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2021, Dante (and Dantesque) year

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Dantedì, the Dantesque day

Monday, Tuesday, Dantedì… as the 700th anniversary of Dante Alighieri’s death approaches next September, March 25, 2021 will be a day dedicated to the Italian poet. After numerous studies and tedious calculations based on the latter’s texts, the date chosen corresponded to Dante’s departure for his underground journey recounted in Hell, the first book of the Divine Comedy.

This decision was taken last year by the Council of Ministers under the leadership of Dario Franceschini, Italian Minister of Heritage and Cultural Activities. There remained a year to prepare “a day to remember the genius of Dante, in all Italy, and in the world, with many projects”. A tribute both to the poet and to the language and culture of an entire country.

With dates of birth and death more than approximate, the choice of the date has sparked much debate. It was finally in the Songs of Hell that researchers and academics found the beginning of an answer leading to two very different hypotheses. The government then decided by choosing March 25, a date also corresponding to the old Florentine New Year.

The French language in celebration

The week of the French language and the Francophonie in Switzerland is back on March 18 for a period of 10 days. This year, the French-speaking islands and their diversity will be in the spotlight. Reinvented in a virtual version to adapt to health conditions, the events take place mainly online but do not exclude some outdoor activities.

Among the speakers, we will find the Haitian author Makenzy Orcel, guest of honor for this 2021 edition. Knight of the Arts and Letters since 2017, his latest novel The Emperor arrived in bookstores on March 3. We will also find at his side the poet Timba Bema, the storyteller and dancer Franck Sylvestre or the storyteller Vi Indigaïa.

Organized around the international day of the Francophonie taking place on March 20, the SLFF offers many cultural events and educational activities around the French language and the diversity of the French-speaking world. Conference, readings, shows, events or even a film festival, French is highlighted in all its forms.

Herveline Podcasts

For its sixth edition, the Histoire et Cité festival has chosen to explore the theme of travel. Supported by the history center of the University of Geneva, the event has reinvented itself this year to exist despite health constraints. Difficult to imagine traveling during this period? Never mind, there is already so much to discover in the streets of Geneva …

Bertrand Lévy, professor of geography, writer and seasoned walker asked Herveline, a student at the University of Geneva, to guide the curious in the footsteps of two Swiss globetrotters. Guided walk in the footsteps of Elle Maillart and Annemarie Schwarzenbach, let yourself be carried away to discover the city’s forgotten or still unknown heritage. And what better than a podcast format to accompany strolls.

Divided into short episodes of 3 to 10 minutes, Sur les pas de voyageurs du globe (In the footsteps of travelers from around the globe) delivers the secrets of Geneva history to everyone’s pace with an emphasis on travel and literature. Starting from the Place de Neuve via the Parc des Bastions to join the Avenue Gaspard-Valette, the podcast guides the walker through each stage of the route.

Reading Academy in Friborg

At the initiative of the librarians, the Lecture Academy is back for its 6th edition. Young people from Friborg (6 Harmos to 8 Harmos) have until March 31 to register for this great reading aloud game. To prepare for the selections on May 26, also marking Swiss Reading Aloud Day, they will be able to participate in two theater workshops on April 24 and May 8 at the city library of Friborg.

Participants will have to choose a passage of about three minutes from their favorite fiction reading. Actress Marcela Kühn-Lopez will be there to introduce them to reading in public and share her knowledge. Following the regional selections, the final will take place on June 19 at the Salle du Sacré-Coeur in Estavayer-le-Lac. The 10 finalists will be rewarded in the form of vouchers, books or games.

La Lecture Académie was created with the desire to make reading a moment of celebration and sharing. But it is also a meeting allowing young people to assert their reading tastes, to energize local libraries and bookstores while highlighting contemporary children’s literature.

Nicolas Gary is the site manager ActuaLitté.com

Read the previous Planet Books column: Saturday libraries, “Not even afraid!”

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