As part of France’s official ‘Year of Comics‘, the Institut Français a Londres in South Kensington has organised an exciting online programme building up to their Beyond Words Festival from 11th – 23rd May 2020.
Planned are live drawings, e-books, virtual workshops, book clubs and more, and included in the line-up is author, editor, publisher and events director Paul Gravett, offering a series of video reviews of new French graphic novels available in English.
As part of the Festival, Institut Français is also inviting everyone to take part in the French initiative #EverybodyDraws. It’s simple: every week, a cartoonist draws the two first boxes of a story, and you continue drawing the next ones and publish the result on social media. You can find out more here (in French) on the official website.
Stay tuned and publish your creations tagging: #ToutelaFranceDessine | #EverybodyDraws | @BD2020 and @ifru_london so the Institut français doesn’t miss your works. More details here
French Comics Apéro – 5th May 2020
The ultimate online rendezvous for comics lovers! Let’s take an aperitif together and chat about bande dessinée online fortnightly! From history to biopics, explore non-fiction comics. How to participate? It’s simple: stay home, prepare your good reading tips, pour yourself a drink, and connect on Zoom! | Register
Drink & Draw with Sébastien Vassant – 19th May 2020
Let’s drink (again!) & draw online with award-winning graphic novel illustrator Sébastien Vassant. Gather your pens, paper and inspiration and follows Sébastien’s tips and challenges! The best drawings will be published on the Institut Français social media! | Register
If your kids are creative minds and love comic books, the Institut Français new digital workshop is for them! They will learn the basics of writing and design a collaborative comic! The most passionate can also enter our comic strip competition and win prizes! And good news for the little ones: the Baby Comptines switch online with songs, stories and fun to share!
• Register for workshops 8th & 22nd May | Register for Baby Comptines 13 May | More info about the competition
French Comics for Every Taste on Culturethèque
From digital bande dessinée for kids such as Kroak or 4 Soeurs to the 2020 Angoulême Audience Prize winner, Saison des Roses for grown-ups or the beautiful transmedia creation Phallaïna, you are sure to find what you are looking for on Culturethèque. And you also have free access to the fantastic podcasts of the Tintin series played by the actors of the Comédie-Française!
• Register and Read, Listen, Watch
Thoreau and Me: a Breath of Fresh Air
Released in March in English from SelfMadeHero, the graphic novel Thoreau and Me By Cédric Taling explores the causes and consequences of today’s climate breakdown, beautifully blending humour, philosophy and fiction.
Cédric, a forty-something painter living in Paris, has begun to question his life choices. Surrounded by uncertainty – and worse, despair – in the face of mass consumerism and climate change, he discusses his plight with the spirit of Henry David Thoreau, proto-environmentalist and author of Walden; or, Life in the Woods. Although almost two centuries separate the men, their viewpoints show the striking parallels between the commercialism of the 19th century and the capitalist alienation of today. Inspired by Thoreau’s return to nature, Cédric begins dreaming of his own retreat from urban life.
Timely and original, Thoreau and Me explores the causes and consequences of today’s climate breakdown. Blending humour, philosophy and fiction at a time of unprecedented ecological and financial stress, Taling explores how we can learn to live with and respond to our own anxieties.
• Watch a review by critic of Paul Gravett
• Cédric Taling is on Instagram
Just released in the UK by SelfMadeHero, written by Olivier Bocquet and Jean-Marc Rochette, Altitude is an impassioned tale of how physical endurance can help scale dreams and mountain peaks.
From the co-creator of Snowpiercer, Altitude offers an exhilarating, autobiographical account of writer and artist Jean-Marc Rochette’s early life as a mountain climber.
Together with co-writer Olivier Bocquet, they recount Jean-Marc’s passion for mountain climbing as a teenager, from when he discovered how the Alps held an escape for him at a formative time in his life, to the realisation that this frozen playground can also be a place of danger and fatal beauty.
Set against the backdrop of the terrifying but magnificent natural beauty of the French Alps, Altitude is an impassioned tale of how physical endurance can help scale dreams and mountain peaks.
• Interview with Jean-Marc Rochette | Watch special teaser
• Discover more about Beyond Words, an online Festival of French literature (11-24 May) and throughout the year! Plus, follow Institut Français on Twitter
• Who better than Astérix and Obélix to kick off these celebrations? Grab the family and head to Gaul for their latest adventures in The Secret of the Magic Potion!
• Are you a member of the Institut français? If not become one and get free access to thousands of French and international newspapers and magazines online on Europresse from the comfort of your home. Titles include Le Monde, Libération, Le Figaro, l’Equipe, Courrier International and The Financial Times.
• Want to become a member? Click here | Already a member? Click here to access Europresse
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What would we do without Paul Gravett?