Overseas France takes centre stage at all-night festival of art and culture

Every year, Paris and its suburbs pull an all-nighter of culture on Nuit Blanche – literally “white night” – when the city hosts a cocktail of art, performance and discovery. This year’s edition, taking place on Saturday, celebrates the melting pot of cultures in French overseas territories from the Caribbean to the Pacific and everywhere in between.

Curator Claire Tancons has spent the afternoon in a warehouse in the northern Paris suburb of Saint-Denis checking the finishing touches to one of the artworks that will be displayed at this year's Nuit Blanche.

"Edgar Arceneaux's painting is drying, and hopefully tomorrow the weather will hold," she tells RFI by phone, referring to a metallic canvas by the American artist that will provide the outdoor stage for a sunset performance at the ancient Roman arena of Montmartre.

Based in California and descended from Creole heritage, Arceneaux has teamed up with actor Alex Barlas to explore France's historic connection to the Americas and its impact on today's diaspora, in a piece called The Mirror Is You.

It's just one of over a hundred events concocted for this vast ephemeral event, which begins at 7pm on Saturday and lasts all night long.

The theme this year is overseas France – a vast patchwork of territories and cultures, spanning the globe from the Caribbean to the Indian Ocean and on to the South Pacific.

"Given what we know of contemporary geopolitics, I’m not in the mood for celebrating," Tancons admits.

Read more on RFI English

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