Mottagning för Liliam Thuram på franska residenset (9 mars 2015) [fr]
Ambassadör Jacques Lapouges tal på engelska vid mottagningen för Liliam Thuram på franska residenset den 9 mars 2015.
"Mrs Secretary of State, Members of Parliament,
Ladies and gentlemen, Cher Lilian Thuram,
It is a real pleasure to welcome you tonight and to have this opportunity to thank all the people and organizations that have organized your visit to Sweden and the different events you will participate in during what promises to be a very interesting week:
The European Commission office in Sweden
Fransklararforeningen (FLF), the swedish association of teachers of French
Kulturhuset – Stadsteatern
LittFest, the International Literature Festival of Umeå
Språkstudion and the Stockholm University
And obviously the Lilian Thuram Fondation for education against racism.
Lilian Thuram, it is not necessary to introduce you to our guests. You are famous the world over. Not only for your absolute record of 142 caps in the French national team or your talent on the field – I do not think there is one Frenchman who has forgotten your two goals in the World Cup semifinal against Croatia in 1998 and your reaction of quiet surprise after the second one - but also for your commitment to work against racism, which is the reason why we are gathered tonight.
Your book, “Mes étoiles noires”, which could be translated as “mina svarta stjärnor” has become a reference when it comes to education against racism. It is in a way your version of the history of humanity, a book full of stories ranging from Lucy to Barack Hussein Obama.
With a soundtrack that spans from Chevalier de Saint-Georges to Tupac Amaru Shakur; stories of revolutions with Toussaint Louverture, of struggles for a better world with Franz Fanon and Martin Luther King… All figures who played an essential role in our shared history. Essential, inspiring, black people, whom you did not find in your history books at school.
We are here tonight to celebrate the launch of the bilingual audio CD produced after « Mes étoiles noires », recorded in the two languages. This audio-book is born from a workshop initiated by Franska Skolan and 14 of its pupils who, supported by their teachers and some professional translators, have translated in Swedish 10 chapters of the book and its introduction.
The Institut français de Suède, the Swedish association of teachers of French and the University of Stockholm have joined forces to complete the translation of the book, with excerpts recorded in French and in Swedish, so that it could be spread as widely as possible in schools throughout Sweden. The project has two objectives:
First to promote bilingualism and multilingualism at the national level, through a pedagogical resource created in a school committed to the learning of French.
And then to propose an educational text against racism, accessible to Swedish speaking people and young ones in particular.
The audiobook is actually playing the role of a “teaser”. As the whole translation has been realized in Swedish, the ultimate goal is for the promoters of the project to partner with a publishing company so that “Mes Etoiles Noires” could also become a book published in Sweden.
Though it should not be necessary, I will conclude by emphasizing the necessity to give a broad audience to this text. As we say in French, “la vérité sort de la bouche des enfants”, “the truth comes out of the mouths of children”. And in this regard, I would like to read you what Sasha and William, both 17 and who are with us tonight, had to say about being a part of the translation team:
“This work has been great fun with a lot of good experiences. We learned all about the art of translation and how to present our work to a wide audience. It was not always easy but we did it! We have been privileged to work with such a real model and a true inspiration as Lilian Thuram, who spoke about the importance of the subject of racism and intolerance. It has a great impact on our society nowadays and we got new perspective on how our society has been built… but the road is still long towards equality!”
So again, thank you to all of you, and especially to the children of Franska Skolan; I wish Lilian Thuram a great time in Sweden; and please enjoy the cocktail."