As autumn begins, we are eager to return to the lively rhythm of the cooler months. In New York and around the country, our cultural programming is back in full swing with events that offer space for thoughtful exchange and debate.
First and foremost, we are thrilled to welcome Ta-Nehisi Coates, journalist, writer, and author of the National Book Award winning Between the World and Me, as guest curator of the third annual Festival Albertine, which will take place from November 2-6. Coates will lead conversations around questions of race, identity and immigration through a cultural lens with a host of panelists from both sides of the Atlantic, including visual artist Kehinde Wiley, choreographer Benjamin Millepied, author and creator of HBO’s “The Wire” David Simon, historian Benjamin Stora, graphic novelist Catherine Meurisse, and historian Pap Ndiaye. All events will take place at Albertine Books, located within the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in New York, and will be accessible across the U.S. via live stream at this link, with viewing events scheduled in Indiana, Boston and Houston.
The art of French comics will also animate the fall lineup in New York City. The French Comics Framed festival, organized by the French Comics Association and running from September 27 to November 5, offers seasoned comics fans the opportunity to meet with some of the best artists of francophone Europe, and offers US audiences a chance to discover the rich tradition of French comics arts. Events include a major exhibition of illustrations at The Cooper Union, a book signing at New York Comic Con with 18 comics artists including Jean-Marc Rochette, Jean-Claude Mézières and Pénélope Bagieu, and a series of talks with the artists at venues around the city. Several of the participants, including Kerascoët (Marie Pommepuy and Sébastien Cosset) and Anne Simon, will continue with a national tour.
In the preforming arts, renowned French choreographer Jérôme Bel will make several appearances in the US this fall presenting both iconic pieces and new works. In New York, Bel will be featured in FIAF’s Crossing the Line Festival 2016 in partnership with the Joyce Theater, The Kitchen, and MoMA. In Minneapolis he will perform at the Walker Art Center and in Philadelphia at the Philadelphia Fringe Arts Festival.
On the West Coast, our San Francisco office continues its Gender in Translation program, a series of events dedicated to studying and questioning the notion of gender in a Franco-American context. Discussing literature, philosophy, and social sciences, various thinkers share their thoughts and insights about gender in an academic symposium setting. And in Los Angeles in early November, Shoot the Book gives French authors the chance to present their books to a panel of filmmakers, who will choose to adapt some of these books into film or television productions.
In the digital sphere, the French-American Digital Lab, co-produced with Business France, and with the support of the Institut français, returns for a second New York edition, offering French startups in the cultural sector the chance to discover the American tech scene and explore the U.S. market. This year, six startups have been selected to participate in the Digital Lab's New York edition which will focus on themes of fashion and virtual reality, and run from October 17-26. A Paris edition, for American startups, will follow in December.
Finally, furthering the French Embassy’s commitment to supporting student exchange, September marks the launch of France Alumni USA, a platform and professional community for American students who have studied abroad in France. The platform encourages educational and professional ties between France and the United States. It was inaugurated by Mr. Jean-Marc Ayrault, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, on September 21.
For Albertine members, a very special rentrée littéraire event will take place in October. If you wish to join Albertine's community, click here for details.
And of course, Albertine will continue to present weekly talks throughout the fall with guests such as Siri Hustvedt, Christophe Boltanski and Salman Rushdie.
I hope that these cultural activities and others will invigorate and inspire you this fall.
A très bientôt,
Bénédicte de Montlaur
Cultural Counselor of the French Embassy in the US