AF Trivandrum Opens New Annexe At Cochin
France and India have enjoyed an exceptionally strong relationship ever since the latter’s independence. With the launch of the Strategic Partnership in 1998, the two nations strengthened this bond by cooperating on sensitive areas like defence, security and energy. In the economic field, trade relations have steadily developed over the years and French companies have invested massively in India. With an investment stock of around 20 billion euros, French enterprises are among the top international investors in India.
The growth of the Alliance Française network in India both reflects and facilitates this process. The country currently boasts of 14 Alliances, many of whom have satellite centers or annexes in other cities. Alliance Française de Trivandrum is one such Alliance which recently opened the doors of a new annexe in Cochin on June 14.
The annexe was inaugurated by Dr. Bertrand de Hartingh, Ph.D. (Counsellor for Cooperation and Cultural Affairs, French Embassy in India and Country Director, Institut Français in India) in the presence of Fr. Roby Kannanchira, CMI (Director, Chavara Cultural Centre), Mr. Sukumaran Mani (President, Alliance Française de Trivandrum) and Ms. Alice Gauny (Director, Alliance Française de Trivandrum). Elodie Aubry – a volunteer from France Volontaires – has been appointed as the Coordinator of this annexe.
For the first time in 15 years, the Cochin annexe has a dedicated space with three classrooms. Two of these can be joined to form a conference space or for the projection of films. The annexe also has a reception area and a reading space and houses the Campus France office in Kerala. The project marks the culmination of the contributions of many individuals and organizations including Mr. Paul GIACCOBI (Député) whose endowment helped in the main construction; the associations Adiflor and AMOPA which provided books for the collection of reading documents and the Chavara Cultural Center which hosts the Cochin annexe and the Institut Français in India.
The existence of this new facility will allow the Alliance Française to gain momentum in the city of Cochin – the economic heart and a major tourist destination in the state of Kerala and the birthplace of the Kochi Muziris Biennale – the first contemporary art biennale in India.
Bindu P. Murali
Cultural Coordinator, Alliance Française de Trivandrum