Ville de Marseille

Juillet 2014 >

Marseille strengthens its ties with Alliances Françaises

Marseille strengthens its ties with Alliances Françaises

Heavily involved in the promotion of our language abroad, the City of Marseille has developed a collaborative partnership in two new areas with Alliances Françaises, located in cities throughout the world.

Photo DR
­Shanghai, Valparaiso, Glasgow, Kosice and Odessa are the five cities, among many others, whose common bond is the close ties they have established with Marseille: twinning, economic cooperation agreements or exceptional circumstance (Kosice was the other European Capital of Culture in 2013).

For three years now, Marseille has been very focused on this priority of French diplomacy, ie the promotion of la francophonie worldwide, leading to the establishment of two actions aimed at these preferred partners. Thus, a programme to donate books in French from stock from Marseille’s municipal libraries targets Alliances Françaises, Instituts Français and municipal and national school libraries with a first shipment expected before summer.

A questionnaire has also been sent to eighteen partner-cities to define their needs more accurately in terms of quantity, types of books, etc. It should be noted that these municipal and national school libraries already receive the Marseille magazine on a regular basis and in 2013 received information from the cultural capital.

The second action was a collaborative effort with the Alliances Françaises centres in Shanghai, Valparaiso, Glasgow, Kosice and Odessa: organising free-form (poetry, singing, theatre, etc) French contests (already experienced in Glasgow) with Marseille as the central theme.

The prize is a week in the Phoenician City where winners will take courses at the local Alliance Française and enjoy leisure activities. The first contest of this type is slated to start in 2015. As an aside, Marseille also sponsored the renovations to the Shanghai Alliance Française multi-purpose space (“Salle Marseille”).

Marseille’s Alliance Française is celebrating 125 years !­

Whereas the Phoenician City has sponsored the “French Language and La Francophonie Week” for the third year running and organised the second edition of “La Francophonie Spring”, its Alliance Française is now celebrating its 125th anniversary.

Alliance Française, given its high profile abroad, is often the first point of contact for foreigners as they arrive in the city. “We have more than 1,000 people a year enrolled in our various courses (in groups, individual, preparation for state diplomas, intensive internships, etc.), but our role goes beyond only teaching French since we also explain life in France and its cities,” says Jean de Pélissot, its president.

If in the past Marseille’s Alliance Française was the catalyst for creating French schools in Beirut, Port Said, Mersina (Sicily) or Montfaoult (High Egypt) and provided supported to eighty schools in the Middle East, it is in Aix-en-Provence that it established a schedule in July 2013 with already nearly 200 students enrolled for the first year.