Taiwan to be 1st guest of honor country at Festival Off Avignon

Taiwan will feature as the first-ever guest of honor country at the 58th Festival Off Avignon taking place July 3-21 in southeastern France, the Ministry of Culture said May 16.

According to the MOC, the country will showcase its cultural diversity and vitality through activities spanning film screenings, local food tastings, promotions of Taiwan’s publishing works and visual arts exhibitions. The country’s contribution to French photographer JR’s Inside Out Project, which solicits group action from communities around the world, will also be on display.

The announcement was made at a press conference jointly held by the Taiwan Cultural Center in Paris (CCTP) and event organizer Avignon Festival and Compagnies May 15 in France. It also revealed that a total of 1,316 groups, including 147 from abroad, will stage 24,664 performances during the festival.

At the event, CCTP Director Hu Ching-fang said the invitation not only demonstrates the close relationship between Taiwan’s arts sector and the Avignon festival, but also represents congratulations on the center’s 30th anniversary.

Echoing her remarks, AFC Co-President Harold David said the decision was made based on Taiwan’s long-standing cooperation with the festival, as well as its unique contemporary art and culture.

The MOC has been selecting groups to participate in each festival since 2007. Those chosen for this year’s edition are Chun Dance, Eye Catching Circus, Resident Island Dance Theatre and Shinehouse Theatre, the ministry said.

Launched in 1947, Festival d’Avignon is one of France’s foremost art events, with the “Off” portion introduced in 1968 to incorporate spontaneous avant-garde performances at informal venues such as restaurants and theater schools. (YCH-E)


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