French Spring Festival 2021

Mysterious, inaccessible, sirenic: islands have been subjected to a myriad of collective imaginaries and mythologies. From Jules Verne’s Mysterious Island to Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, real and imaginary islands have always been part of our geographical and literary understanding. How can we grasp the defining characteristics of an island today? ARTRA is proud to partner with the Alliance Française de Kotte in hosting their 9th edition of the French Spring Festival. The festival is a multidisciplinary festival fostering artistic links between France, Sri Lanka and the Maldives since 2012. Organised jointly by the Embassy of France in Sri Lanka and the Maldives, the Alliance Française de Kotte, the French Spring Festival presents a wide series of events showcasing the innovative and modern initiatives carried by French, Sri Lankan and Maldivian artists and intellectuals.

The 9th edition of the French Spring Festival in 2021 will be dedicated to explore this theme, showcasing a range of different insularities that vary by their size, position, culture and conceptual understanding. Swiss writer and photographer Nicolas Bouvier said, “What we bring to an island is subject to metamorphosis” – the thematic aim of the festival intends to question, what are islanders bringing to their island today? The festival will take place through a series of events from art talks, discussions, conversations, poetry readings, concerts and more and will go on till October 2021. Here’s a list of what the French Spring Festival has in store to satiate your creative senses so far,


ModArt 'Exposition de Mode' is an annual fashion exhibition that is showcased at the French Spring Festival revealing the best work of the fashion design students of ModArt International – Sri Lanka branch. This showcase will focus mostly on the product samples designed with the inspiration of French fashion designers and the industry. The virtual exhibition will take the audience through a range of fashion collections, couture designs, digital design for fashion, Textiles creations of couture weaves and many more conceptual design ideas. This virtual event will be presented on the 8th of July 2021.


Sankhara is a group of musicians who embrace the universality of music and sound. Deep diving into the convergence of folk song and languages of various sub continents and watching as ancient forms swirl together and re-emerge in new but familiar forms. For this particular event on the 11th of July, listen to Hania luthufi on vocals, Sarani Perera on electric guitar and synths and Wenilan on Mridangam. The concert will be streamed on the French Embassy and the French Spring Festival Facebook pages, as well as on the Embassy's Youtube channel.

The exchange and integration of culture into society through art and cultural festivals are laudable in their capacity to create conversation and dialogue as it promotes a depth of comprehensive intercultural understanding. The French Spring Festival then becomes a celebration of the diversity of cultures and creativity, a modem of preserving cultural practices and revitalizing the identity of a community. Through many events from concerts, poetry readings, and talks, the French Spring Festival attempts to create a system that supports artists and their creative courses while influencing communities of diverse cultures and identities and thus, raising awareness about its individuality. The French Spring Festival, this year, in its ninth edition celebrates the island and its multifaceted characteristics, providing a platform for the islanders, the artists, the creative to showcase the defining personalities that create the identity of the island. Continuing till the month of October, French Spring Festival 2021 will celebrate art, culture and the island.

Watch this space for more information.

**Due to the current sanitary situations, all the events will be virtual and free, for now. At a time when the sanitary context is encouraging us to rethink the ways to support artists, we wanted to showcase that creation continues to take place amidst adversity.  

2nd July, 2021 Visual Art | Conceptual