel Williams, teacher of French at the SVCCC and his students of French and congratulates them again for their performance! The play then followed and, despite being in French with English subtitles projected, the actor captivated the audience and left the stage with a standing ovation!

The Alliance Française SVG would like to express gratitude to all those who helped, participated, supported and attended these events and is looking forward to more activities to promote the learning of French and cultural diversity.

The Alliance Française’s upcoming events are a French immersion programme for children during Easter break; participation of a French band from Martinique Eric Ildefonse Quartet at Jazz on the Green; a photo exhibition from Bruno Pellerin, famous French fashion photographer on the backstage of the fashion industry (“Les coulisses de la Mode”); and one with the regional participants of the international contest from the Fondation Alliance Française “Jobs Round the World”, etc. The regular next term of French classes for juniors and adults will resume April 15th. For more information afofsvg@gmail.com / 456-2095. We are located upstairs the Old Public Library (Carnegie Building).

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