Launch of South African Season in France
The South African Season in France, set to run between May and December, was officially launched by Minister Mashatile on Monday, 06 May 2013 in Johannesburg. This follows the successful first leg of the French Season held in South Africa last year.
Picture: Delegates at the launch of South African Season in France
As part of the cultural exchange between the two countries, a full range of exciting activities will take place over the entire period, with South Africa sending a huge contingent of artists to showcase the country’s enormous talent, whilst also exposing it to international markets.
Minister Mashatile said the department is taking more than 800 South Africans, including artists, academics, sportsmen and women, to France, as part of the on-going programme to strengthen people-to-people relations between the countries.
According to the minister, their participation at the South Africa Season in France will offer artists an opportunity to showcase their work to French audiences and allow them to collaborate with their French counterparts.
“The South Africa Season in France will advance the goals of our Mzansi Golden Economy strategy to unleash the potential of the arts, culture and heritage sector to contribute to economic growth, job creation and building sustainable livelihoods,“ said the Minister.
France’s ambassador to South Africa Madame Elisabeth Barbier described the relationship between the two countries as “a fantastic human story, a story of friendship between two peoples.”
“After the French Season in South Africa 2012, after six months of festivities for all to enjoy throughout the country, with more than 120 events in arts, culture, education, debating, sciences, economics as well as business, sports and tourism, the vitality of the friendship between our two countries is more tangible than ever,’ said Mme Barbier.
Among the dignitaries who attended the occasion was Deputy Minister Joe Phaahla, DG Sibusiso Xaba, South Africa’s Ambassador in France Dikgang Moopeloa, South African Commissioner General of the Seasons Bongani Tembe, Chairperson of the French South Africa Seasons Xavier Darcos, and French Commissioner General of the Seasons Laurent Clavel.