The Alliance Française: the French touch abroad

The Alliance Française: the French touch abroad ​

As we all know, every country has a unique culture which is worth discovering. As the world becomes more and more globalized, the precious heritages of each nation can be shared by everyone. This is precisely what the Alliance Française has been doing for 135 years by exporting the French language and culture all around the world.  Eager to build up friendly relationships between France and foreign countries, the Alliance Française organizes international events to recall how culturally rich are our civilizations. Its mission is also to help the populations in need to improve their quality of life and to give them better access to information and education.

When they’ve been studying or working abroad, M2i students have enjoyed reconnecting with France through local Alliance Française branches in faraway countries such as China. Here is a brief profile of the Alliance Française, and a focus on what it is currently bringing to the table.

Alliance Française: the spirit of diversity

The Alliance Française was created in 1883 by Paul Cambon with the purpose to promote the French culture and language overseas. It has been an undisputed success ever since and has developed a wide network worldwide which comprises more than 822 Alliances Françaises in over 132 countries. The main mission is to raise the interest in all French-speaking cultures and to make it accessible to anybody wherever they are. But above all, Alliance Française carries the passion of unifying people from different societies.
Alliance Française works hand in hand with the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs to frame the programs for developing French language and culture abroad. Their branches also organize numerous festivities such as art events, forums and exhibitions to showcase France’s cultural assets.

2017 France-Colombia year – a major cultural event

Illustration Mujer Peruana ©

The huge cultural event 2017 France-Colombia year, which was sponsored by Alliance Française and by France and Colombia’s governments, perfectly illustrates how strong the influence of the Alliance Française is.

This festival consisted in strengthening bilateral relations and in celebrating the transformations undergone by Colombia in its peace process with the FARC’s. The France-Colombia year started in Bogota, from December 16 to 23, with a Festival of Lights from Lyon. Major dates in the history of Bogota were also broadcast on a large screen, while bringing out various connections with France.

For four months, a total of fifty events took place, including many type of projects such as art and photography exhibitions, and music and circus performances.

The 2017 France-Colombia year’s closing ceremony was the unforgettable show Franciaen Música, where local and international artists gave an exceptional blended music performance. The concept was to highlight current trends in French music such as electro style and to mix it with Colombian rhythms. Calypso Rose, Pacifico Electro, Rainbow Pyssy and many other talented groups made the mixed culture crowd dance all day long under the brilliant sun of Colombia. The bet paid off for the Alliance Française, which managed to bring France and Colombia closer and to initiate long-lasting relationships

Focus on the Alliance 3.0 project

Illustration Soccer ©

Alliance 3.0, the latest major project, launched by the Alliance Française on the African continent, started on Wednesday September 20 2017. This project gathers 38 Alliances Françaises from four different African countries such as South Africa, Madagascar, Mauritania and Senegal.

The aim of this project is not only to give the world a certain image of France by developing this unique form of soft power, but to be a tool to achieve greater things: to reduce the social fracture of the participant countries by reinforcing the local population’s French skills and education.

This project does not only involve France: the government of Monaco will financially support this wonderful and yet challenging event over a 3-year period.

To achieve this project, the 38 Alliances Française will cooperate to implement actions that are dear to the spirit of the Alliance Française since its creation: they will reinforce teachers’ skills, create digital libraries all around the four participant African countries and develop French classes and digital activities. To boost the digitalization of education, the Alliance Française has also decided to set up a partnership with the NGO Libraries Without Borders which will help create digital libraries. Among the tools used to give each person access to education, Alliance Française will implement the KoomBook, a hotspot WiFi that you can use with your smartphone and which provides a wide range of databases such as Wikipedia, educational resources and training

This article was written by:

Lise Gauthier

Lise Gauthier

Justine Duru

Justine Duru