more about france

From an article by Geraldine Baum in the Los Angeles Times (via ArtsJournal):

The personal stories of these artists illustrate that with energy and creativity it is possible for minorities to infiltrate French culture. But this is not a country that often celebrates or supports its multi-ethnicity — even though it is believed to have the largest percentage among Europe countries of citizens with roots in Arab, African and Muslim countries.

Particularly pop musicians and rappers, visual artists and filmmakers with these roots complain of being shunned by France’s Ministry of Culture. The ministry pours its resources into sponsoring the national library and museums and opera houses in Paris that belong to the French elite, according to Frédéric Martel, an author and former cultural attaché.

“In anything from dance to theater, if you are black or Arab, doing your own thing, nobody will give you money,” he says. “We want them only if they accept our classical music or avant-garde theater. They must be French on our terms.”

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