The Franco-German Cultural Fund is 20 years old!
The Élysée Treaty, signed by France and the Federal Republic of Germany on 22 January 1963, laid the foundations for close cooperation between the two countries in the service of European integration. Today, the Franco-German relationship is considered privileged and the Franco-German alliance has become the driving force of a free and progressive Europe.
The Franco-German Cultural Fund (FCFA) was launched in 2003 to mark the 40th anniversary of the Treaty. With an annual budget of €500,000, this fund is co-piloted and financed equally by the Institut français and the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in consultation with the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs and the Goethe-Institut.
Updated on 25/01/2023
The FCFA is a unique bilateral cooperation mechanism, as it supports artistic and cultural cooperation between the German and French diplomatic networks in other countries. All artistic disciplines are covered and great importance is given to the debate of ideas and intellectual exchanges.
Every year, foundational and innovative projects are created around priority themes for France and Germany, in line with current events and local realities.
Over 20 years, the FCFA can pride itself on having offered around 10 million euros in funding and support to:
- more than 1,000 projects
- more than 6,000 artists and intellectuals
- in 153 countries around the world.
A look at some of the most important projects
2012 - Bookmobile - Palestinian Territories
This project, supported by the Franco-German Cultural Centre, launched a mobile library, which visited various Palestinian schools offering German and French courses over several weeks. The mobile library provided books and educational materials to students with limited access to books, comics and DVD collections. In 2017, the mobile library was transformed into a mobile cinema to host debating activities for young people.
2013 - Digital Peace - South Korea
The Institut français and the Goethe Institute of South Korea organised a Franco-German artistic season in Seoul from March to June 2013, focusing on new digital creation, in celebration of peace and reconciliation. The programme was based on a Franco-German selection of works, artists, thinkers, designers, exhibitions and festivals, in close partnership with Korean galleries, institutions and labels. The common denominator was the notion of peace expressed in its full diversity of approaches, forms and expressions within the digital universe.
2014 - Egyptian Comics Week - Egypt
This festival, co-produced by the Institut français of Egypt and the Goethe Institute in Cairo, included events for the general public and professional workshops bringing together the vast majority of stakeholders in the sector (authors, illustrators, young talents, publishers, translators, collectives dedicated to the ninth art). The project received significant media coverage and was instrumental in the launch of the first international comics festival in Egypt, Cairo Comix, in September 2015 by a collective of Egyptian authors and cartoonists.
2015 - Electronic Soundscapes 1 – Nigeria
Developed by the Institut français of Nigeria and the Goethe Institute in Lagos, this project aimed to train Nigerian DJs in electronic music through a five-day theoretical and practical training course (mixing techniques, sound production, scratching, etc.), given by three internationally recognised DJs: R-ASH (France), Marko Fürstenberg (Germany) and Afrologic (Nigeria). The Nigerian DJs were able to put their skills to use at two concerts in Lagos and Abuja as part of the Fête de la Musique. Conducted in 2016, this project paved the way for the professionalisation of the electronic music sector in Nigeria.
2016 - Night of Philosophy - Argentina
Supported in 2015 and 2016, this major operation orchestrated by the Institut français of Argentina, the Franco-Argentine Centre and the German Embassy, in conjunction with the Argentine Ministry of Culture, brought together a dozen French and German philosophers and more than 20 Argentine philosophers for meetings and conferences for a night dedicated to thought. An artistic programme and screenings enriched the evening. As the main partner, the City of Buenos Aires made this Night of Philosophy one of the major events in its annual programme. The event was subsequently repeated without the support of the FCFA.
2017 - Inana, writing to survive – Iraq
The project, conceived by the Institut français of Iraq and the Goethe Institute in Erbil, aimed to promote women in Iraq who have chosen to become writers and to make their situation and their work better known to European literary professionals and to a large French youth audience. An anthology of Iraqi women poets, "Les yeux d’Inana", was translated into French and German and readings/debates and writing workshops were organised in Basra, Paris and Frankfurt during the Book Fair. The project has had a strong impact, bringing the voice of Iraqi women writers to the international stage and highlighting more widely the resilience and courage of Iraqi women who have played a key role in Iraqi society over the past forty years of war and crisis. The project has also initiated a debate in Iraq, where a number of men have expressed concern over the prominence given to these women, while others have welcomed the initiative. Important contacts have been made with publishers.
2023 - Street Art: speaking for Cruceña Youth - Bolivia
This project aimed at the youth of Santa Cruz de la Sierra in Bolivia is operated jointly by the Alliance Française and the Goethe Zentrum de Santa Cruz de la Sierra, institutions that have been united for almost 20 years within the French-German Cultural Centre. It offers training sessions and spaces for expression to the youth of the metropolis so they can share their commitment, their visions and their hopes in the face of current ecological challenges and the preservation of peace in the public arena. With the assistance of two street artists from France and Germany, the participants will be trained in the practical techniques of street art. At the end of the project, five murals will be painted in the historical centre of the city.