Launch of the South African Season in France 2013

Minister Mashatile launches the South African Season in France 2013 - France is a song, a poem and a dance away for more than 800 South African participants
Monday, 06 May, 2013, Johannesburg

Minister of Arts and Culture, Mr Paul Mashatile, launched the South African Season in France 2013 on Monday 6 May with the announcement that more than 800 South Africans, including artists, academics and sportsmen, are set to benefit from the bilateral which aims to strengthen people-to-people relations between France and South Africa. The France-South Africa Seasons 2012 & 2013 is a multifaceted collaboration between the two countries. Last year South Africa successfully hosted the French leg of the Seasons between July and November.

Mashatile said, “The South African Season will offer the French people a glimpse of the cultural scene in South Africa, which is as rich as it is varied. Our participation allows local artists, culture and heritage practitioners a chance to showcase their work to a French audience and allows for collaboration with their counterparts in that country. We’re excited to start the season and we’re confident that it will be a great success.”

South Africa is the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to participate in the reciprocal Seasons, which aims to give the people of both countries a better understanding of each other’s Arts, Culture and Heritage.

This year, between May and December, the French public will be treated to a wide range of over 150 different projects, performances and initiatives across 100 cities in France. Cultural events will be combined with an array of events in other fields : innovation, science and technology, higher education, business, tourism, sport, languages and more.

The Seasons is in line with the Department of Arts and Culture’s Mzansi Golden Economy strategy which aims to raise the profile of the arts, culture and heritage sector within the country and abroad, in an effort to create jobs, open up new markets and build sustainable livelihoods for those in the creative industries.

The South African Season in France comes ahead of preparations for the celebration of South Africa’s 20th Anniversary of freedom and democracy.

Commissioner General, Mr Bongani Tembe, adds, “The South African Season is a tribute to the struggle for freedom and the choice of reconciliation over racial division as embodied by many South Africans, including its most famous citizen, former President Nelson Mandela. The French can expect a Season rich in terms of magnitude and diversity.”

Commissioner General, Laurent Clavel, explains, “The Season aims to share the energy of a new South Africa by showcasing various developments, including its role and important position in the world and its response to challenges. Our simple wish is for the French public to fully engage with the South African Season and to enjoy all that the country has to offer.”

The Season will include 250 dance and theatre performances, 100 musical concerts, 50 movies, 40 residencies, 35 workshops, 30 exhibitions, and 150 South African wines will be available for the French to taste. “I hope that this will be an opportunity for the French to learn to love South Africa, with all its wealth and beautiful diversity. The ultimate reward will be to see the two nations advance towards a better, more humane and caring world through greater cooperation in the fields of arts, culture and heritage, science and technology, sport and business,” concludes Minister Mashatile.

The Ambassador’s speech at the opening can be downloaded here.

The highlights of the South African Season in France can be downloaded here.

For more information see : www.france-southafrica.com

Department of Arts and Culture : Percy Mthimkhulu 082 389 2684
McCann Public Relations : Beverley.bradley@mccann.com 072 272 5166

publie le 30/06/2014

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