100 years of lectures in Monaco: a special season to celebrate this anniversary
This one hundredth season marks a century of cultural outreach in the Principality, initiated by Prince Pierre, who wanted to give his compatriots access to the best minds of his era. This anniversary edition shines a spotlight on the iconic personalities of the Prince Pierre of Monaco Foundation with several events to be held at 6.30 pm on Mondays at the Variety Theatre.
> Monday 16 January
Racism in America
A member of the Prince Pierre Foundation Literary Council since 2011, Dany Laferrière has created a globally influential body of work which has earned him election to the Académie française.
Petit traité du racisme en Amérique (A Short Treaty on Racism in America), published in January 2023, is his 36th book. The author invites us to experience this long night, streaked with violence and tenderness, stretching from the cotton fields of the South to the factories of the North. He conjures up the memory of Bessie Smith’s blues and the contrasting figures of Abraham Lincoln and Charles Lynch, presents surprising duos like James Baldwin and William Styron, Eleanor Roosevelt and Angela Davis, Billie Holiday and Janis Joplin, Tupac Shakur and Nina Simone and, to conclude, the sun-filled friendship between Toni Morrison and Maya Angelou.
By pulling at the thread of racism in this way, Dany Laferrière brings to light an entire swathe of American culture.
> Monday 30 January
Interviewed by Jacques Kermabon, film critic
The speed of film
Since Versailles Rive-Gauche (1992), Bruno Podalydès has made more than a dozen films, encompassing both original screenplays (Voilà, 1994, The Sweet Escape, 2015, French Tech, 2020) and adaptations (Le Mystère de la chambre jaune [The Mystery of the Yellow Room], 2003, Le Parfum de la dame en noir [The Perfume of the Lady in Black], 2005, Bécassine !, 2018) in which, beyond the variations he introduces, a speed that is all his own is evident.
The pace of the narrative never gives way to the viewing time. This hallmark is, however, less premeditated and more revelatory of a mindset, a slower relationship that Podalydès has with the way of the world. He notes that he has often been surprised by the gap between the pace he thought he had set and the perception of the first people to see his work. Talking about the pace of a film means considering the direction of the actors, the way the camera embraces the space, the length of shots, the editing decisions – a whole range of parameters which will be discussed during this session with Bruno Podalydès, interspersed with screenings of excerpts from his films.
This lecture is being organised in partnership with the Audiovisual Institute of Monaco.
> Monday 6 February
Hélène Carrère d’Encausse
The revolutionary feminism of Alexandra Kollontai
Russian aristocrat Alexandra Kollontai turned her back on her environment and country at a very early age, opting for revolution and the world. In 1917, she served as a minister in Lenin’s first government, a role that women would not be appointed to again until after the Second World War. Five years later, she was the first female ambassador in history.
A devoted mother, she was a passionate feminist, a theoretician of free love and an activist for emancipation and rights. Blessed with unfading beauty and an elegance that was commented on by the press, she emerged victorious from Stalin’s destructive madness and went on to live, unscathed and active, for as long as he did.
It is the incredible fate of this unique personality that Hélène Carrère d’Encausse, an important historian of Russia and member of the Prince Pierre Foundation Literary Council since 1991, invites us to discover.
> Monday 13 February
The fight against climate change is forcing architects and urban planners to take the issue of climate very seriously so that they can base their designs on a better understanding of the local climate conditions and resources. Faced with the climate and health challenges of the twenty-first century, they propose to base their discipline on its intrinsic atmospheric qualities, where air, light, heat and humidity are recognised as genuine construction materials, where convection, thermal conductivity, evaporation, emissivity and effusivity become design tools for planning architecture and the city, and where, thanks to the principle of dialectic materialism, they will be able to revolutionise aesthetic and social values. Having gained an international audience in the field of architecture and sustainable development, Philippe Rahm presents a fascinating lecture on this theme, now more relevant than ever.
> Monday 6 March
The body and its cultures: the surprises of a career
Looking back over a professional career, recounting a slow intellectual inquiry will inevitably be subjective, even delusional. How do you avoid personal excesses, false interpretations, ego traps? How do you fairly address a path seen “from the inside”? And how do you make it communicable, comprehensible, sufficiently generic and revealing to be able to share it?
The effort will lie in creating a distance, one that time enables to exist. It will be even more important to focus on the subject, which, for Georges Vigarello, has been a source of reflection for several decades: the manner in which the body is experienced, depicted, made use of, made present, sometimes in ways unbeknownst to the individual themselves, in the most varied aspects of culture and daily life. The challenge then is to demonstrate how research on such a subject slowly establishes itself.
> Monday 17 April
Writers respond to our profound aspiration for justice
Many writers have joined the fight against injustice. Voltaire, Balzac, Victor Hugo, Zola and Mauriac all gave everything they had to defend the innocent. More broadly, however, writers are using their books outside the legal system to respond to another aspiration: that of offering a more just world. Maupassant, Balzac and Tolstoy endeavoured to defend natural law, that to which the individual aspires, against the social law that wants to impose its decrees.
Jean-Marie Rouart, a member of the Prince Pierre Foundation Literary Council since 2000, is a writer and a journalist.
He has authored around 30 books, mostly novels, including Les feux du pouvoir (The Fires of Power), which won the Prix Interallié, and Avant-guerre (Pre-War), which won the Prix Renaudot. He has also written biographies of the Duke of Morny, the Cardinal of Bernis and Napoleon.
> Monday 24 April
Musical composition as a cultural crossroads
Julian Anderson, composer and winner of the 2023 Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition, discusses his oratorio EXILES, created in 2022 and conducted by Sir Simon Rattle. He will shine a spotlight for us on the many links that connect this work – and his other recent works – with his diligent involvement on the Prince Pierre Foundation Musical Council.
Julian Anderson has been a member of the Musical Council since 2007 and has chaired it since 2022.
> Monday 5 June
Expressing an idea
Philosophers like to express their ideas: they practise – most often – the art of speaking, giving classes, lectures and public speeches. In most cases, they also know how to write and publish articles and books.
In recent years, Barbara Cassin has attempted to express some of her ideas in other ways: she wanted to express them through “exhibitions”, but in museums rather than universities. This seemed to her to be a necessity, including from a philosophical perspective.
Free entry – Booking advised via www.fondationprincepierre.mc
Information: (+377) 98 98 85 15