Malraux Seminar on Culture in Urban Spaces

The Malraux Seminar was established in France in 1994 as an intellectual platform for dialogue at the international level.

New Delhi, 26 - 27 September 2019

H.E. Mr Emmanuel Lenain, Ambassador–Designate of France to India, inaugurated the first Malraux Seminar to take place in India, on Thursday, 26th September at India Habitat Centre. The Seminar was organised by The French Institute in India in collaboration with the French Ministry of Culture.

Malraux Seminars, a programme established by the French Ministry of Culture, are intellectual platforms for dialogue between experts from France and a host country in the fields of art, culture and heritage. They are named after the well-known novelist and art theorist, André Malraux (1901 - 1976), who was also France’s first Minister of Cultural Affairs. As a minister, his contribution to opening the arts to the public was immense.

A professional symposium, the Malraux Seminar organised in Delhi was part of an ‘Indo-French Forum on Culture in Urban Public Spaces’, focusing on public policies and cultural practices. Indian and French experts as well as representatives of local Indian authorities discussed the challenges and implications of organising cultural events in urban spaces in India and exchanged notes on best practices during round tables through case studies.

India being engaged in reviewing the organisation and use of urban space under the Smart Cities Mission, many local Indian authorities have included these issues on their agenda. Recognising the key role art plays in this matter, they are taking cognisance of the challenges that arise from the complex and multidimensional nature of public space in India.

Opening the Seminar, Mr Emmanuel Lenain, Ambassador–Designate of France to India, said: “Bringing art into public space is a significant aspect of smart cities, and France has recognised expertise to offer in both fields. I am delighted to inaugurate the very first Malraux Seminar in India, particularly as a platform to enhance our cooperation and identify new prospects in this area. André Malraux’s name has special resonance here, given his strong intellectual and spiritual connections with this country, which he considered as ‘the other pole of our lives’.”

On the French side, five experts from the Ministry of Culture, as well as heads of cultural programmes from prominent cities and institutions attended the conference. Participation from the Indian side included leading experts from the Task Force on Art and Culture of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), ICOMOS India, Serendipity Arts Foundation, Khoj, DAG, St+art India, Teamwork Arts, School of Planning and Architecture, Chennai Photo Biennale, Dance Bridges Festival, India Foundation for the Arts, Archaeological Survey of India, Krishnakriti Foundation, and a dozen more stakeholders from Indian states and Smart Cities Mission across India participated.

Giulia Ambrogi, Co-founder and Curator - Street Art India, took the participants on a walk through the Lodhi Art District, which led to a dance performance by eminent choreographers Ali Salmi and Astad Deboo. The evening concluded at Raw Mango Studio for a private reception with leading personalities from the Indian art world.

The Malraux Seminar

The Malraux Seminar was established in France in 1994 as an intellectual platform for dialogue at the international level. It is named after André Malraux (1901 - 1976), acclaimed novelist, art theorist and France’s first minister of Cultural Affairs appointed by the then President, General Charles de Gaulle. The Seminar has been hosted by different countries, each time providing an intellectual platform for arts, culture and heritage professionals in France and a host nation to engage in dialogue and exchange ideas, expertise and experience.

French Institute in India (IFI)

The French Institute in India (IFI) is the Education, Science and Culture department of the Embassy of France in India. It facilitates academic and scientific exchange between higher institutes of learning and research, enables student mobility, and promotes French language and artistic and cultural partnerships. Cooperation between India and France takes place through a number of sectors: Arts & Culture, Books & Ideas, French Language & Education, the Study in France programme, Academic Partnerships, Science & Technology, as well as Innovation and Multimedia.
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Last modified on 01/10/2019

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