Relaunch of the Alliance Française of Soweto
The Embassy of France and the Alliance Française network in South Africa, in the presence of French Ministre d’État, Minister for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition, M. Nicolas Hulot, and sister of Hector Pieterson, Ms. Antoinette Sithole, officially reopened the Alliance Française of Soweto on Tuesday 17 July 2018.
The Alliance Française of Soweto is an educational and cultural institution located in Diepkloof.
It first opened in 1982 in this part of Johannesburg, intimately linked to the history of South Africa and the history of the struggle for freedom and democracy. It is part of a worldwide network of 833 Alliances Françaises located in 133 countries, whose aim is to enhance dialogue between cultures and to foster a spirit of cooperation based on solidarity and mutual respect. It is the only foreign cultural centre in Soweto.
For several years, this Alliance’s activity has been dormant. But the newly designated board of members has rolled up its sleeves to give the Alliance a new impetus. Elected early this year, board members Rachel Seabela, Mpho Sono, Mandisa Mcelu and Obed Gama, are committed to reactivating the Alliance.
Now, the Alliance offers French languages classes, workshops in basic professional skills for the youth of Soweto, computer literacy programmes and monthly cultural projects and activities to showcase both French and local culture.
One such project, set to take place in July and August, ‘Inside Out: the doers of Soweto’ by French street artist JR will see hundreds of large-format portraits of Sowetans displayed all over town. This will offer the local community a stunning mirror of their own diversity and energy.
Pictures: Fred Barbe