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26 June, 2015 00:00 00 AM

In conversation with M. Bruno Plasse

Director Alliance Franaise de Dhaka
by Sheikh Iraj
In conversation with M. Bruno Plasse
M. Bruno Plasse

Alliance Française de Dhaka, a nonprofit organization has been working in Bangladesh since 1959. Located in the very heart of the capital, the Alliance Française de Dhaka is in Dhanmondi, also the heart of the cultural and artistic activities in Bangladesh, it also has a branch in Uttara and another one in Gulshan. Alliance Française de Dhaka is sometimes referred to as the French Cultural Center. The Weekend Independent met with the M. Bruno Plasse Director Alliance Française de Dhaka for an exclusive interview.  
 
Why was Alliance Française established in Dhaka?

The Alliance Française is a network of local institutions that are created by local volunteers personalities and registered locally with le authorities as well as with the Foundation Alliance Française in Paris. We are in Bangladesh since 1959.

Why your French language is so popular and why learning it is so important?

French is spoken over five continents, share the language of French speaking countries e.g. Canada, Switzerland, Belgium, Congo, Morocco, Vietnam, Egypt. I think French language is a beautiful language to learn, French is the international language for cooking, fashion, theatre, visual arts, dance and architecture. Speaking French opens up study opportunities at renowned French universities and business schools, ranked among the top higher education institutions in Europe and in the world. An ability to speak French and English is an advantage in the international job market. Knowledge of French opens the door of international companies throughout the world.
How do you select your teachers, do they come from France?

Most of our Teachers are Bangladeshi. Some of them have a long experience in living in French speaking countries, from all over the world, such as France, Lebanon, Comoros, Switzerland or Canada. We have an internationally experienced team. All our Teachers are professionally trained to teach French as a foreign language, they are constantly given up-to-date trainings on the latest communicative teaching method. Alliance Française teachers are all licensed to teach according to the European Framework for Foreign Languages. They are officially licensed by the French Ministry of Education for DELF-DALF examinations. A part of our teaching team has taken a special training for teaching French to young learners and teenagers.
 
Are your offering any scholarships?

We regularly offer scholarships to students, depending on the result to the exam and we are implementing a social scholarship.  

Besides language what other aspects does AFD promote?

Beside the French language we promote different aspects of culture. We regularly promote different artists from different background. We have 2 galleries which are used to promote local or international visual artists. We frequently organise cultural events, often with partners, such as recently a week long series of event “Bridging Climate Change and Development” to raise awareness on the climate issues or “Too young to wed” to inform on child forced marriage, or “Summer of Poets” to celebrate poetry with most famous local poets and international events such as “Fête de la musique”, the World Music Day. We screen movies and promote theatre. We do as well promote Higher Studies in France with our CampusFrance office.
 
Do you have any plans to open a branch outside Dhaka?    

As I explained, Alliance Française is created by local volunteers who want to have an Alliance française. So far, in Bangladesh, we have another Alliance Française in Chittagong that is very vibrant and active.
 
Please tell us about the cafeteria and the library?   

Yes our cafeteria is a very pleasant place to visit, open for all students, parents and everyone can come here, they can read the magazines and the papers and get snacks and drinks. The environment of the cafeteria is quite pleasant; upon entering you immediately can feel a sense of culture around you.  Our Multimedia Library (Médiathèque) “Jules Verne” has more than 7,500 documents. Majority of the them are in French but there are also books in English and in Bangla, translated from French. When it comes to current affairs, you can keep yourself updated with about 20 magazines from France, the library is subscribed to. The multimedia collection of the library has more than 638 DVDs feature films, documentaries as well as popular children’s animation films . The Library has more than 300 musical CDs (French and International classical, Pop, Jazz, Traditional etc.).
 
Where have you worked before. Are you enjoying your work here?

I worked mainly in Asian and African countries including Malaysia, India, Madagascar, The Gambia... I have been in different parts of the world and I am very happy being back to Asia. I am enjoying my time here, the people and the culture are very exciting. Bangladesh may not be the most comfortable country to live in (Gosh, what road traffic !), but its very promising. Bangladesh is a young active country where not everything has already been done but were many things can be initiated. People here are very responsive and are open-mind to other cultures.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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