Eloquence on the menu of Alliances in India!

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A prestigious annual elocution competition in France, Eloquentia provides young adults a platform to express themselves on a wide variety of topics whilst competing for the title of the best orator. This year marks the first time in the history of Eloquentia that Indian students aged between 18 to 25 years and with a minimum B1 level in French were given the chance to participate in a nation-wide competition. The national winner thus selected will proceed to compete against their francophone peers from different parts of the world!

The official poster for Eloquntia

The official poster for Eloquentia

The Indian leg of Eloquentia was piloted by Alliance Française de Madras under the guidance of its Director, Bruno Plasse. Within the framework of the Eloquence, langue française et débat d’idées program of the French Institute in India, ten finalists from different Alliances Françaises in India trained with two experts – Yoan Chala and Clotilde Cavaroc – from the Eloquentia Association (Saint-Denis, France) over a period of thirty hours in Chennai. The overarching theme of the debates was fighting inequalities.

Yoan Chala and Clotilde Cavaroc from the Eloquentia Association (Saint-Denis, France)

Yoan Chala and Clotilde Cavaroc from the Eloquentia Association (Saint-Denis, France)

Before the national final, the network of Alliance Françaises in India conducted their own regional selections. Each participating Alliance invested a lot of effort over the course of 5 workshops to train their respective candidates who would ultimately train and compete in Chennai. The resulting regional finalists represented the Alliances in Bhopal, Bombay, Calcutta, Chandigarh, Chennai, Hyderabad, New Delhi, and Pune for the national selections.

All the regional finalists with the jury at AF Madras

All the regional finalists with the jury at AF Madras

Once in Chennai, these regional finalists were taught how to focus on structuration and embodiment. To reach the final, they had to overcome a lot of challenges – stage-fright, time-management, body language, creating a cohesive discourse, highlighting ethos to make their arguments more credible, playing with pathos to implicate the audience  by creating emotion, and finally deploying logos to convince with the logic of reasoning. They also learnt how to fully embody the content of their discourse in order to be successful orators.

One of the participants, Puroshothama, giving an impassioned speech on Dalits and the inequalities perpetuated by the caste system

One of the participants, Puroshothama, giving an impassioned speech on Dalits and the inequalities perpetuated by the caste system

During the final round, various iterations of the theme fighting inequalities were explored – gender inequalities, discrimination against minorities (religious, caste etc.), inequitable wealth-distribution, access to education etc. Each competitor was allowed a 6-min slot to convince the jury of experts in French and to move, cajole, and seduce the audience. Each participant brought something unique to the table and many orators were born throughout the process. However, it was Dhriti Gupta (representing Alliance Françise de Chandigarh) who walked away as the National Champion. She will go on to represent India at the World Finals in March 2020!

The national winner, Dhriti. won over the jury and the crowd with a heartfelt speech on gender equality

The national winner, Dhriti. won over the jury and the crowd with a heartfelt speech on gender equality

Dinesha

Culture and Communication Coordinator, Alliance Française de Madras

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Rédaction

Directeur de publication : Délégation Générale de la Fondation Alliance Française en Inde et au Népal

Rédacteur en chef : Laurent Elisio Bordier

Rédacteur/Coordinateur national : Siddharth Bhatt

Rédacteurs, contributeurs : Guillaume, Abhirami, Alexandre, Chintan, Cléa, David, Eleonore, Elie, Kanika, Karine, Nita, Thomas, Malvika, Marie-Joëlle, Meera, Mayuri, Mitushi, Alice, Prutha, Romain, Ritika, Manas, Supriya ...