Francophonie: celebrations in Brazil for the world month of the French language

March was marked by events in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, Curitiba, Florianopolis and Brasília. One of the novelties was the participation of the Museum of Image and Sound (Museu da Imagem e do Som), in Sao Paulo.

By Viviane Monteiro

March 20th marks the celebration of International Francophonie Day for the past 53 years. The date remembers the global spread of the French language and features an intense program throughout the month, in several countries. This year was no different, and Brazil, which traditionally holds a series of cultural activities, was among the countries celebrating the occasion.

It is estimated that 321 million people, across genders, speak French across all continents, according to data from the International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF). In Brazil, there are 650 thousand French speakers, in addition to 150 thousand students, according to Rafael Baldrighi, the attaché for Public, Cultural and Educational Affairs of the Quebec Office in São Paulo (BQSP), citing estimates from the Quebec government.

The International Francophonie Day has been celebrated since 1970, the year in which political, educational, economic and cultural cooperation was implemented in the 88 states and governments of the OIF. The activities are led by the government representations of Canada, France, Belgium and Switzerland. Its objective is to further disseminate the language, exchange ideas about the Francophone world, promote job opportunities in the countries that speak the language, and encourage interaction with other languages.

News in Brazil

The Quebec Office in São Paulo, which will celebrate 15 years of operation in the country on May 21st, has organized a special program for 2023. Among the novelties this year, the participation of the Museum of Image and Sound (MIS) in São Paulo stood out for being the first time. The MIS concentrated the activities on the last day of events in the state capital, with the screening of the film “Adeus, Felicidade” (Goodbye, Happiness).

Brazil had almost the whole month of celebrations, starting with São Paulo, from March 1st  to 18th. There were also cultural attractions in Salvador (BA), Curitiba (PR), Florianópolis (SC), Rio de Janeiro (RJ), Belo Horizonte (MG) and Brasília (DF). The public was able to attend the Francophone Film Festival at Aliança Francesa in Florianópolis, March 15th to 22nd. In Curitiba, the Francophonie Festival was spread over a series of four days, from March 20th to 25th

In the capital of Bahia, there was a reception at the Alliance Française of Salvador, in addition to a tour by director Sarah Fortin with the film “Nouveau Québec” in several cities. The Federal University of Bahia (UFBA) hosted the IV Francophonie Conference.

It was also possible to follow events through virtual platforms. This was the case, for example, with the webinar “How to plan your studies in Quebec – scholarships and student work“, presented by representatives of the University of Montreal (UdeM), and broadcast through the Zoom platform, on March 28th.