untapped documentary (7)

Untapped – Documentary screening

Untapped, a bamboo movement in Sri Lanka

A documentary focusing on bamboo as a building material and the future of the bamboo industry in Sri Lanka. The screening will be followed by a discussion moderated by Julien Bailly, the founder and director of Una Bambu.

The documentary recounts a 12-day bamboo workshop with one of the best bamboo carpenters in the world, Mr Jorg Stamm. Foreign participants and 10 local carpenters learnt how to select, process, prepare and build with the magnificent material that is bamboo.

A documentary by Nuwan Attanayake, sound by Sarani Perera, produced by Una Bambu.

untapped documentary (7)

🏡 Alliance Française de Colombo, 11, Barnes Place, Colombo 7
📅 Wednesday 9th August, 6pm – 7.30pm
🎟 Free entrance

Green Modern Business Conference Poster

Conference – Archeology in Sri Lanka

We are glad to present to you the lecture on recent archaeological projects in Sri Lanka, in collaboration with France (CNRS), Germany (German Archaeological Institute) and the US (University of Berkeley). In a multidisciplinary perspective, joining archaeology, art history, anthropology of techniques and digital humanities, three projects will be highlighted:

  • Bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara as protector of seafarers. Results of the Avalokiteśvara survey project in Sri Lanka
  • GIS-based heritage data management system for world heritage city of Anuradhapura
  • Giribawa, An Ancient Glass-Making site of the first millennium CE
Green Modern Business Conference Poster


Ariane de Saxcé is an archaeologist specialized on trade and cultural exchanges in the Indian Ocean. She received her PhD from the University of Paris-Sorbonne, after a pre-doctoral Fellowship at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles. Her thesis dealt with transfers and interactions between the Mediterranean, South India and Sri Lanka (3 rd c. BCE – 7 th c. CE). For her post-doctoral research at the École pratique des hautes études (Paris), she worked on religious and cultural contacts of Sri Lanka at the early medieval period. Now Research Associate for South and South-East Asia at the German Archaeological Institute (KAAK Bonn), she has started new collaborative projects for excavations in Sri Lanka.

Professor Osmund Bopearachchi is a Professor of Central and South Asian Art and Archaeology at the UC Berkeley, and Emeritus Director of Research at the C.N.R.S.-E.N.S. Paris. He holds B.A. from the University of Kelaniya (Sri Lanka), and B.A. honours, M.A., M.Phil., Ph.D. from the Paris 1 Sorbonne University, and a Higher Doctorate (Habilitation) from the Paris 4 Sorbonne University. He is a numismatist, art historian and archaeologist. He has received prestigious international awards for his publications. French Academy of Inscriptions and Belles-Lettres has awarded the most prestigious prizes to five of his works, including “George Perrot Medal” for From Bactria to Taprobane: Selected Works of Osmund Bopearachchi, vol. I. Central Asian and Indian Numismatics; vol. II. Art History and Maritime Trade, Manohar Publishers, New Delhi, 2015 and Ikuo Hiriyama Award for When West Met East: Gandhāran Art Revisted, Manohar, New Delhi in 2020.

Nuwan Abeywardane is a Professor attached to the Department of Archaeology and Heritage Management of the Rajarata University of Sri Lanka. In 2005 he was able to qualify himself by obtaining a first class honors degree for Bachelor of Arts in Archaeology from the University of Peradeniya. Meantime, he was awarded two scholarships for Academic Excellence and Greatest Competence at the General Convocation.  He completed his Master of Science in GIS and remote sensing at Post Graduate Institute of Science, University of Peradeniya, in 2009 with a GPA of 3.81.  In 2009 he joined the Government Department of Archaeology as a research assistant and contributed to several field explorations and excavations island wide. Nuwan joined the Department of Archaeology and Heritage Management at Rajarata University of Sri Lanka as a young Lecturer in 2011. He is a senior academic and a researcher now. He completed his Doctor of Science degree in Landscape Archaeology from the Freie University, Berlin, Germany, in 2019. He is an ICCROM alumnus and completed the Conservation of Built Heritage Course in 2014 at ICCROM, Rome, Italy. Further, he had his heritage and GIS education from Japan, Thailand, and India. He is a member of the Sri Lanka Council of Archaeologists.

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FSF – Celebrate! A photographic exhibition

The Embassy of France in Sri Lanka and the Maldives and the network of Alliances Françaises in Sri Lanka and the Maldives are proud to present Celebrate! a photographic exhibition at Alliance Française of Colombo, from Thursday 6th of July, as part of the French Spring Festival 2023.

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The theme of the contest Celebrate! invited participants to capture and cherish the extraordinary moments that punctuate our lives. The selected photographs pay homage to the successes and accomplishments, the bonds that unite us, and the encounters that enrich us. Through these captivating images, we celebrate the beauty that surrounds us, the steps we have taken, the victories of daily life, the age-old rituals and the smiles we share. This gallery of frozen moments is a true ode to celebration.

The ten best photographs, carefully chosen by an expert jury panel, will take center stage at the exhibition. The esteemed jury members includes His Excellency Jean-François Pactet, Ambassador of France to Sri Lanka and the Maldives ; together with Prof. (Dr) Indika Ferdinando, from University of the Visual and Performing Arts, Kisho Kumar, photographer and activist, Onella Perera, Development Assistant at Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Sri Lanka, and Menika van der Poorten, Cultural practitioner, producer, and curator.

In this exhibition, visitors will have the privilege of admiring the selected photographs, capturing the essence of celebration through the lens of these talented individuals.

We would like to extend our special thanks to our 4 main sponsors for this contestConnaissance de Ceylan & Thema CollectionGeoffrey Bawa Trust and Artra Magazine are gifting the first three prizes, while Sri Lankan Airlines offer a notebook to each of the 10 participants.

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FSF – French Film Festival

The French Film Festival organized on the occasion of French Spring Festival 2023 will be held from the 6th of July to the 9th of July 2023 at the National Film Corporation (Tharangani Theatre, Bauddhaloka Mawatha, Colombo 7).

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6th July – 6pm
En Corps / Rise, by Cedric Klapish
(2022, 1h58)

One of the flagship movies is the talented director Cédric Klapish’s new movie, released in March 2022, a heart-warming and inspiring story that tells us about resilience and healing.

Elise, 26, is a great ballet dancer. She is injured during a performance and learns that she will no longer be able to dance. From then on, her life is turned upside down, and Elise has to learn how to repair herself… Between Paris and Brittany, through encounters and experiences, disappointments and hopes, Elise gets closer to a contemporary dance company. This new way of dancing will give her a new lease of life.

7th July – 6pm
Rock’n Roll by Guillaume Canet
(2017, 2h03)

A hilarious, parodic comedy with Marion Cotillard and Guillaume Canet about the daily lives of two French cinema stars.

Guillaume Canet, 43, has everything he needs to be happy and fulfilled in his life. On a film set, a pretty 20-year-old actress stops him in his tracks, telling him that he’s not very “Rock”, that he’s never really been, and to finish him off, that he’s fallen down the “list” of actors we’d like to fuck… His family life with Marion, his son, his country house, his horses, all give him a cheesy and no longer really sexy image… Guillaume understands that it’s urgent to change everything. And he’s going to go far, very far, under the stunned and powerless gaze of those around him.

8th July – 3pm
Kirikou et la sorcière / Kirikou and the Sorceress by Michel Ocelot (1998, 1h10)

One of the most famous French animated movie, about the tale of tiny Kirikou born in an African village in which Karaba the Sorceress has placed a terrible curse. A screening dedicated to young audience and families.

Tiny Kirikou is born in an African village where the witch Karaba, surrounded by her fearsome fetishes, has cast a terrible spell: the spring is dried up, villagers are held to ransom, men are kidnapped and mysteriously disappear. Kirikou, as soon as he leaves his mother’s womb, sets out to free the village from Karaba’s evil grip and discover the secret of her wickedness.

8th July – 6pm
Rouge / Red soil by Farid Bentoumi (2020, 1h26)

An ecological thriller based on real events, where we discover the story of the red mud scandal at the Gardanne chemical plant.

Nour has just been hired as a nurse at the chemical plant where her father, a union delegate and long-time linchpin of the company, works. While the plant is undergoing a health inspection, a journalist is investigating waste management. The two young women gradually discover that the plant, a pillar of the local economy, hides many secrets. Between lies about pollutant discharges, doctored medical records and hidden accidents, Nour will have to choose between keeping quiet and betraying her father to bring the truth to light.

9th July – 3pm
16 levers de soleil / 16 sunrises
(2018, 1h58)

A documentary about the 6 months spent by the worldwide known French Astronaut Thomas Pesquet aboard the International Space Station.

Flying into space. This is the dream that Thomas Pesquet realized when he took off from the Baikonur base. 450 kilometers from Earth, during these six months when the world seems to be tipping into the unknown, a dialogue is woven between the astronaut and Saint Exupéry’s visionary work that he took with him to the space station.

9th July – 6pm
Délicieux / Delicious, by Eric Besnard
(2021, 1h53)

Discover the unusual story of a chef who – on a hunt for revenge – ends up opening France’s first restaurant!

At the dawn of the French Revolution, Pierre Manceron, a daring but proud cook, is sacked by his master, the Duc de Chamfort. When he meets an astonishing woman who wants to learn the culinary arts alongside him, he regains his self-confidence and is driven to emancipate himself from his domestic status and embark on his own revolution. Together, they invented a place for pleasure and sharing open to all: the first restaurant. An idea that will earn them customers… and enemies.

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FSF – Fête de la Musique

The French Spring Festival is coming back in Sri Lanka from 24 June to 13 July!

It’s the 11th edition of the festival organised by the Embassy of France in Sri Lanka and the Maldives and the network of Alliances Francaises in Sri Lanka and the Maldives.

Starting with the Fête de la Musique on 24th of June with an Open Mic at the Alliance Française of Colombo in the afternoon (from 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.) and a Live Music Concert at the Sri Lankan Foundation Institute in the evening (6 p.m. onwards), with French Singer Léa Paci as the guest of honour and Sri Lankan bands The Soul, Radiesha and Tha Youngest.

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International Music Day, or Fête de la Musique, is celebrated every year on 21 June. The first International Music Day was observed in the year 1982 in France when people were urged to play music outdoors to participate in festivities. Since then, International Music Day has spread to other parts of the world and is now a global celebration of music. International Music Day is organised within the framework of the French Spring Festival organised every year by the French Embassy in Sri Lanka and Maldives together with the Alliance Française network in Sri Lanka and Maldives, with the support of sponsors and official partners.

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Meet the artists!

Léa Paci

Léa Paci, the French singer-songwriter was born and raised in the city of lights, Paris. She developed a passion for theater and acting early on at age 6 leading her 10 years later to become a self-taught musician. After turning down french TV hooks several times (The Voice…) and with the encouragement of her close circle, she began posting covers on YouTube, catching the attention of successful producers.

Léa went on to collaborate with international artists such as James Blunt on the track “Cold” who invited her on his tour in the biggest french venues (zénith). In 2021, she collaborated with Japanese artist Tigarah on an electro cover of Louise Attaque’s hit « J’t’emmène au vent », an unexpected but obvious project for Léa who grew up with electronic and French pop music.

It’s 2023 and with 100 million streams and counting, Léa is back as an independent artist with a new sunny EP, delving into themes of love, fear, and the desire to live fully. She is no longer 20 and these last few years have pushed her in an accelerated and brutal way into adult life and all the trials and tribulations that go with it.


Unlike most artists, Radiesha only discovered her voice at 16, through singing self taught Bhajans in San Diego. She proceeded to sing at centers in Brazilia and London. To her singing bhajans inspired a connection to the higher self, and this spiritual awakening led her to explore tunes of Ella Fitzgerald, Etta James, & Susheela Raman. She was the lead female vocalist in a band called ‘CodeRed’ in 2009 and went on to win Best Female Vocalist at the Yes Fm All Stars. Radiesha was the lead vocalist in her second band ‘The Brahminy Kites’ in 2013, who went on to produce their own EP. They opened for ELSZ, when she launched her first album Chasing Rainbows.

Today, a decade later, she’s decided to get back into music to explore new vulnerabilities in her voice and hopes to discover her sound by sharing it with the wider music community.

The Soul

The Soul has built a name for itself in the Sri Lankan music industry with their blend of originality from experimental, pop, blues, rock reggae and sound art, coming to be recognized primarily for their original music and the high standard of musicianship in their live shows. A five-piece unit, The Soul is composed of Khazim, Sarani, Uvindu, Dave and Divanka. 

« We are The Soul is what you will hear us say, at the end of a flowing nights play. Our home is Sri Lanka, a tropical island situated right at one of the lowest gravitational points on planet Earth. Right now we are utterly in love with making music together and it is our dream to play this music around the world. If you are reading this, humbled we are that you have shown the interest and we hope that our original music entices and touches you in some way. »

Tha Youngest

Nadim Sham alias “Tha Youngest” is an aspiring Swiss born Sri Lankan DJ. His passion for music was founded in his love for dance which started 15 years ago. His roots are firmly planted in Hip Hop, Funk and Reggae/Dancehall and draws inspiration from Masters such as Jazzy Jeff, DJ Shortkut, Deejay Puffy and more… Although his career as a DJ started not long ago, Tha Youngest aims to bring a fresh selection of music to Sri Lanka and to share and create a wider appreciation for the genres he loves.
Nadim, known in the dance world as “Wiz” is a Krump dancer from Warriorz Crew (Switzerland). During his career, he has participated in numerous international competitions either as a competitor, guest or as a judge. His most notable accomplishments was being a Finalist at the International Royal Rumble, as well as being a Judge and Teacher at the Indian Krump Festival 8 & 9, the biggest Krump competition in India. He continues to dance in Sri Lanka and trains specific talent under his own crew “House of Wiz”.

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Fête de la musique – Open stage

As part of the French Spring Festival 2023, the Alliance Française invites amateur and experienced musicians to perform.

The Fête de la Musique is a free event, open to all, celebrating all styles of music and musicians. Singers, pianists, drummers, guitarists…

Come and share your passion and talent with us!

The open stage will take place on Saturday 24 June, from 2.30pm to 5pm at the Alliance Française of Colombo (11 Barnes Place, Colombo 7).

Alliance Française will provide a piano and a full sound system (speakers and microphones).

The duration of each performance is 3 to 10 minutes.

Please fill in your details in the Google Form so that we can contact you to confirm your participation.

We look forward to celebrating the Fête de la Musique 2023 together!

Photo contest – Let’s celebrate!

As part of the eleventh edition of the French Spring Festival, the Embassy of France to Sri Lanka and the Maldives and the network of Alliances Françaises in Sri Lanka and the Maldives are pleased to announce the photography contest open to all amateurs and professionals. 


This year’s theme is Celebrate ! as France and Sri Lanka are celebrating its 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations. The ten best photographs will be selected by an expert jury panel and showcased in a travelling exhibition presented at the Alliance française de Kotte in Colombo and then in the Alliances françaises of Matara and Kandy.               


The pictures should engage with the theme and be sent by e-mail at frenchspringfestival2023@gmail.com. Submissions via Wetransfer are allowed. The deadline for submissions is midnight on June 11th. Winners will be contacted personally at the end of June. 

A vernissage of the exhibition will be organized at the Alliance Française de Kotte in Colombo on July 5th in the presence of the juries. The winners will be announced during the vernissage. 


To celebrate the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and France, this year’s theme is: Celebrate! 

Celebrate is an invitation to seize and appreciate every precious moment that punctuates our lives. Celebrate the bonds that unite us and the encounters that enrich us. To celebrate is to pay homage to the steps we have taken, to the victories of daily life, to the rituals we share and to the beauty that surrounds us. May this gallery of frozen moments be a true ode to celebration!   


Terms and conditions

. 10 photographs will be selected by the jury. The 10 selected photos will be the subject of a travelling exhibition presented at the Alliance française de Kotte in Colombo and then in the Alliances françaises of Matara and Kandy.

. The creations presented must be original and related to the theme “Celebrate!”. You must be the author of the photograph. 

. Photos must be sent by e-mail at frenchspringfestival2023@gmail.com. Submissions via Wetransfer are allowed.

. The photos will be printed in large format (50x70cm). Therefore, they must be sent in high definition in JPG or PDF format, for a quality of at least 300 DPI. 

. Only one photo is accepted per candidate.

. Each photo must be accompanied by a title and a description text in English, explaining the story behind the photo and how the photo fits the theme. 

. Participation is free. 

. The name of the 10 winners will appear on the cartel and in the communication on social networks.


General conditions

. The competition is open to all amateur and professional photographers residing in Sri Lanka or in Maldives, without age limit. Any unique image from any camera is eligible. 

. For the winners residing outside the city of Colombo, please take into account that transportation and accommodation will be at your expense if you wish to attend the opening or to see the exhibition.

. You must be the author and responsible for the shooting of the submitted image. It is your responsibility to ensure that all necessary permissions have been obtained from any person featured in a photograph. 

. You must agree to transfer the rights of diffusion of the photographs for the duration of the exhibitions in Colombo, Kandy and Matara. The copyright remains the property of the photographer. The printed and framed photographs can be recovered by the artists at the end of the three exhibitions. 

. By participating in this contest, you agree that the Embassy of France, the Alliance Française and its partners may use your images for publication or promotional purposes.  


Selection criteria

An international jury will select the winners. The judges will pay attention to the following points: respect of the theme, use of basic and special techniques, composition, originality, subject, overall effect.  



. Closing date of the call for applications: June 11th 2023 at midnight

. Selection panel: end of June 2023. The 10 selected photographs will be communicated as soon as the jury has made its deliberations.

. Opening of the exhibition: July 5th at the Alliance Française de Kotte in Colombo. The dates of the exhibitions in Kandy and Matara will be communicated later.  



. Prof. (Dr) Indika Ferdinando, Director and Research and Creative Work Development Division at University of the Visual and Performing Arts

. Kisho Kumar, photographer and activist

. Onella Perera, Development Assistant at Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Sri Lanka

. Menika van der Poorten, Cultural practitioner, producer and curator

And as the president of the jury, His Excellency Jean-François Pactet, Ambassador of France to Sri Lanka and the Maldives.



. For the ten selected photographers: personal invitation to the opening, valid for two people and their printed and framed photograph (returned at the end of the exhibitions). 

. The first three prizes will be announced soon. Stay tuned and follow us on our social networks!

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Creative arts therapies – Seminar and workshops

An introduction to the healing power of Creative Arts
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Local and foreign experts in their field will give you an overview and a taste of the most popular creative therapies out there, currently gaining popularity around the world. You’ll gain a basic understanding of art, sound & music, drama & playback, storytelling and dance therapies; what they are, how they work, and why you should give (some of) them a try.

This is an interactive evening of presentations, Q&As and direct experience, that will be followed by a series of workshops for each therapy during the course of June, as well as a finale of improvised artistic co-creations on July 1st.


Dance Therapy: Finding the Inner dancer – 12th June

A dance workshop with Karin, a certified Dance Therapist, and Elizabeth.

This Workshop will be a basic experience in coming to its own body, experiencing the inner source of a kind of “zero-point“ where all movement is starting.

Playback Theatre: Community-based improvisation theatre with audience participation – 13th June

A form of interactive and improvisational theatre, where members of the audience tell certain life stories and see them brought to life instantly by the actors.

Art Therapy: Soaring – 20th June

An experiential workshop where you are invited to explore the self and how best to align with your own authenticity to journey towards your life goals and dreams through drawing.

This workshop is facilitated by Radhieka, a Multimodular Expressive Therapist.

Storytelling Therapy: Alignment – 21sth June

A workshop on Storytelling. The facilitator will use the Multimodular Expressive Therapy tool which is called ‘Storytelling Therapy’ to dive into finding and exploring the stories that have moulded us. This then is therapeutically shaped into identifying the balance we need to re-align ourselves to our life purpose in a gentle way that leads to a catharsis.

Art Therapy: Soaring – 20th June

An inspiring journey into Sound & Music; combining applied scientific explorations, guided experiential practices and a long deep relaxation in a concert of sounds – where intuitive music combines with therapeutic vibrations of various instruments.

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SEMINAR – The History of the Indian Ocean by Dr Bérénice Guyot-Réchard

Before the Indo-Pacific: The Many Lives of the Indian Ocean in the twentieth century
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Before the Indo-Pacific was the Indian Ocean. A vast, semi-enclosed watery space that, for millennia, had served as an interface between what we now call Asia, Africa and the Middle-East, but was by the early 1900s under the sway of colonial empires. The twenty-first century’s invention of the Indo-Pacific—as a concept that puts the ocean at the heart of geopolitics—bears the imprint of the Indian Ocean’s many lives over the twentieth century. First, as a “British Lake”, crisscrossed by the Royal Navy and other maritime powers but also by anti-colonial movements. Next, as a logistical theatre during the Second World War. Later, in the second half of the century, as a space for intensified resource extraction and territorial appropriation, and eventually an arena for Cold War rivalry and Afro-Asian states’ efforts to remake the world order. Dr Bérénice Guyot-Réchard, Associate Professor at King’s College London, will sketch for us these political, cultural, economic, and strategic transformations.
Dr Bérénice Guyot-Réchard

Associate Professor in International History at King’s College, is a historian of South Asia and the Indian Ocean. A specialist of decolonisation, particularly in terms of international politics, she has written extensively on Sino-Indian relations, most notably in Shadow States: India, China and the Himalayas, 1910-62 (Cambridge University Press, 2016). She is currently working on the geopolitics of the Indian Ocean since 1945.

Kisho Kumar Exhibition – Hills of Neglect

Do not miss Hills of Neglecta powerful photo exhibition by photograph / activist Kisho Kumar showcasing the hardships faced by workers and their families in the tea plantations.

“Hills of Neglect is an art form that showcases the hardships faced by people of the plantation sector in Sri Lanka. Starting with teenage pregnancies, it has covered several other issues based on statistical data. Their stories deserve to be heard.”

🏡 Alliance Française de Colombo, 11, Barnes Place, Colombo 7
📅 03rd to 14th May
🎟️ Free entrance