In 1985 France began a series of Cultural Seasons (“Saisons Culturelles”) which honored foreign countries with yearlong celebrations and events. This year, in the last of the series, Brazil is in the spotlight.
Brazil Year in France will officially run from March to September in Paris. The main theme of Brazil Year in France is “Diversity and Modernity.”
Deciding on exactly how to present Brazil to the French public was not all that easy. A blue ribbon committee examined some 2,000 ideas and selected 400 of them. They were made public January 12 in a ceremony presided over by Minister of Culture, Gilberto Gil.
The ideas are intended to show the rich diversity of Brazilian culture. Among other things, every possible type of Brazilian music will be presented, says Mesquita Andrade, one of the committee coordinators.
A pavilion with 2,400 square meters is being built in the Marais neighborhood in Paris. According to minister of Culture, Gilberto Gil, the area, to be known as the “Brazil Space,” will be a cultural showcase during Brazil Year in France.
It will have an auditorium with 200 seats and an area where around 2,500 people, at any one time, can visit events and expositions. There will be films, dance and musical shows.
Popular Brazilian stars such as Milton Nascimento, Fernanda Abreu, Marcelo D2 and Zeca Baleiro, along with many others, will make presentations. There will be something different going on almost daily and the permanent exposition will change its focus every 22 days.
Gil added that the pavilion can also be used for business purposes. He pointed out that culture and economics go hand in hand.
“Brazil Year in France goes beyond culture. It branches out into politics, business, science and technology. We want to show a Brazil that is contemporary, a modern Brazil,” declared the Minister.
Meanwhile the French cultural attaché in Brazil, Jean-Paul Lefèvre, explained that the Brazil Space will be an important instrument in the cultural dialogue between the two countries.
It will be a place where the French population, and Europeans in general, will have direct contact with Brazilian culture, he said.