Countdown to French festival in town

Calcutta: The Calcutta leg of the third edition of Bonjour India, the festival of France in India celebrating Indo-French partnership in innovation and creativity, takes off on December 3.

The festival begins in Jaipur on Saturday.

"The festival celebrates vitality in the fields of art, education, literature, science and more. There will be 100 projects spread over 35 cities, including 20 in Calcutta," said French consul-general Damien Syed.

The Calcutta leg will get off to a rocking start with a Live in Lakes concert featuring French bands, Colt Silvers and Last Train, which will share the stage with local band Ganesh Talkies.

Jazz trumpeter Erik Truffaz will entertain the audience at Dalhousie Institute on December 9.

An interesting component of the festival will be Know Your Indo-French Heritage. "Students of schools teaching French across India sent entries based on original research on Indo-French heritage. In the next round, short-listed teams will have to create board games on the subject," said architect Aishwariya Tipnis, the curator of the project. A related event will be a seven-day multi-disciplinary workshop with French and Indian students from Jadavpur University, Chandernagore College and The Confluence Institute for Innovation and Creative Strategies in Architecture, Lyon. "They will be working on urban public spaces and restoration of the dilapidated Registry Building in Chandernagore through community participation and design intervention," she said.

French ambassador Alexandre Ziegler is supposed to attend the closing of the workshop on January 12 when dancer-juggler Francois Chat will also perform.

Cinema will be an integral part of the festival, with children's films being screened at Basusree on four Saturdays in January and February. There will also be a film festival at Nandan from February 2 to 4.

The venue will shift to Borotalpada, a Santhal village in West Midnapore, where French, Indian, Japanese, Mexican, Canadian and Haitian artists and thinkers will present a night of contemporary theatre, sound and photography installation, philosophy and music, coordinated by Trimukhi Platform. Bookings for the overnight trip on January 27 and 28 can be made at the Alliance Francaise du Bengale (AFB) office.

A host of writers are coming. from France and Haiti."We are associated with three literary festivals. The biggest contingent, at least 10, will come for the Book Fair," said AFB director Fabrice Plancon. France is the fair's theme country this year. There will be theatre, dance shows and science seminars.


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