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The one about the new world…

By Didier Allouch, host of Rendez-vous d'Amérique

My dear francophiles, francovorous and francophageous friends, in all the pre-post-Covid crisis statements from here and there, everyone is talking about how different the world will be after all this, about how we will be different after this…

 

"The arts are, as they’ve always been, important agents of change."

News flash: it won’t, and we won’t.

If one thing is true, it’s that we all want to go back to the old normal; we all want to put the strangest times we have ever lived behind us and try to forget about it. And, believe me, when this will be over, the first thing we’ll try to do as hard as we can is do exactly as we did before. Even if it won’t be easy, the economic consequences will be disastrous, the moral of the troops won’t be high, and we’ll still have to face the fear of the famous “second wave,” but we’ll come back to our old selves… In all our glorious self-destructive, over-consuming, earth destructor mode… No, things won’t change…

Unless…

Unless, I’m just overly pessimistic and way too cynical…

In our new episode of Rendez-Vous d’Amerique, we have a story about an exchange, a connection between 2 cities, Oakland in the bay area and Saint Denis, in Paris’ suburbs. A group of artists and cultural actors from Oakland spent a few days in Saint Denis. A few weeks later, a group from Saint Denis traveled to Oakland. Moments of intense exchange between two cultures finally not this different… Beyond the noble initiative, this operation may just help us in the future. It may show us a way to see things differently.

To prepare the next world, we’ll have to meet, to exchange, and to share. All these things we won’t be able to do physically, maybe we could do them culturally.

That’s where our job will be more important than ever. We’ll have to allow the distribution of culture from the creators, the artists, to the audience. More than ever, this distribution will be essential because the arts are, as they’ve always been, important agents of change.

If we get through this, and we will, I can promise you that I’ll do my part. I will let you know where and how to get the French-speaking culture that you’ll need. I will let the filmmaker, the dancer, the writer, the painter, the musician, or any artist talk to you directly through our show. I will try to convey their message, their craft, their art to you. I will do my best to allow the exchange that can trigger something. Just to be a part of the change, at my very modest level.

Because yes, we’ll need this change… The world after will no longer be sustainable if we don’t change it. It’s our job. To each and every one of us… So when all this is over, “allez, hop, au boulot !”

To learn more about the Oakland and Saint-Denis exchange, and French culture in America, tune in to Rendez-vous d’Amérique on TV5MONDE USA. Click here for more information.

Exploring cultural diversity entwined with the bright lights of major cities and the safety of one’s own home, Rendez-vous d'Amérique invites you on a journey to discover Francophone culture in America. Your host on this cultural experience is Didier Allouch - reporter, cinephile, and a familiar face at movie premieres. Click here to learn how you can subscribe to TV5MONDE USA and never miss an episode!

 
Jane Birkin performs La Javanaise with 3,600 singers hosted by Radio France and Le Théâtre du Chatelet.
"Because yes, we’ll need this change."
Getty curator Anne-Lise Demas presents one of her favorite masterpieces, an incredibly detailed bust of Pope Paul V Borghese.