Saport’adivsor #5 : « Les écrivains du Sud », a French literary experience

If you’re not burdened with work, or not in full training for the Crit, Mélissa is here to give you ideas on how to spend your free time this week end.

From Thursday 21st march to Sunday 24th, a literature festival is taking place in the centre of the town. Free and open to all, “Les écrivains du Sud” (Writers from the South) is hosting  a wide range of events throughout Aix.  

A panel of well-known French writers will be meeting up in our town of art and fountains to speak about the process of writing, the theme of the festival being this year “Why do we write ? How do we write ?”.

The festival opens this evening with a speech by the comedian and author Christophe Malavoy, who will be talking about “A brief History on writing” where he will also be reading extracts of works by Honoré de Balzac, Gustave Flaubert, Marcel Proust, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Albert Camus and Romain Gary… all the great French authors.

There are lots of events planned, but Melissa has picked out those that seemed the most interesting for you :

On Friday 22nd March, writers Franz-Olivier Giesbert and Eric Emmanuel Schmitt (who won the prestigious Goncourt prize in 2010 for Concerto to the Memory of an Angel)  as well as the psychology professor Tobbie Nathan will be discussing why people write and will also tackle the question of how to write about God and religion.

Ever studied the works of Pierre Birnbaum in political Science ? Well his son, the journalist and director of Monde des livres,  Jean Birnbaum will be presenting his literary essay La religion des faibles. Ce que le djihadisme dit de nous, a reflexion on « our » western existence, djihadiste movements, and religion, also Friday after noon.

Another familiar name from our textbooks who will be present at this festival is the specialist on Islam and the contemporary Arab world, Gilles Kepel, who will be giving a talk at Sciences Po Aix on Saturday 23rd at 2:15 pm.

Not just talks and conferences, the festival is also planning to show a documentary on life in Rwanda after the genocide of 1994, called Rwanda, la vie d’après – Paroles de mères sur les femmes rwandaises victimes de violences pendant le génocide de 1994, also shown at Sciences Po Aix, in the Cassin amphitheatre. It will be followed by a talk on how to write about war.

There is also an event organized around music Saturday evening with readings by Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt accompanied by the pianist Nicolas Stavy who will be playing Schubert and Chopin amongst others.

Another interesting event taking place on Sunday 24th march, the last day of the festival, is an exchange between the pediatrician Aldo Nouari and the journalist/author Eric Fottorino, founder of the beautiful and educational newspaper “Le 1”.

There will be many more authors present at the festival, and all of them will be available for book signings throughout the events.

For the whole program, click on this link :

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