Join us for a celebration of French culture with Francophone Week

Posted on: 26 February 2018 by School of Histories, Languages and Cultures in 2018 posts

French flag

May 1968 was a period of significant civil unrest in France, with widespread protests across the country causing a temporary shutdown of government. The mouvement sparked an explosion of French music, art and culture which still resonates with the public today.

Fifty years on, we're hosting a Francophone Week series of events to celebrate the best in French culture: from art to fashion, cinema to music.

Wednesday 28 February, 1pm: Concert of 20th century popular French music by The French Fancies

Rachael Russell (chanteuse) and Helen Maher (accordion) perform a mix of popular French Song made famous by Charles Trenet, Jacques Brel, Charles Aznavour and more.

Free tickets are available via Eventbrite.

French Fancies


Thursday 1 March, 11am: Gallery talk by Prof. Charles Forsdick ‘Scenes from the life of Toussaint Louverture’. Meet in the foyer of the Walker Art Gallery.

Lubaina Himid won The Turner Prize in 2017 for her installation Naming the Money which explores the legacies of slavery. This work is being exhibited at the Walker Gallery until 18 March.

Himid first came to prominence in the 1980s for her watercolours of the leader of the Haitian Revolution, Toussaint Louverture. Louverture was a slave who went on to lead the only successful slave revolution in history. This gallery talk is an opportunity to learn more about Toussaint Louverture, his life and the importance of the Haitian Revolution as an event that helped to end slavery.

This is an opportunity to learn about one of the most significant artists in 21st century Britain, whilst also understanding the importance and relevance of slavery as a way of understanding our past.

Charles Forsdick is a Professor of French in the Department at the University of Liverpool. His book on Toussaint Louverture came out with Pluto Press in 2016.

Lubaina Himid

Image: Edmund Blok for Modern Art Oxford

Thursday 1 March, 3pm: screening of ‘Toussaint Louverture’ TV miniseries (2012). Rendall Lecture Theatre 5.

This acclaimed French miniseries on the life of Toussaint Louverture has never been released in cinemas, so this is a rare opportunity to watch this French-language film and learn more about this important historical figure.

Toussaint Louverture

Image: IMDB

Friday 2 March, 1pm: ‘A Hidden History of French Colonialism’. A tour of ‘Slaves of Fashion’ exhibition led by Prof. Kate Marsh. Meet in the foyer of the Walker Art Gallery.

Professor Kate Marsh, Professor of French in the Department at the University of Liverpool has had a four-year dialogue with Liverpool-based artists The Singh Twins exploring the influence of the colonial past on the present day textile industry. Come and hear how, under Kate’s guidance, the French colonial past has been represented in the new artworks of this creative duo.

Slaves of Fashion

Friday 2 March, 3pm: screening of ‘Milou en mai’ (1990). Rendall Lecture Theatre 2.

This comedy is set against the backdrop of the turbulent events of 1968. A family matriarch dies of a heart attack and her children gather in her rural home to organise her funeral.

Milou En Mai

Image: Festival International du Film d'Amiens (Milou En Mai)

Discover more

Study French at the University of Liverpool

View Charles Forsdick's blog post on Toussaint Louverture