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New Digital Exhibit Highlights Francophone Literature

As part of Francophone Week (March 20-26, 2021) at Washington University, the Washington University Libraries have partnered with the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures to present Francophone Voices, a digital exhibition of books that showcases contemporary Francophone literature from around the globe.

Francophone Voices was originally planned as a physical exhibit of books in John M. Olin Library to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the International Organisation of La Francophonie (OIF) in March 2020 but was unfortunately canceled due to the pandemic.

With 88 countries and state governments involved in the OIF’s platform, the prime mission of the International Organisation of La Francophonie is to promote the French language and francophone culture, as well as to support peace, democracy, human rights, education, and research. 

French is the fifth most spoken language in the world, with over 300 million speakers worldwide, and Francophone Voices connotes a culture that goes well beyond France. The authors of the selected books (most hailing from outside of France) have enriched francophone culture and have highlighted the importance of democracy and human rights in their writing.

We are pleased to be presenting this selection of books in digital form a year later. We invite you to discover the global phenomenon of Francophone literature through our exhibition and to participate in the events of Francophone Week, including a discussion of the film Atlantique (directed by Matti Diop) and a reading by Baba Badji. All books in the exhibit can be checked out from the University Libraries.