France and Germany open joint centres at Upper Mall
By Shoaib Ahmed
LAHORE: Alliance Francaise de Lahore (French cultural center) and the Annemarie Schimmel Haus (German cultural center) were jointly inaugurated at their common site, Scotch Corner at Upper Mall, on Friday. The launch was followed by performances by a German jazz band and French opera singer.
The move to localise the two centres is an effort by the administrations to share broaden their scope and offer Lahoris a wider array of events during the coming year. The German and French ambassadors and music enthusiasts were among the city elite and music enthusiasts present at the launch.
German envoy Dr C Brummer said called the inauguration “spectacular” and said that there were only a couple of instances in the world where one location contained cultural centres for two countries.
French ambassador Pierre Charasse announced that the day was special, as the two countries combined efforts to promote their cultures in Pakistan. He lauded the French Center director Matthieu Pinel for his successful management of the centre.
Charasse thanked the National College of Arts (NCA) principal Sajida Vandal and Civil Services Academy for their help and said that the results had been “very positive”. “Through these centres and through the coming together of two former enemies, we want to open the window of a new Europe,” he stated.
German jazz band Der Rote Bereich and French opera singer Marion Baglan gave extraordinary performances.
Der Rote Bereich literally translates as “the red area” and refers to the red zone which indicates distortion on the recording level meter of recording machines. The group was founded in 1992 in Nuremberg by guitarist Frank Miibus along with bass clarinetist Rudi Mahall, and almost immediately acquired cult status among jazz cognoscenti. In recent years it has certainly enhanced the jazz scene in Germany and particularly in Berlin.
Their energetic music and original sound is inspired by pop and rock music as well as jazz and twelve-tone music. They have been praised as one of the most exciting jazz formations of Germany.
Marion Baglan has studied at Tours and has received numerous international prizes, including the “Prix de Musique de Chambre” for her contribution to music. She has taken part in recitals and solos all over France. She performed “I feel pretty”, “West Side Story” and “Ach! Ich full’s” by Mozart in Lahore.