• Events
Sep 28
Frédéric Yonnet at DC JazzFest 2400 East Capitole Street
Sep 30
Scholastique Mukasonga & Maaza Mengiste ONLINE EVENT Brookline Booksmith and City of Asylum Bookstore
Sep 30
Scholastique Mukasonga & Maaza Mengiste ONLINE EVENT Brookline Booksmith and City of Asylum Bookstore

Winter Edito 2020

"Real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present."
- Albert Camus

At the start of this new year, we invite you to take a moment to stop and think about humanity’s relationship with the world and other species during A Night of Philosophy & Ideas/Night of IdeasThis global event, which originated in France in the early 2000’s, will take place in more than 120 countries around the world between January 25 and February 2, exploring this year’s central theme: Being Alive/Etre Vivant. 

In the U.S., philosophical marathons will stimulate conversation from coast to coast: On January 25, Norfolk, Virginia kicks off the series in Slover Library’s majestic central atrium. On January 30, Chicago’s Field Museum will feature numerous guest speakers and artists including Franco-Congolese novelist Alain Mabanckou, and Books & Books in Miami will present a preview of the Oscar nominated Les Misérables, among other talks and events. On January 31, oceanographer Bethanie Edwards, Benoît Lecomte, the first man to swim the Atlantic Ocean, and others, will speak at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles, and Harvard University will present Boston’s first-ever Night of Philosophy & Ideas with a full program of artists and intellectuals. On February 1, Night of Ideas returns to the San Francisco Public Library after tremendous success in 2019, and the Brooklyn Public Library’s 12-hour program will kick-off with a keynote from Nobel Prize-winning economist, Esther Duflo. All events are co-presented by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy. 

With each new season comes a new group of French authors on tour in the U.S. This winter, acclaimed YA novelist Julia Billet (Jan 19 - Feb 2) will present her graphic novel Catherine’s War at public and private schools in Chicago, Houston, Dallas, Austin, New Orleans; philosopher Barbara Stiegler (Jan 20 - Feb 5) will make stops in Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles presenting her latest book, "Il faut s'adapter" (Gallimard, 2019); philosopher Mark Alizart (January 24 - February 2) author of Dogs (Polity Books, 2019) will visit in New York and Chicago; French journalist and writer Philippe Lançon (Jan 24 - Feb 2) will travel to Baltimore, Washington DC, New Haven, and New York for the release of his memoir, Disturbance: Surviving Charlie Hebdo; philosopher Felwine Sarr will visit Los Angeles, Berkeley, Chicago, Washington D.C., and New York City promoting his new book Afrotopia (University of Minnesota Press, 2019); and celebrated Iranian novelist Javad Djavahery (Feb 24 - March 8) will present his book My Part of Her, (Restless Books, 2019), translated by Emma Ramadan in Boston, Providence, Brooklyn, LA, and San Francisco.

From February 8 - March 21, our Washington D.C. office is teaming up with the National Gallery of Art to present African Legacy: Francophone Films 1955 to 2019, a film series showcasing the rich tradition of filmmaking in Cameroon, Mauritania, Ivory Coast, Senegal, and Niger. The program includes works by filmmakers such as Med Hondo, Timité Bassori, Paulin Soumanou Vieyra, Ousmane Sembène, Djibril Diop Mambéty, and Moustapha Alassane, among others, as well as new work by contemporary Cameroonian artist Rosine Mbakam. And throughout the month of March, our Houston office presents the annual French Cultures Festival (FCF), a celebration of the diversity of "francophonie" in Texas, Oklahoma, and ArkansasThe 2020 edition will open with a concert in Houston featuring internationally-acclaimed French singer CharlElie Couture.

If you live in New York City, the Albertine bookstore will begin its winter/spring book club on January 21 with a discussion of Philippe Lançon’s Disturbance (Europa Editions). While you're there, make sure to take a peek at Albertine's Cabinet précieux number 1, the first in a series of rare books that will be showcased on Albertine’s second floor. This collection features a selection of 20th century books – mainly first editions – including books by ColetteCocteau and Samuel Beckett. 

 In the spirit of philosophical reflection, I will leave you with some food for thought from Mr. Beckett: “The end is in the beginning and yet you go on.”

I wish you all a wonderful new year! Meilleurs voeux! 

Gaëtan Bruel
Cultural Counselor of the French Embassy