2019 Francophonie Festival in China - Swiss agenda

Press release, 28.02.2019

French is one of the four official languages in Switzerland. With nearly two million French speakers, Switzerland has been a full member of the International Organization of La Francophonie since 1996. As a long-term participating country of the Mois de la Francophonie festival, Switzerland has been working actively with other Francophonie countries to showcase the diversity and modernity of the French language and culture.

Jean Troillet
Jean Troillet © S. Devrient

In March, the Embassy of Switzerland in China and its consulates general in Shanghai, Chengdu, Guangzhou and Hong Kong will continue to bring a series of film and music activities to the month-long celebration. The aim of the festival is to raise the awareness and respect of cultural and linguistic diversity, to promote the French language, its culture and heritage, and sustainable development.

The Swiss Embassy invites you to join the various events, and follow it on its social media platforms (WeChat: SwissChat, Weibo and Touotiao: Embassy of Switzerland in China).

Film Encounter: ‘Jean Troillet, Toujours Aventurier’

Directed by: Sébastien Devrient, documentary, 54 minutes, 2016, ww.vertigesprod.ch

A small bivouac at 3,040 meters on the slopes of Mont Dolent in Valais is the setting for great encounters. Over the course of 10 days under canvas, in conditions similar to those of his expeditions, the famous adventurer and mountaineer Jean Troillet revisits the high points of his life as documented by his friend and film director Sébastien Devrient. 50 years of mountaineering, 40 years of expeditions, 30 years climbing the Himalayas at more than 8000 metres.

Throughout these days filled with stories, 27 surprise guests come to visit Jean Troillet. Some come in person to spend 24 hours in the bivouac; others enjoy a virtual immersion in the intimate setting of the camp through interviews projected onto the tent canvas. Sketches, anecdotes, confidences, laughter and silence bring the past to life again and snatch a glimpse of the future of a free and enthusiastic man who, at 68 years old, is still an adventurer.

Troillet will travel to China and have discussions with the audiences following the screenings.

City

Date

Venue

Shanghai

 12 March

Tongji University

Chengdu

14 March

Fansuo Commune

Chongli

16 March

Wanlong

Beijing

17 March

L’institut Français de Chine (Guangcai site)

Guangzhou

18 March

Consulate General of Canada in Guangzhou

Hong Kong

19 March

The Fringe Club

Mars en Folie 2019: Stevans, Phanee de Pool, Sophie de Quay and the WaveGuards

Three Swiss bands Stevans, Phanee de Pool and Sophie de Quay and the WaveGuards, will be touring China with other three bands from Belgium, France and Quebec from 15 to 31 March, showing audience the charm of Francophone music.

With three albums, Stevans, a four-piece band from Geneva and created by the Swiss musician Yvan Franel, have marked its imprints on the music field. Songs that dance on the lips (‘Monday’s wedding’), concerts on the biggest stages (Paleo Festival, Montreux, London, New York, Paris, Lisbon), prestigious supporting acts (Kaiser Chiefs, Deep Purple, Snow Patrol), talented collaborators (Will Jackson, producer of The Pigeons Detectives and Kaiser Chiefs). Yvan Franel takes his group to contemporary territories where introspection doesn’t hamstring to dance, fantasy doesn’t inhibit to think and where the outcrops of melancholia still let trickle through some exhilarating irony. A contrasting mirror of an era in which the post-modern disillusionment is getting colored with a new lucid hedonism and creative energy, which is used as a support for those who wish to open new horizons.

The band’s fourth album, “Renaissance” is to be released in March during the Mois de la Francophonie. www.stevans.net

Yvan Franel (singer, pianist, guitarist)

Son of a diplomat, in his first 16 years of life he went to different schools and travelled a lot. He learned to play the guitar, the piano and drums between Belgrade, Jakarta and Athens. In 2003, he joined the Lausanne Hotel Management School, before he founded his music group Stevans one year later, of which he is also the singer. Power group of dandy, they produce a pop that slams and animated Rock’n’Roll.

City

Date

Venue

Hong Kong

16 March

MoM Livehouse

Guangzhou

17 March

Rock House

Shenzhen

20 March

Brown Sugar

Beijing

22 March

OMNI Space

Dalian

23 March

Hertz Livehouse

Shanghai

24 March

Jinqiao Center  

Phanee de Pool (Fanny Diercksen), a former-policewoman-turned solo artist, lights up audiences with her arresting performances. The musician enchants the audiences with her voice, which is clear-headed, solid, playful and strolling on a melodious trifle sipped in malice. She has a strong and charismatic presence on stage and lyrics leading to the highpoint. Her stage performance appears in a vintage décor, plays with the lights, includes comedy and interacts with humoristic videos. With a bit more than one year of existence and a first album sold more than 5,000 times, Phanee de Pool already has become one of the best-known artists in the French part of Switzerland and has a promising career ahead! www.phaneedepool.com

City

Date

Venue

Chengdu

29 March

NU Space

Shanghai

30 March

1862 Theatre

31 March

Jiatinghui Center

 “They didn’t know it was impossible so they did it.”  Sophie de Quay & the WaveGuards consider Mark Twain’s quotation as their motto. For two years, they have performed more than 100 concerts throughout the world: Switzerland, France, Belgium, Romania, Spain, Lebanon, New York.

Thanks to their audacity, sensitivity, enthusiasm, spontaneity and openness on the world, Sophie (also daughter of a diplomat), Simon and Tim manage to convert every new encounter and every new experience into a simple and moving story. Pop melodies, electro beats and rich structures of the WaveGuards’ productions blend to create a generous sound enabling Sophie to uncover her powerful and moving voice. Her warm and intense tone of voice is particularly revealed in an EP and in their first album “Drop The Mask” in which the lyrics in French, English and Chinese evoke the dilemma and the duality between being and appearing. www.sophiedequayandthewg.com

City

Date

Venue

Shenzhen

29 March

Brown Sugar (Shangbu)

Ningbo

30 March

Bacon Light

Dalian

31 March

Hertz Livehouse

Beijing

3 April

Dusk Dawn Club

Shanghai

4 April

Le Café des Stagiaires

Facts about French and the French-speaking regions in Switzerland

  • There are an estimated 300 million French speakers worldwide; French is the 5th most widely spoken language on the planet; the 2nd business language of the European Area and the 3rd global business language in the world; 4th most widely used language on the Web;
  • Switzerland has four national languages: German, French, Italian and Romansh;
  • In Switzerland, French is spoken by 22.6% of the population;
  • In four Swiss cantons, French is the sole official language: Geneva, Vaud, Neuchâtel, and Jura. There are three cantons where French and German have co-official status: Bern, Fribourg and Valais.