Europe Culturelle dossier Institut français

Create, experiment, act – for the cultural Europe of today and tomorrow

Europe is a continent filled with ideas, creativity and interacting cultures. Our 24 official languages, our 281 regions, our tens of thousands of museums, cinemas, theatres and bookshops represent the rich diversity of all that we express and the intercultural connections that unite us.

Strong in its conviction that supporting culture is an essential way to strengthen social cohesion so that we can tackle major global challenges together, the Institut français strives for the emergence of genuine cultural policies based on inclusion and respect for all our cultural and linguistic diversity, bringing art and humanity back to their rightful place at the heart of the European project to reinforce our collective feeling of belonging and our means to act.

9 initiatives to discover

With the support of its cultural network and its many partners around the world, the Institut français has committed to nine projects that demonstrate a feeling of belonging to a shared European cultural identity. Each is unique and embodies the wealth and multiplicity of a European culture in dialogue with the cultures of the world. Discover them through three key themes: Europe of many faces, Europe open to the world and Europe for tomorrow.

Share and enjoy all their meaningful experiences!

Mariya Gabriel
European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth
Culture knows no borders or nationalities. Art represents a window onto the world and helps to build bridges between us all.
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For anyone looking at Europe from the rest of the world, the first image they will have is of a continent where cultures are brought together, intermingle, influence and enrich one another. The wealth and diversity of Europe is embodied in the sharing and circulation of artworks, artists and ideas. Through its various work on cooperation and support for creation, the Institut français helps young people, artists and professionals in the cultural and creative sector with their projects. Whether related to languages, artistic mobility or cultural profusion, the aim is to keep European cultural diversity alive and offer the citizens of today and tomorrow opportunities to share the same destiny, shared stories, beyond their differences.

Promotion of French and plurilingualism

Speaking several languages: an opportunity to enjoy Europe in all its diversity. Umberto Eco said that “the language of Europe is translation”, and his statement takes on its full meaning with this union of 27 countries and 24 official languages. This linguistic and cultural wealth is what makes Europe great and opens up so many opportunities to us, such as finding a new job, falling in love or expanding our circle of friends. By learning a foreign language, we discover the world in a new way, we view difference with open-mindedness and take one step closer to our neighbour. This is what the Institut français is encouraging us to do, through this campaign on social media, by showing the young generation of Europeans the value of learning at least two foreign languages.

In March 2022, the Institut français is encouraging the Instituts français and Alliances Françaises in the European Union and their partners in the EUNIC (European Union National Institutes for Culture) network to roll out a digital campaign promoting multilingualism.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
German writer
Those who know nothing of foreign languages know nothing of their own.


Supporting mobility for artists and cultural professionals in Europe

In Roman mythology, Portunus was the god of Doors and Keys. Today, i-Portunus is the name of a programme dedicated to individual mobility. It aims to support artists and cultural professionals in their mobility projects across an enlarged Europe, featuring all 41 countries participating in the Creative Europe programme. To step out of the studio or office to go and work abroad in a museum, natural park, church or with another artist is to experience new horizons and opportunities for introducing artworks to different audiences, for mutual enrichment and for discovering other ways of thinking and new areas of expertise. It is also a unique opportunity to work as part of a network, to collaborate, co-construct and boost skills.
Despite the context of the public health crisis, in 2021 300 artists and cultural professionals were able to soak up new influences, talk and share, be inspired, work on their projects and develop new partnerships through this European mobility pilot project.

Co-funded by the European Union’s Creative Europe programme, coordinated by the Goethe-Institut, in partnership with the Institut français and Izolyatsia, this pilot project was launched in 2019 for an initial trial phase, then run again in 2020-2021.


Two years of i-Portunus:

cultural mobility trips
nearly 400 projects materialised
90% of these projects would not have been possible without the pilot project, according to the creators.

Camposaz 22:22 Frádigas <à escuta>

Meeting and sharing through a collaborative project focused on architecture and music 

Camposaz is a collaborative and in-situ self-build wood workshop on a 1:1 scale, organised by the cultural association of the same name, based in Italy. In June-July 2021, the collective created an architectural installation for i-Portunus, enhanced by performances by the Portuguese musicians Joana Sá and Luís J Martins, on the outskirts of the village of Frádigas in the middle of the Serra da Estrela natural park in Portugal.

Antiteatro: a stage in the mountains The landscape serves as the setting for a stage, built on the mountainside, which seems to float in the air. © Matty G
Project Jangada Jangada is a Portuguese word used for both a wooden raft travelling down a river and a traditional boat from the north coast of Brazil. Here, the artists reinterpret it in their own way. © Roman Kutzowitz
Project Jangada The object sparks the curiosity of those observing it, inviting them to climb aboard to listen to the sounds.© Tessa Bloembergen
Obera-ferida aberta: a story of landscape The installation is located on the former riverbed and is designed as a poetic element that evokes the history of the place and redefines the landscape. © Roman Kutzowitz-Obra
Self-build workshop In the foreground, Veronica Sereda explains the cuts to be made and Oliver Savorani fixes together the pieces already cut. © Roman Kutzowitz
Self-build workshop Tessa Bloembergen and Mariella Gentile during the assembly of the raft, using wood to make the ceiling.© Roman Kutzowitz
Self-build workshop Oliver Savori and Marianna Landi cutting planks for the installation. © Roman Kutzowitz
The raft in action The installation was inspired by the discovering of the antlion. This insect digs a funnel in the sand to attract its prey, like the raft waiting for a curious human.© Tessa Bloembergen
Joana Sá lors de sa performance sur l'Antiteatro Joana Sá during her performance "À escuta: o aberto (solo esquelético)" on the mountain stage. © Roman Kutzowitz
Joana Sá lors de sa performance sur l'Antiteatro : “À escuta: catálogo poétis” is an artistic creation project devised by Joana Sá (pianist and songwriter) and Luís J Martins (guitarist and songwriter) for, and with, the small village of Frádigas and the Serra da Estrela natural park. © Roman Kutzowitz


Contributing to the conservation of cultural heritage in Georgia

The Kibe Projekt (staircase project) is led by a team of professionals from Georgia and abroad working on heritage conservation in Georgia. The work carried out as part of i-Portunus covers historic documentation and the restoration of one of the last wooden spiral staircases in the city of Tbilisi. After an initial phase of preliminary studies, a second, dismantling phase, was completed in autumn 2021. The reconstruction of the monument is currently under way and set to be completed in the spring of 2022.

Project team:
Thomas Ibrahim, Turan Ziaiemehr, Francesca Crotti, Martynas Kilius, Nika Gabaskiria, Luka Gudushauri, Gio Sumbadze, Givi Machavariani, Lasha Shartava, Lado Shonia, Dimitri Eristavi, Katja Petrowskaja



The original staircase The staircase before the conservation project began. © Gio Sumbadze
Le projet de restauration Putting up scaffolding - In the photo: Martynas Kilius © Gio Sumbadze
The restoration project Putting up scaffolding - In the photo: Thomas Ibrahim and Luka Gudushauri© Gio Sumbadze
The restoration project Putting up scaffolding - In the photo: Nika Gabaskiria, Ramaz Gabaskiria and Martynas Kilius © Gio Sumbadze
The restoration project Putting up scaffolding - In the photo: Nika Gabaskiria and Luka Gudushauri © Gio Sumbadze
The restoration project Dismantling the roof - In the photo: Nika Gabaskiria, Luka Gudushauri, Ulla Alla and Thomas Ibrahim © Gio Sumbadze
The restoration project Dismantling the staircase - In the photo: Thomas Ibrahim © Gio Sumbadze
The restoration project Dismantling the roof - In the photo: Nika Gabaskiria, Luka Gudushauri and Thomas Ibrahim
The restoration project Dismantling the staircase - In the photo: Turan Ziaiemehr and Nita Ivanishvili © Gio Sumbadze
The restoration project Dismantling the staircase - In the photo: Francesca Crotti, Ninutsa Shatberashvili, Turan Ziaiemehr and Martynas Kilius © Gio Sumbadze

Textile Stories

A residence based on textile art in Slovenia for BIEN 2021 (Textile Art Biennial)

Textile Stories is an interactive installation born out of the July-August 2021 residence in Kranj, supported by i-Portunus, of Maria Juliana Byck, an artist originally from California and now based in Athens. This piece evokes the industrial textile history of the town, of which little remains, and uses textiles to explore materials, stories, production techniques and the memory of visitors, who are invited to share their own stories relating to textiles, private, personal, day-to-day objects or community items, custodians of intergenerational wisdom.


Textile stories Installation seen from the outside at BIEN 2021 (Textile Art Biennial), Kranj, Slovenia © Maša Pirc
Textile stories Detail of the installation at BIEN 2021 (Textile Art Biennial), Kranj, Slovenia © Maša Pirc
Textile stories Story cards, installation the installation at BIEN 2021 (Textile Art Biennial), Kranj, Slovenia© Maria Juliana Byck
Textile stories Fabric samples from the Tekstilindus factory, installation at BIEN 2021 (Textile Art Biennial), Kranj, Slovenia © Maria Juliana Byck
Textile stories The building of the Tekstilindus factory that went out of business, installation at BIEN 2021 (Textile Art Biennial), Kranj, Slovenia© Maria Juliana Byck
Textile stories Workshop #1, installation the installation at BIEN 2021 (Textile Art Biennial), Kranj, Slovenia © Maria Juliana Byck
Textile stories Workshop #2, installation the installation at BIEN 2021 (Textile Art Biennial), Kranj, Slovenia © Maria Juliana Byck
Textile stories Installation at BIEN 2021 (Textile Art Biennial), Kranj, Slovenia © Maša Pirc
Textile stories Detail of the installation at BIEN 2021 (Textile Art Biennial), Kranj, Slovenia © Maria Juliana Byck
Textile stories Detail of the installation at BIEN 2021 (Textile Art Biennial), Kranj, Slovenia© Maria Juliana Byck

Metamorphosis IV - Parallel Voices

The issue of art and culture in the public space in Kosovo

At the invitation of the Shtatëmbëdhjetë foundation (17), a non-profit organisation based in Pristina that focuses on the cultural revitalisation of public spaces, Maskut Vezgishi, an architect and artist originally from Kosovo and now living in Brussels, presented an artistic intervention on the site of the former Kino Rinia cinema in September 2021, with the support of i-Portunus. Entitled Metamorphosis IV - Parallel Voices, this “non-curatorial concept” explores the ability of artistic forms to function as an echo of social protest and politics.

Parallel Voices Focusing on the collective memory and history of the Kino Rinia, Maskut Vezgishi - Maksi came up with the site specific artistic intervention “Parallel Voices”. © Atdhe Mulla
Parallel Voices The artistic intervention showcases the connection between art and social activism. © Atdhe Mulla
Parallel Voices Maskut Vezgishi - Maksi worked with three authors: Artrit Bytyçi, Doruntina Basha and Fjolla Hoxha. The texts were performed by Cristina Marí, Donikë Ahmeti and voice AI 1s2 2s2 2p4.© Atdhe Mulla
Parallel Voices The performers convey the DAILY LIFE of 20 years of democracy.© Atdhe Mulla
Parallel Voices The artistic intervention marked the return of sound and light to the old abandoned cinema. © Atdhe Mulla
Parallel Voices Over 300 visitors came to experience the artistic intervention over three days. © Atdhe Mulla
Parallel Voices Images of the live performance at the Kino Rinia cinema. © Atdhe Mulla
Parallel Voices Rehearsing the performance. © Atdhe Mulla
Parallel Voices Images of the outside of the Kino Rinia cinema building. © Atdhe Mulla
Parallel Voices Façade of the Kino Rinia cinema.© Atdhe Mulla

The art of stained glass

Learning how to restore and conserve ancient stained glass

A project led by Sofia Villamarin, a, Italian-Argentinian specialist in painting on glass, based in Germany.  In September 2021, as part of i-Portunus, she visited the workshop of Isabelle Baudoin, in Île-de-France, where she spent a month learning the different techniques of analysis, restoration and conservation practices for ancient stained glass, some of them painted in the 12th century.


Restoring a piece of stained glass Painting new pieces of stained glass The lines are made with “Debitus” XVI grisaille, mixed with demineralised water. The piece is then fired at 600 degrees to set the pigments. © Sofia Villamarin
Restoring a piece of stained glass The cleaning phase for the stained glass to remove organic matter from the glass and cames. © Sofia Villamarin
Restoring a piece of stained glass These three stained-glass panes date from the 19th century. The right-hand pane has traces or paper or card residue, probably due to storage conditions. © Sofia Villamarin
Restoring a piece of stained glass This image is a detail of a stained-glass pane that is part of the Tree of Jesse, from the 16th century; it is from Laines-aux-Bois (Aube) and is among the reserves at Troyes Cathedral. © Sofia Villamarin
Restoring a piece of stained glass The silicone used to join the pieces together is gently removed. © Sofia Villamarin
Restoring a piece of stained glass The compress consists of placing a highly absorbent paper towel and applying a 10% salt solution in demineralised water using a paintbrush to remove excess glass and lead. © Sofia Villamarin
Restoring a piece of stained glass Sofia Villamarin cleans the panel with cotton wool and demineralised water to remove any excess mastic. © Sofia Villamarin
Restoring a piece of stained glass Cleaning a piece of stained glass from the inside using cotton wool and ethanol.© Sofia Villamarin
Restoring a piece of stained glass Sofia Villamarin adds polyethylene foam (Plastazote) to some stained glass. In stained-glass conservation, black LD45 Plastazote is used, which is a low-density polyethylene polymer. © Sofia Villamarin
Restoring a piece of stained glass Sofia Villamarin touches up a stained-glass pane with cold stained-glass paint. She uses a wooden toothpick to apply diluted ivory black paint, mixed with “terra d’ombra bruciata” brown, to the cracks. © Sofia Villamarin


Cultures focused on humanity and our environment

From La Réunion to Greenland via the Canaries and the West Indies, our European archipelago is made up of sometimes very distant lands that help it reach all four corners of the world. Despite the geological distance, these islands, archipelagos and coastal territories contribute to all that Europe has to offer through their exceptional diversity, as melting pots of identities, languages, cultures and traditions. aims to promote and protect these local – and often ancestral and immaterial – cultures, which have different world views and contribute to the European debate, particularly regarding climate issues.

To carry out this project, the Institut français has chosen to join forces with the Association of the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTA) and the Agência de Promoção da Cultura Atlântica (APCA). Launched in June 2021 for a duration of 24 months, it is co-funded by the European Union. covers the 9 Outermost Regions of the European Union and the 13 Overseas Countries and Territories.

Archipel infographie EN
chap 3 DT UE

To be European is to be open to the countries that form this union, but that’s not where it ends. Europe is built beyond physical borders. New fields of cultural action are gradually opening up around partnerships based on solidarity and intercultural dialogue. They invite us to reconsider the way we inhabit the world. Pluralist and ever-shifting, the European identity is modelled on interactions and overlaps, but also on the forging of new relationships that are more open to the world around it. The Institut français encourages young people and their dynamism through social and solidarity-focused entrepreneurship, supports the cultural and creative industries and helps European culture to shine out in all its diversity around the world through a medium that speaks to us all: cinema.

AWA, the ACP-EU Culture programme

No future without culture!

A flourishing sector in Africa, the cultural and creative industries shape the power and diversity of the territories. The ACP-EU Culture – AWA programme was created to support professionals in 16 countries in West Africa. Co-constructed by the Institut français and the Centre Culturel Kôrè in Mali to best meet the needs and expectations of local stakeholders, it is aimed at French, English and Portuguese-speaking operators and entrepreneurs from across the regions, in fields as varied as the visual arts, music, cinema, theatre and books. From creation to production to dissemination, beneficiary professionals enjoying stimulating support, in line with West African values, to bring their ideas and their projects to life.

The Institut français has joined forces with the Centre Culturel Kôrè (CCK) in Segou, Mali to develop the ACP-EU Culture programme: Supporting the Cultural and Creative Sectors in Western Africa – AWA. Launched in December 2020 for a duration of 40 months, this programme is implemented with the financial contribution of the European Union and the support of the OACPS Secretariat – Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States.

Sahel Connect project supported by the ACP-EU programme
Presentation of the festival and project by Liman Kane aka Monza, artist, rapper and producer and president of Assalamalekoum, a festival dedicated to urban cultures, rap and hip-hop. In 2021, the project received a 3-year commitment for support and assistance from the ACP-EU Culture programme: Supporting the Cultural and Creative Sectors in Western Africa – AWA.


Youth in action

Over half of the 7.5 billion people on the planet are under the age of 30. This proportion rises to 60% in the countries of North Africa and the Middle East. Throughout the world, this generation aspires to a new model of society and a more inclusive, fairer and more sustainable governance. How can we give them the means to change things? This is the aim of Safir: to make these young people the focus of decisions. This ambitions programme supports 1,000 young people and their social, cultural or environmental initiatives in 9 countries in North Africa and the Middle East. It provides the resources they need to transform their ideas into actions and restore opportunities for dialogue with public authorities. By creating sustainable and responsible companies, they become actors of change in their societies, making them more inclusive and positive.

Co-funded by the European Union and launched in March 2020, the Institut français is coordinating the Safir project for a duration of 36 months. The implementation of which is based on a consortium made up of the Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie (Francophone University Association, AUF), the CFI, Tunisian and Lebanese incubators Lab’ess and Pitchworthy, and the Arab NGO Network for Development (ANND).

safir DT
Personne Citée
Carole Awad, Pitchworthy
For us sustainable development is far more than a theme or a United Nations goal: it is a necessity
Safir info EN

Learn more:


Cinema: a witness and vector of a multifaceted European culture

Each country on the European continent is marked by its own culture and way of telling stories, each one helping to build Europe’s complex, prolific and fascinating world of cinema. Film festivals are undoubtedly one of the most effective tools for introducing other people to Europe, its values, diversity and stories. The European Film Festival project was launched in 2018 to promote European cinema beyond the borders of the EU. Through a catalogue of over 35 films, subtitled in 7 languages, and a programme of 10 short films on the themes promoted by the EU (environment, women’s rights, children’s rights, LGBTQI+), European Film Festival represents a high-profile scheme to support the European Union’s delegations in organising European film festivals around the world.

European Film Festival supports the European Union’s delegations in organising film festivals around the world. Co-funded by the European Union, European Film Festival is implemented by a consortium of partners led by the Goethe-Institut, in collaboration with the Institut français and Cineuropa. Since it was launched in 2018, this initiative has run 130 events across 82 countries.


Chapitre 4 - DT

Young Europeans are building the Europe of tomorrow. It is with these young people in mind that the Institut français and its European partners have launched three innovative projects, helping them to have an informed and responsible view of the world, think critically from a young age or meet other Europeans to develop their future career. The three initiatives presented cover education on the media and information, education on film and European cinematographic heritage and the learning of new multilingual and transnational theatre practices. And since we learn by doing, each of these projects invites the public to take part, become an actor rather than simply a spectator. The pupils and students learn by themselves and become professionals, trying their hands at being a journalist, filmmaker or director. A truly unique, practical experience that encourages them to challenge themselves and broaden their horizons.

FACT SCOUTS: the fake news hunters

Become a “fake news hunter” to use critical thinking

We can all be faced with false information online. From a simple prank to targeted misinformation, it is sometimes difficult to avoid falling into the trap. At a time when social media use is soaring, things are posted quickly, without necessarily taking the time to fact-check. Today, armed with a smartphone, anyone can play at being a journalist. So why not actually become one, working by the book? This is what Fact Scouts is inviting young people aged 16 to 18 to do by taking on the role of fake news hunter. With Fact Scouts, they will be joining a multinational team, working together to better understand how information is shared. Accompanied by experts who train them in the skills of the trade, they express their creativity and launch their own media creation. Podcasts, articles and even Instagram stories will be the testing grounds for the reporters of the future! 

This educational project is organised by the Goethe Institut, in partnership with the Institut français and the Instituto Cervantes. It draws on the notion that young people are particularly affected by fake news and, as such, they require a set of skills relating to education on the media and democracy.


"Cinema is the new school" 

Great classics, documentaries, animation – today, young people have access to a multitude of films via on-demand video services. But when taken out of their historical, cultural and social context, these works of cinema can be difficult to understand. So, to support education on cinema, European Film Factory was created, an innovative educational platform designed to assist teachers and pupils throughout Europe and guide them in their understanding of European cinema. This educational tool offers young people aged 11 to 18 an in-depth look at 12 feature and 14 short films, selected by a panel of European education and cinema professionals. Using a digital file containing didactic content, pupils discover the classics of European cinema and travel through different points in history, both in class and at home, in order to look back at the key points in the programme. Accessible free of charge, European Film Factory is also available on different media (computers, tablets, smartphones) and in eight languages (German, French, English, Greek, Polish, Romanian, Spanish and Italian).

Coordinated by the Institut français, in partnership with Arte Éducation and European Schoolnet, the EFF platform is already supporting 3,800 schools throughout 39 countries. Launched in June 2019, the project is co-funded by the European Union’s Creative Europe programme as part of the MEDIA strand.

39 countries
3800 schools signed up

European Film Factory

A platform for film education
A cinema education platform for teachers and young students
Video teaser presenting the film catalogue and the project’s different functions and resources.
European Film Factory
European Film Factory

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Rethinking educational and professional theatre practices on a European level

Spending time abroad, learning foreign languages and comparing your own perspective and experiences through performance, playwriting, directing and set design with those of other European students and professionals are just some of the opportunities offered by the Academix project. Born out of a shared idea within a small group of Conservatoires and top European Performing Arts schools, Academix aims to consider creation in a transnational context, develop the mobility of students and their teachers and offer multilingual and intercultural education. A tailor-made Erasmus for performing arts in Europe! By getting together, talking and sharing their practices, these young professionals, actors, directors and educators can plan future partnerships and build shared imaginary worlds.

The Institut français is a partner of the Academix project, piloted by the Conservatoire National Supérieur d’Art Dramatique de Paris (CNSAD). Launched in January 2021 for a duration of 24 months, it is co-funded as part of the Erasmus + programme.

The texts in this themed file were written in collaboration with Camille Collin and Émilie Balla from the agency on ze air, under the editorial direction of the European Partnerships unit at the Institut français.