Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Let’s all speak French

Mar 18. 2019
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By The Nation

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The French language is under the spotlight this month as Alliance Francaise Bangkok plays host to the culturally diverse “Month of the Francophonie” with film screenings, concerts, live performing arts, exhibitions and playful activities.

The event is being held in partnership with the Thai Association of French Teachers and Lycee Francais International de Bangkok with support from the Embassies of Cambodia, Canada, Egypt, France, Luxembourg, Morocco, Poland, Qatar, Romania, Switzerland, Vietnam and Belgium plus the Honorary Consulate of Moldova,

Kicking off on Wednesday is the art exhibition hosted by the Embassy of Belgium, “Spirou4Rights & Marsu4Nature – Comic books at the service of human rights and nature”. The exhibition is made up of three parts.

The first section presents the drawings produced by the authors of the Spirou newspaper on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in collaboration with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. Each of the 30 articles of the Declaration is illustrated through a plate featuring the famous characters from the Spirou newspaper.

The second part of the exhibition invites visitors to discover 25 original issues of the Spirou newspaper published between 1939 and 1977. These collector’s pieces, unique in Thailand, reveal the evolution of the character of Spirou from Rob-Vel (with a 1939 issue where Spip became Spirou’s companion), through Jije (1946), to the stories of Andre Franquin and his famous “Idees Noires” published in the Trombone Illustre (1977). A series of 9 issues dating from 1957 features many plates from the prepublication of the album “Le Nid des Marsupilamis”. All the great heroes of the Belgian comic strip will be there and presented in their period publications! Texts in French, English and Thai) offer anecdotes from each of the copies on display.

The third part brings together 50 unpublished tributes to Franquin’s Marsupilami by 34 Thai artists and 16 students in Communication Design at Chulalongkorn University. From oil painting to three-dimensional works, from monotypes to collages, from comic strips to oil pencil or watercolour illustrations, these 50 works pay tribute to the Belgian illustrator and his Palestinian marsupial in his roles as herald and hero of the defence of Nature. 

The Canadian Embassy is participating by bringing French Canadian artists, Maryse Dubuc and Charles Officer. Maryse and her husband work on the famous comic series, “Les Nombrills” and are showing the drawings they developed for the #Spirou4Rights, created for the 150th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights last year.

On March 22, the embassy will screen the documentary “The Invisible Essence: The Little Prince” at 6:30pm in French and English with French subtitles. 

First published in 1943, Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s “The Little Prince” has been translated into 300 languages, sold nearly two million copies annually, and has become one of the best-selling books in history. The new documentary attempts to get to the heart of what makes this story so special.

Admission is free for both events. For more information, visit

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