The next ‘Week of the French Language and La Francophonie’ kicks off in Bern on 14 March. Celebrated all over the world to reflect and showcase the diversity of la Francophonie, it will run in Switzerland until 26 March and feature numerous events on the theme of La Francophonie in Africa, combining culture, celebration and conviviality. Events will be held in more than fifteen towns and cities around the country, and in German-speaking Switzerland will focus on bringing together native French speakers and learners of the language.
The 24th Week of the French Language and La Francophonie (SLLF) was officially launched on 14 March 2019 under the auspices of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) and the Intercantonal Conference of Public Education of French-speaking Switzerland and Ticino (CIIP). The inauguration evening took place at 'Depot B' in Bern in the presence of Jean-Pierre Grin, President of the Swiss Parliamentary Delegation to the French-speaking Parliamentary Assembly and Jean-Pierre Siggen, Fribourg Cantonal Councillor and Vice-Chairman of the CIIP.
At this event, the group of French-speaking ambassadors in Bern, composed of representatives of the member countries of the International Organisation of La Francophonie accredited to Switzerland, presented their two annual awards. The first was presented to the Geneva Book Fair, the second largest French-language fair of its type in the world, for its commitment to promoting French-language literature in Europe; the second to the Romanian writer Victor Stoichita, Professor of History at the University of Fribourg, for his commitment to promoting the values of La Francophonie in Switzerland.
The inauguration evening also featured literary performances by school pupils from the German-speaking part of Switzerland and a performance by the evening's host, Marc Alexandre Oho Bambe, known as Captain Alexandre, a slam poet. The evening ended with a large African buffet, to which several African embassies contributed.
The SLLF is celebrated every year around 20 March, the International Day of La Francophonie, in various French-speaking parts of the world. In Switzerland, it will run from 14 to 24 March 2019, celebrating the special linguistic and cultural characteristics of French-speaking African countries through concerts, readings, conferences, culinary tastings, films and exhibitions. More than fifteen towns and cities in Switzerland will be hosting cultural events. For school pupils from different linguistic regions of the country it is an opportunity to come into contact with the French language, through activities such as slam workshops, documentary screenings and thematic discussions.
The SLFF is above all a great convivial occasion, fostering exchanges and celebrating the French language and the different French-speaking cultures.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Federal Department of Foreign Affairs Switzerland.