Dream start for the South African Season in France!
The South African Season in France officially started on May 28th with a Gala function, which was organized by the French Institute. It took place in the famous Théâtre National de Chaillot in Paris, in the presence of the French and South-African Culture Ministers as well as several leading figures of both countries.
On this occasion, the Eiffel Tower lit up in the colors of the south-African flag. These colours were lit up again in the same colors on June 15th and 16th, and will be lit up again from July 15th to the 21st.
One of the highlights of this South African Season is the Mandela Exhibition, which currently takes place in the Paris City Hall, until July 6th. It pays a tribute to the first black President of the south-African Republic, a symbol of racial equality. During the opening of the exhibition on May 29th, Nelson Mandela has been awarded the Honorary Citizenship of Paris. The great grandson of the former south-African President has received a diploma from the Mayor of Paris Bertrand Delanoë.
The Mandela Day, which happens every year on July 18th, date of his birthday, will be pointed up this year by the French Institute. Everybody is encouraged to devote 67 minutes to any volunteer action.
For seven months, until December 2013, a series of cultural events about South Africa will take place in France and in French overseas territories.
Among these events, the exhibition “My Joburg” will be on display at La Maison Rouge in Paris from June 20th to September 22nd. It will provide an overview of the art scene in Johannesburg, featuring a young generation of artists who remain mostly unknown in France.
South African photographs will be showed during the photographic event Les Rencontres d’Arles, from July 1st to September 22nd. This will be the opportunity to discover a unique project which aims at underlining the complexity of the country as well as perfectly illustrating the transitions currently experienced by South Africa.
South Africa will also be present at the Festival d’Avignon, in the South of France, which will take place from July 8th to 14th. This will be the opportunity to discover a choreography of Mamela Nyamza. This provocative show draws a parallel between cultural traditions and social difficulties with an autobiographic aspect.
Another choreographer, Dada Masilo, well known for his ballets, will present his new creation called Swan Lake at the Théâtre du Rond Point in Paris from September 10th to October 6th.
The cultural place La Gaîté Lyrique will explore artistic singularities of South Africa through a cross disciplinary program called “Sharp Sharp Joburg”. Screenings, conferences and interactive facilities which emphasize the city of Johannesburg will be presented to the public from October 12th to November 8th in Paris as well.
South Africa will be the Guest of Honour at the Foire Internationale et Gastronomique de Dijon, which will occur between October 31st and November 11th. A south-African pavilion will present the destination as well as the wine region near Cape Town during this major event in Burgundy.
During seven months, more than 200 events will be a unique opportunity to discover or rediscover the south-African culture, through a wide range of disciplines such as music, cinema, literature or food.
The full program is available on the official website displayed by the French Institute: