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Inauguration of Institut Français India in a Brand New Avatar

New Delhi, 15 November 2016. A window to culture, education and entertainment from both India and France, Institut français India, the cultural wing of the French Embassy in India, was inaugurated in a new avatar today. The opening of the renovated building was celebrated with a captivating qawwali and world music concert in the new premises. The lively evening was hosted by Dr Bertrand de Hartingh, Counsellor for Cooperation and Cultural Affairs, Director – Institut français India, and Bonjour India General Curator.

Formerly the site of the Embassy of France and currently housing a historical archive of post-Independence Delhi, the new campus embodies heritage and modernity, as well as the very spirit of a cultural centre: working with diversity, local resources and reflexively. The new cultural centre, renovated by the architectural firm Spacematters in four months, displays an understated palette and revives the architectural essence of the Lutyens bungalow. The open centre has been carved out from decades of piecemeal additions to form a space where dialogue can continue. French artist Alexandre Eudier has provided the artwork, which is based on classical artistic and technical traditions, bringing to it the aesthetics of the printed circuit. The pattern will soon be engraved on the veranda floor.

The evening featured the musical talents of Mathias Duplessy, French composer and multi-instrumentalist, and Mir Mukhtiyar Ali, a twenty-sixth generation Sufi singer from Rajasthan. Inaugurated amidst a fusion concert, the launch event of IFI symbolised a beautiful interweaving of both French and Indian cultures through the language of music.

On this occasion, Dr Bertrand de Hartingh said, “France and India have established a deep-rooted partnership over many years, through artistic and educational exchanges as well as those in science, technology and know-how. Institut français India, now reinvented and renewed not only in its architecture but also in vision and spirit, signals France’s commitment to continuing its work of fostering partnerships, innovation and creativity. Scaling up and moving together in the future Bonjour India 2017-18, its third edition, will serve as a platform for the incubation of dreams, ideas and projects.

Institut français India

Institut français India (IFI) is the cultural service of the French embassy in India that connects and implements Indo-French exchanges in various fields. A platform that enables partnerships, IFI promotes academic exchange between higher institutes of learning, enables student mobility and promotes French language. IFI’s work also comprises scientific partnerships in research and innovation, capacity-building and interactions with civil society, vocational studies, as well as artistic and cultural partnerships in arts, books, film, fashion, design and more.

Bonjour India

In 2009 and 2013, the Institut français and French Embassy, in association with the Alliance Française network in India and the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) successfully organized the three-month run of Bonjour India. The Indo-French Festivalincorporated a wide range of collaborative projects in the performing arts, visual arts, literature, cinema and gastronomy, showcased in 15 cities all over India and reached about a million people. Scaling up and moving together into the future, Bonjour India 2017-2018 will serve as a platform for presenting the rich Indo-French relationship; it will highlight what the two countries can do together in terms of technological, social and environmental innovation; it will feature performances and shows created together by French and Indian artists; it will foster debates on yesterday’s and tomorrow’s ideas. In the four months spanning November 2017 to February 2018, Bonjour India will criss-cross the length and breadth of India’s territory. From Kolkata to Ahmedabad, from Kochi to Lucknow, Indo-French co-productions will bring out their creative potential, also partnering with India’s major fairs and festivals.

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