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.

Home Features 2010: A Year of Celebrations!
Monday 15th of August 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

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.

In homage to those who have dedicated their lives to a love of French language and culture in Britain, the Institut will present a series of events revisiting the past and the history of the Franco-British relationship: the French presence in Britain, the development of French Studies and the history of pedagogy of the French language over the past century. It will also bring to light exceptional material from the Institut's archives.

However, I also want the Institut to look towards the future and enter a new technological era. Central to the celebrations is the launch of 'Your Digital Institute', a digital platform offering new cultural and educational content online to enable the public to access resources without stepping foot in the building. This will allow us to reach out to fresh audiences, reflecting current web user trends.

This project has been made possible thanks to the inestimable support of both individual and corporate donors, who – as for the renovation of the cinema in 2008 – are generously supporting the Institut's facelift and move towards innovative technologies. In May, to coincide with the launch of the digital platform, the Institut's revamped foyer will be inaugurated.

The centenary celebrations will unfold throughout the year, which promises to be full of festivity and surprise. Alongside the Ciné lumière and the Language Centre's usual programmes, there will be a host of special conferences, writers in dialogue, competitions, custom-produced CDs, and novel events, such as a fashion show.

The 100th anniversary will be marked by several highlights: a Francophone Week involving schools and educational partners in March, a unique celebration of  the Fête de la Musique in June, and a commemoration of Charles de Gaulle's famous 18th June 1940 appeal to the people of France during the war.

These celebrations will extend beyond the walls of the Institut to universities and organisations across the country – our partners, who for the last century have crafted unbreakable ties between our two countries and peoples.

Que la fête commence !

Laurence Auer,
Director of the Institut français du Royaume-Uni


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.