French Season makes waves across SAMeropa Communications
As the French Season in South Africa 2012 passes the ‘half-way’ mark it has been hailed as a huge success both here and in France.
This was announced by the Commissioners-General of the France-South Africa Seasons 2012 & 2013, Bongani Tembe (South Africa) and Laurent Clavel (France), after a series of Joint Operations Committee (JOC) meetings that took place in Johannesburg last week.
The meetings - attended by the South African departments of Arts and Culture, Basic Education, Science and Technology and Tourism, and the National Arts Council, as well as by the Institutfrançais in Paris, the French Institute of South Africa and the French Embassy in SA - were held to review progress on the French Season in South Africa and to identify projects across different categories for the South African Season in France next year.
Speaking after the final meeting Clavel said more than half of the 120 different projects in arts, culture and several other sectors that make up the French Season in South Africa had taken place or were underway.
“The turn-out at these events by the South African public, mainly but not only in Durban, Cape Town and Johannesburg, has far exceeded our expectations.”
Tembe said the high levels of activity on social media platforms provided a good indication of the tremendous support by South Africans of French Season projects. “Our Facebook following has grown to over 4 000 and reached 1.9 million people, while photo albums on Facebook and Google+ are receiving increasing attention. Most of our 400+ Tweeters are well-known South Africans such as Zanele Khumalo, Josie Field, Ewok Robinson, Rob van Vuuren, Karabo Kgoleng, Axel Buhrmann, Alan Smitthee, Sarah Britten and Jordan Lloyd.”
Clavel, who has been in and out of South Africa since the Season began in June, said he was captivated by the energy, the excitement and the turnout at the French Season in South Africa 2012 events by South Africans.
He cited the 20th Century Masters: the Human Figure exhibition at the Standard Bank Gallery in Johannesburg which hosted some 21 300 visitors between 13th July and 15th September and the Rendez-vous 12 contemporary art exhibition which has drawn well over 12 500 visitors to the Iziko-South African National Gallery since its launch on 12 July as examples.
Tembe said other highlights of the French Season in South Africa 2012 had also reported fantastic attendance figures, such as:
- The Home Movie Factory in Johannesburg which saw 150movies made by 1 400 members of the public in five weeks;
- The French Film Festival in South Africa which attracted over 5 000 movie fans to its screenings in five South African cities during August; and
- The 13th World Conference of Teachers of French which saw a significant contingent of international and South African educationalists, academics and French teachers make up the 800-strong delegation that took part in the event.
“I am stunned by the way in which South African have embraced the French Season,” said Tembe.
“The French focus at the National Arts Festival of Grahamstown attracted nearly 7 000 people, the Fête de la Musique events in Johannesburg, Durban and Port-Elizabeth were celebrated by over 10 000 people while the French Days at eight SA tertiary institutions involved anything from 100 to 600 students at each university.”
Clavel added that the French Season is a showcase of the numerous links between France and South Africa. “It has reinforced existing collaborations and is building a lasting legacy for both nations.”
Tembe said the French Season in South Africa 2012 has further cemented ties between the two countries at government level. “We have experienced this first-hand at the JOC meetings that are held every quarter.”
“There is much to still be enjoyed of the remaining projects that make up the French Season in South Africa - let us go out and enjoy them,” he said.
Visit www.france-southafrica.com for all event information.
France-South Africa Seasons 2012 & 2013 are organised and implemented:
By Institutfrançais with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Culture and Communication, the Ministry of National Education, the Ministry of Higher Education and Research, the Ministry for Sports, Youth, Non-formal Education and Voluntary Organisations, the Ministry of Industrial Renewal, the Ministry of Craft Industry, Trade and Tourism, the French Embassy in South Africa and the network of Alliance Française.
Chairman: Xavier Darcos
General Commissioner: Laurent Clavel
For South Africa:
By the Department of Arts and Culture and the National Arts Council (NAC), with the support of the Department of Science and Technology, the Department of Sports and Recreation, the
Department of Tourism, the Department of Trade and Industry, the Department of Higher Education and Training, the Department of Basic Education, and the Embassy of South Africa in France.
General Commissioner: Bongani Tembe.
The French Season in South Africa is supported in 2012 by a committee of sponsors chaired by Mr Luc Oursel, AREVA President and Chief Executive Officer, Chairman of the Executive Board of AREVA. This committee is made of the following corporations: AREVA, Air France, Bouygues Travaux Publics, EDF, GDF-SUEZ, Mazars, Fondation Orange and Total.
For further information about the France-South Africa Seasons 2012 & 2013, please contact:
- Lebo Mahlaela, telephone 011 506 7300 / 084 910 0846, e-mail email@example.com
- Alex van Essche, telephone 011 506 7300 / 082 321 1167, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
011 506 7300
France-South Africa Seasons 2012 & 2013
Web site: http://www.france-southafrica.com