The Franco-German Mediterranean Forum (FFAM)
Sciences Po Aix, in partnership with IMéRA and the Franco-German Center of Provence, has been organizing the Franco-German Mediterranean Forum (FFAM) since 2017. A unique place for exchanges and debates around European and Mediterranean issues, open to the public, each year it welcomes researchers, writers, philosophers, institutions and artists for three days in November.
The Institute for Advanced Studies of Aix-Marseille University (Imera) is a sanctuary of intellectual freedom where a temporary community of top international scientists and artists can find the time, space and resources to discover, individually and with other residents, new meaning and content for their research. The research activity within the institute is articulated around four structural programmes
- Arts & sciences: undisciplined knowledge
- Interdisciplinary Explorations
- Necessary Utopias
Each programme consists of seminars and workshops as well as the activities of the chairs attached to the programme. It is supported by a group of residents linked to the general theme of the programme. The coherence, quality and interdisciplinarity of the programme are supervised by the programme director. These activities are meeting places for the residents and researchers of the Aix-Marseille site, the institute’s scientific partners and local players, who are active in the socio-economic and cultural sectors, as well as in citizen initiatives.
The Franco-German Centre of Provence
The Franco-German Centre of Provence organises numerous Franco-German cultural events (conferences, symposiums, exhibitions, concerts, films, theatre, dance) under its own management or in partnership with the various cultural, economic and academic actors of the region. The Centre also offers German language courses, continuing education courses and is an examination and information centre.
The Franco-German Centre of Provence has existed in its present form since 1992. The initiative for its creation is based on the twinning between the cities of Aix-en-Provence and Tübingen, and their universities, which expressed the desire to establish a forum to develop Franco-German relations. Thanks to its action, the Centre Franco-Allemand de Provence has found a place of choice: it actively ensures the Franco-German cultural presence in the whole PACA region. It is recognised as a useful and dynamic partner in a wide range of activities. Due to its location on the Mediterranean coast, the Franco-German Centre of Provence also aims to develop the dialogue between Europe and the countries of the Mediterranean basin in the cultural, scientific and educational fields.
5th edition of the FFAM
4th Edition – 10 years after the Arab Spring, democratic hypothesis or mortgage
3rd Edition – Between memories and histories: how to make a common world?
2nd Edition – Identity passions between Europe and the Mediterranean
1st Edition – Thinking the Mediterranean
If they are European cities, Aix-en-Provence and Marseille are also, intensely, Mediterranean cities. They are at the crossroads of two political anthropologies. That of Europe, of course, this integration project born of a crazy idea – which, fortunately, was for a time contagious and served by pragmatic dreamers – which managed to overcome, in the aftermath of the Second World War, all frilosities in order to write a new future, to peacefully impose dialogue and to push back the forces of destruction and the hints of old nationalisms from the Continent. It is to honour this conception of Europe that this Forum asserts itself as Franco-German. Its organisers do not wish to forget the courage and efforts that men and women of goodwill – in Germany, France and the other founding countries – had to make to commit their respective old countries to the unification of Europe. The values that the FFAM embodies are indeed those that presided over the founding impetus of Europe and that were the cement of this Franco-German relationship in which two countries were able to overcome hostile histories and bruised memories to make their friendship the founding pillar of another common future. In this respect, the Franco-German friendship is the heir to a humanist conception of the links that unite the world of Europeans with other worlds. And, first and foremost, to the Mediterranean, the crossroads of the Eastern, African, Balkan and European worlds whose destinies are intimately linked and have shaped the other political anthropology of Provence.
A space of distant traditions and incessant movements, the Mediterranean remains a singular world that is always written in the plural. Often the scene of the disorders of time, today the setting for an inexorable humanitarian disaster, but always the tireless theatre of youth, revolt and hope, the Mediterranean presents itself in a complex light. The cynics of the time would like to limit this old common sea to a liquid border that would only reflect indifference… a cemetery without headstones for women and men desperate for the future. Against the Mediterranean values of hospitality, and against the project of a humanism mixing cultures, it is the most mediocre populism – the one that stirs up fears and excites hatred – that seems to prosper today on political platforms, in public debate as well as in the ballot box. All around the Mediterranean, in the North as well as in the South, the vehement assertion of identities, religious intolerance and mistrust of all otherness are occupying the field of ideas more and more each day.
Faced with the dangers that threaten the values shared by democrats and humanists on both sides of the Atlantic, it is urgent to keep the flame of intelligence and tolerance alive, and to support the younger generations in the coming challenge: to invent the intercultural dialogue of tomorrow and to make it win against the temptations of identity-based withdrawal or sad readings of history. Convinced that it is only possible to design a desirable political future if knowledge, opinions and cultures are brought together, the organisers of the FFAM have conceived it as a moment where authors and actors, researchers and artists, students and great witnesses meet. Since its first edition, the FFAM has worked hard to be one of the places where changes are thought out and a common world is reinvented between the Europes and the Mediterranean.