Dear Michel BoyonMonsieur Averroes Club President, Dear Amirouche LaidiMesdames and gentlemen, dear friends,
When Amirouche Laïdi and the Averroes Club introduced me to their
I would like to submit their annual report on Diversity in the
I immediately accepted this proposal and I am pleased to
welcome you today rue de Valois.
The issue of diversity and the representation of French society
in my view is central to our ability to
“living together”, of our desire to reconcile the republican idea with the
the diverse, complex, multicultural reality of 21st century France.
A modern Republic does not aim at abolishing identities but at
melting in a common melting pot and in a shared project. It is the only
European Parliament and the Council
sociologist Eric Maurin called the «French ghetto»: this society where
We live between ourselves, without mixing, without meeting.
This diversity is an opportunity for France and its influence
in the world.
It is urgent that its administration, like its elites, reflect it:
it is necessary for the youth to reclaim the Republic, for
that the Republic is once again a shared promise.
It is a complex issue, one that inflames debate and raises
passions. It sometimes leads to a tense, sometimes conflicting climate.
The difficulties encountered by the National City of History of
immigration, as well as in another way of thinking, controversy
raised by Rachid Bouchareb’s film Hors la loi, the polemics
around the debate on national identity – while the great
Annals historian Fernand Braudel evokes the identity of France - in
But I am aware that there is a strong expectation for a policy
active integration and promotion of the diversity of the
French company, especially in the audiovisual media. I share
entirely this desire.
Because diversity in the cultural field is a major lever for
mobilizing opinion and changing attitudes
The cultural offer in France is rich, diversified and abundant. It
constantly borrows from the cultures of the worlds, it is a mirror of these
cultures that shaped the “French crucible”: those of the Maghreb, those of
of Mediterranean Europe, the French Overseas Territories and Black Africa.
Perhaps it is less in the cultural offer than in the representation that
society gives itself through its media that the expectation is the
Many visible minority representatives believe that
media play a key role in fostering the integration of
minorities and especially the immigrant populations in the
Several recently released reports have addressed this
question: the Higher Audiovisual Council which has set up a
“Diversity in Media Observatory”. It is an important tool,
as it allows for regular monitoring of progress or
road that remains to be covered by the television channels in this
domain. But also the High Authority for the fight against
discrimination (HALDE), the High Commissioner for Integration (Yazid
Sabeg), the Standing Committee for Diversity, an internal body in France
Televisions, chaired by Hervé Bourges who published reports and
analyses during 2010. Today, the Averroès Club
gives us his observations and reflections.
The report you have just presented to us has two merits:
first it embraces a field of research and analysis that is not
only limited to television but open to radio, print, and
advertising, comics, video games. In addition, it does not offer
not only quantitative but also qualitative analysis.
The objective is clear: to encourage the media to a fair representation of the
social and ethnocultural diversity on the screens. The evidence is there, it is
shared by all the analyses I have just mentioned: it is a question of
now to act and move forward!
On the occasion of the presentation of your report, I wish to mention
you my priorities as Minister of Culture
I have long been committed to diversity:
- I have appointed Raoul Peck to head Femis ;
- I have organized or supported events that highlight and
value diversity, like the great Ramdam in La Villette at the end
last summer, or the concert of Rachid Taha and Julien Jacob at the Cité
History of Immigration on 14 July;
- I have taken clear and unambiguous positions on issues that
directly concern diversity: I defended Rachid’s film
Bouchareb against the attacks against him; I have pointed out the
values of “living together” in the matter of film censorship
by the network of art and essay halls Utopia in Toulouse .
- I pay particular attention to the French Overseas Territories. I have travelled there
in Martinique, in French Guiana. I have given missions
to promote ultra-marine cultures to Michel Collardelle (DRAC
Guyana) and Daniel Maximin; the year of the overseas includes, as
you probably saw it in the program unveiled earlier this year,
a very rich cultural component.
- I am particularly proud of the arrangements put in place with the
Marc Ladreit’s “Culture and Diversity” Foundation
The back allows high school students from the priority education of
prepare some of the Department’s major schools: FEMIS, Ecole du Louvre,
National Heritage Institute, Schools of Architecture; this must be done
and extend to the higher teachings of the ministry the
Equal opportunities schemes experienced in other sectors.
- I support the project to rehabilitate the Montfermeil tower,
to make it a place of creation and culture at the very heart of a
urban fabric that is traversed by diversity.
- I have started a project on the theme of media and suburbs, and I
Hopes that it will lead to concrete initiatives in favour of the media
- Tomorrow we will hold the Culture for Everyone, Culture Forum
for all, shared culture” in La Villette. A round table will be held
dedicated to diversity and intercultural dialogue.
The ambition that guides my action rue de Valois means precisely
promote access to culture regardless of origin, place of residence,
the cultural background of each individual; and to promote the
cultures and cultural practices that in history have always
Giving everyone the means to take ownership of culture, lifting the
prevention and intimidation of places of culture, shaping the look and
the sensitivity of young people through arts education is in my opinion
to serve “living together”, and to help change society, to make it
better, more self-aware, more civil, more generous and
open to each other.
It seems to me in this perspective, indispensable in order to extend and
to put in coherence all the contirbutions produced on the question,
from now on, the Ministry of Culture and Communication
an annual working day on the theme: "Culture, media and
diversity" which would bring together institutions (HALDE, CSA, TV and radio channels,
cultural operators) and associations (such as the Averroes club) to
to avoid the dispersion of initiatives in this field, and to make action
And also to promote exchange.
In addition, I would like to entrust the mission of
with all the parties involved, with you, with the
associations and clubs engaged, to the proposals of the various reports
on diversity in the media, including in this
The problem is print media and radio, and even video games.
When it comes to public service media, from my first date
with the new president of France Televisions Rémy Pflimlin, I have
the issue of diversity. This is one of the primary missions in
that public television must be exemplary and show the
way. I will insist that the objectives and indicators of a real
public service diversity promotion policy, including in
human resources terms, are included in the new contract
of objectives and means of France televisions that we negotiate
I also wish to engage the Ministry of Culture and
communication in the AFNOR certification procedure to obtain the
label. Other departments have already obtained it. This Department, by
of its missions, must absolutely be exemplary. I will ask
also to public operators and institutions under its supervision
commit to signing a "Diversity Charter".
More than tools, these are principles and this is a vision for the
21st century French society that I defend, a society rich in its
pluralism, its diversity, a society open to the cultures of the world
curious about their wealth, and able to flourish.
I suggest you all work together to make this vision a