We are 100 years old!

In 2010, the Institut français du Royaume-Uni (The French Institute in the UK) is celebrating its centenary with a series of special events.

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Sunday 26th of June 2022

Meeting of minds

A series of encounters, ‘les dialogues du centenaire’, bring together well known British and French authors and film directors to discuss a wide range of challenging topics.

Cinéma, an act of love

Ciné lumière will screen a special series of films to mark the Institute's 100th birthday. Read more

Your digital Institute

In May, Culturethèque has been launched, giving public UK-wide access to new cultural and educational resources.
Read more

Visit Culturethèque

Some of the exciting events to come

Livres, cuisine et chocolat

Special Event | 17 May | 6.00pm | £15 | book online

ChocolatThe Association Culinaire Française is offering the Institut français a unique collection of old and rare cookery books, which will be made available to consult at la Médiathèque.  To mark this occasion and as part of the Centenary Celebrations, the Association and the Institut have teamed up to concoct a special event full of delights!  At a cocktail party held at the Institut, Sébastien Bruno, Chef Pâtissier at La Maison Ladurée in London, will present an exclusive Centenary Chocolate on behalf of the Association.


Culturethèque: your digital institute

To respond to new challenges posed by the digital revolution, the Institut français has developed a digital platform launched on 27 May 2010. Such a novel and unique concept is unprecedented both in the UK as well as in France.

Culturethèque offer carefully selected cultural content to members of the Institut.  Members are able to consult a current digital library in French at home, as well as audiovisual documents. The digital platform is available to both regular members of the Institut but also virtual members through online subscription  from anywhere in the United Kingdom. Part of the platform is accessible for free without subscribing.


History, Building Bridges

French Studies in the United Kingdom: The Next Step
This seminar aims to examine the main trends in French Studies in the UK over the past few years and to open up the field to the future. Various academics and researchers will be brought together to determine future developments in the domain of research, teaching and the elaboration of policy.
The Society for French Studies, The Association for Teachers and Department Heads of French Studies, The Association of the Study of Modern and Contemporary France, The French Society of Historical Studies, The Society of Feminine Studies, The Society of War Studies and The Association for the Study of the French Language are among the British societies and associations united for the first time to discuss the current state of research and developments in the vast domain of French Studies.
(12 February, British Academy)


Meeting of Minds

Les Dialogues du Centenaire

The Institut will put special emphasis on cross-cultural exchange, which it has always encouraged. A series of encounters, ‘les dialogues du centenaire’, will bring together well known British and French authors and film directors to discuss a wide range of challenging topics.

Wed 20 Jan
07.30 pm
Hisham Matar on History, Identity & ViolenceMédiathèque - Institut français
Wed 03 Feb
07.30 pm
Quentin Blake and Bruno Heitz on Children's LiteratureMédiathèque - Institut français
Wed 10 Feb
07.30 pm
Pierre Assouline and Richard Holmes on Writing BiographiesMédiathèque - Institut français
Wed 03 Mar
07.30 pm
Text and the City: Paris and LondonMédiathèque - Institut français
Wed 10 Mar
07.30 pm
Child Psychoanalysis: A Franco-British Comparative StudyMédiathèque - Institut français
Wed 17 Mar
07.30 pm
Dominique Manotti and Joan Smith on the Political Crime NovelMédiathèque - Institut français
Wed 24 Mar
07.30 pm
Historical Evolutions in the Twentieth Century: French and British Perspectives on StalinismMédiathèque - Institut français
Wed 14 Apr
07.30 pm
William Boyd and Marc Dugain on LiteratureMédiathèque - Institut français
Tue 11 May
07.30 pm
100 ans de poésie françaiseMédiathèque - Institut français

Le Français à l'Honneur

French Debate Competition
The French debate competition' is a traditional event that gives the opportunity to pupils at Independent Schools in the UK to challenge their language skills with their counterparts. All around the country, boys and girls will be asked to elaborate the best arguments on random subjects and to present them in the most perfect French. The national finalists will gather at the Institut in order to confront each other for the final competition.
(16 March, Institut français)

20 Years of Modern Languages
The UK and France are facing huge challenges in modern foreign language teaching. During this conference animated by the most qualified specialists in language teaching in the French Education system, the steps, the challenges, but also the mistakes that made multilinguism become a reality among European youth will be discussed.
(18 March, Institut français)


Cinéma, An Act of Love

Retour de Flamme: Enfance du cinéma
Serge Bromberg, familiar to UK audiences for his recent work Henri-Georges Clouzot's Inferno, returns to Ciné lumière with his cine-concert entitled Retour de Flamme: Enfance du cinéma. This captivating two-hour show of rare silent films, rescued from obscurity and restored, will be accompanied live on piano by Serge Bromberg. Amongst the highlights, Trip to the Moon, directed by Georges Méliès, stands out after a rare colour print was discovered and carefully restored. This evening launches the series 100 Years of Cinema.  
(Spring, Institut français)

100 Years of Cinema
Ciné lumière, whose very name pays permanent homage to the origins of cinema, will present a selection of the best films, internationally acclaimed by critics and audiences, spanning 100 years of cinema. Some of the films will be introduced by well-known French and British directors and actors throughout the year.
(Throughout the year, Institut français)


2010: A Year of Celebrations!

1910-2010Playing a pivotal role in Franco-British exchange, the Institut français du Royaume-Uni has also been at the heart of historical events that have shaken our two countries throughout the last century. Founded by a young and enterprising French woman, Marie d'Orliac, in 1910, the Institut found itself facing up to history from 1915, when it opened its doors to child refugees in the First World War and established the Lycée. The Institut would then grow to become both a prestigious cultural venue and a high-ranking educational centre lead by the University of Lille. During the Second World War, the Director of the Institut would play a significant role in supporting the Free French Forces.


Arts Calling

Visual Arts

Marcelline Delbecq and Gyan Panchal, With Words Like Smoke
With Words Like Smoke is a group exhibition including works by French artists Marcelline Delbecq and Gyan Panchal. Moving away from the abstraction of minimalism, these contemporary works examine how processes of abstraction and figuration can operate simultaneously within an artwork and what political narratives might be revealed when the brickwork of figuration temporarily vanishes.
(20 January – 20 February, CHELSEA Space)

Céleste Boursier-Mougenot
Céleste Boursier-Mougenot’s installation for The Curve, his first solo exhibition in the UK, takes the form of a walk-through aviary for a flock of zebra finches, furnished with electric guitars and other musical instruments. As the birds go about their routine activities, perching on or feeding from the various pieces of equipment, they create a random and captivating soundscape.
(27 February – 23 May, The Curve, Barbican Centre)


Musique en Fanfare

The Centenary Concerts
In 2010, the French music scene will have pride of place in the UK music world. Many French and French-produced artists will be performing in the UK: amongst them, Air, Phoenix, Gotan Project, Amadou and Mariam, Wax Tailor, Corneille, MC Solaar, I Muvrini, Etienne de Crécy, Bireli Lagrène, Rokia Traore, Sanseverino, Hindi Zahra, M, Manu Dibango, Zaza Fournier and Emily Loiseau. Not to be missed is  a fantastic concert of chanson française on 17 March at the Institut français as part of the French Language Week. The Oui Love tour taking young French pop-rock bands to UK universities will also give audiences a chance to see some of the best new music around. And to top everything off, South Kensington will celebrate the centenary with a unique fanfare which will engage the public in a playful and festive manner!


History, Building Bridges

A look at the history of relations between France and the UK. Read more

Musique en Fanfare

Programme of concerts and live events culminating with the Exhibition Road Music Day in June.

Le Français à l'honneur

We will celebrate the French language with our Francophone and educational partners. Read more

Arts Calling

In the fields of visual & performing arts, the centenary will extend far beyond the Institut.