Ladies and gentlemen,
Thank you to each and every one of you for being here today in spite of the traffic difficulties in Paris and in our territories.
As the INA pastille we have just seen has shown, the ninth art has become a true French cultural passion.
Comics have won the hearts of French people thanks to the talent of its creators, thanks to the passion of a whole sector: artists, publishers, booksellers, festivals and libraries.
Today it is almost one in three French people who regularly read a comic.
As this year draws to a close, I am very pleased to present to you today the program of «BD 2020». A year in the colors of the 9th art!
“BD 2020” will highlight the tremendous vitality of comics, the know-how and creativity of our artists, the richness and diversity of works, and a remarkable heritage.
Yes, comics are a singular art. An art in its own right.
This is now obvious, but this recognition has been delayed.
Art of storytelling, comics have too often been viewed as a mere entertainment away from literature.
“Gross error” “I would say even more, gross error”, would have added Hergé’s genius.
For it is to forget that comic books are just as much an art of the board, an art of drawing, an art of line and color, which calls on various techniques.
For too long considered as an “unidentified cultural object”, in the words of Thierry Groensteen, this aesthetic form constitutes an art in itself.
Far from mere leisure, the 9th art is a creative space that explores all forms and is constantly renewed.
“Faster than his shadow,” Morris would have said.
The 9th art is always in motion. He likes to take the side roads, he turns away from the paths that are all laid out.
The comic book presents a great diversity of formats, themes and languages.
There are, of course, the great popular series whose heroes have become key figures in our shared culture – I’m thinking of Tintin, Asterix or Boule and Bill, and everyone else.
There are also satirical or parodic plates that perpetuate the transgressive tradition of an art that has long remained on the margins.
But the works continue to diversify to embrace all genres, from graphic novels to autobiography to reportage, but also manga.
The four BD 2020 sponsors embody this creativity and renewal.
Florence Cestac, Catherine Meurisse, Jul and Régis Loisel, do us the honour of accompanying this event. I warmly thank them.
By the complementarity of their looks, they embody the richness of the art of comics.
The success of their work speaks volumes about the place of comics in today’s cultural landscape.
As one of our most dynamic creative and cultural industries, it is widely acclaimed by our fellow citizens, who are increasingly incorporating it into their reading habits.
Comics are a fast-growing publishing segment: their value has grown by a third in just 10 years, from 2008 to 2018.
Particularly dynamic, comics is the third-largest publishing market in terms of the number of copies sold. More than one book in seven bought in France is a comic book!
As I said in my introduction, this success is that of a whole chain: authors, publishers, booksellers, festivals, libraries, driven by the same commitment.
The comic book also establishes an increasingly intense dialogue with other artistic disciplines.
It is a privileged source of inspiration for cinema or video games, where its aesthetics is an essential reference for many creators.
Yet this popular art suffers from a still insufficient recognition within our cultural institutions.
This observation calls for action.
It is high time to give the comic all the attention it deserves!
To change our gaze to put an end to the simplistic considerations that, for a long time already, do not reflect the reality of the 9th art.
Thank you, dear Pierre Lungheretti, for having established a very complete diagnosis of the situation of comics in France in the report you submitted to me earlier this year.
Dedicating 2020 to the promotion of comics was one of your proposals.
Since the plan launched by Jack Lang 30 years ago, supplemented by Philippe Douste-Blazy, no government has taken a global initiative in favour of comics.
So I wanted to give a new impetus to comics.
Let a new page be written or drawn for the 9th art.
This is the meaning of BD 2020.
Throughout 2020, we will promote comics in all their diversity throughout France and around the world, promote the integration of this art into our cultural policies and ensure that all creators are better supported.
«FRANCE LOVES THE 9TH ART»!
This declaration of love that accompanies BD 2020 embodies our desire to make the 9th art more accessible, more visible, more attractive.
To give to understand what makes the singularity of the work of its authors.
For this, comics must be rooted in the cultural events offered in all our territories, find even more space in libraries and media libraries that are our first local cultural services.
I know that we can already count on the initiatives of many local authorities.
I am thinking in particular, of course, of Angoulême, which for many years has become the world capital of comics.
I want to commend the action of its mayor, Xavier Bonnefont.
UNESCO has just distinguished Angoulême by awarding it the label «Creative City» in the category literature for its prominent place in the field of comics.
Beyond the city, a whole creative ecosystem has been built up around the comic book on the lands of Charente.
Many other communities are taking over the comic strip to bring culture to the heart of their territory, in mainland France and the French Overseas Territories, as shown by the wealth of BD 2020 programming that is being deployed from Chaumont to Cayenne, from the Voironnais region to Marseille.
To enrich our heritage and circulate it throughout France, I decided to launch a national public order for prints. This command will highlight the work of the comic artists.
Their works will integrate the collections of the National Centre for Plastic Arts and can also be borrowed from art libraries.
Our love for comics, we must also wear it high internationally.
With the breadth and diversity of its production, France occupies a privileged place in the world comic market.
This attractiveness is a great pride, but it is not an outcome.
As we do for our other creative and cultural industries, we must continue to promote this sector of publishing, to value the know-how of our authors and their invaluable creativity.
By placing it at the heart of our cultural and economic exchanges, French comics must remain a global reference.
The dynamism of French comics outside our borders can naturally be based on the Francophonie.
Creating in French, the language we share with 300 million speakers around the world, is also an opportunity in an increasingly intense international competition.
I know that I can count on the actions taken by the French Institute to enable the works of our creators to meet an ever wider audience.
Next year, the French Institute will offer a special comic “focus” that will allow the implementation of many ambitious international cooperation.
The attachment of the French to the 9th art is also intended to be embodied in the partnerships and sponsorship of private actors.
I would like to commend the creation of the Cité 9e art Foundation by the Cité internationale de la bande dessinée et de l'image. Under the aegis of the Institut de France, it will help mobilize private partners and sponsors around projects that will benefit the entire sector.
I welcome the creation of this new tool based on the participation of private actors alongside public institutions, a model to which I am very attached.
As I was saying, by mobilizing the energies of a large number of cultural actors, BD 2020 will promote a better consideration of comics in the actions we are taking to promote access for all French people to art and culture throughout France.
The comic book is a formidable medium that contributes to the discovery of the pleasure of reading and the French language, to the acquisition of knowledge and to artistic and cultural education.
Let’s not forget that the drawn album was often the first of our encounters with reading!
As you know, one of our priority objectives is that 100% of children aged 3 to 18 benefit from arts and cultural education in school.
In this perspective, I hope that comic books will find their full place.
I welcome the involvement of the Ministry of National Education and Youth in “BD 2020” to work together in this direction.
Thus, we will allow our children to become familiar with the 9th art and go to meet the creators, who are already many to commit themselves to the transmission of their art.
BD 2020 must also be a space for reflection and action regarding the situation of comic book authors. The difficulties faced by cartoonists are well known.
They challenge us all.
Too many people suffer on a daily basis from precariousness that affects their creative work.
We cannot be satisfied with that.
At the beginning of this year, I asked Bruno Racine to carry out a mission of analysis and foresight around artists authors, their place in our society.
His work is now complete. It will be distributed to me shortly and will allow us to envisage concrete actions at the service of authors and creators.
I want to make BD 2020 a chance to undertake a number of experiments in the service of creators. An opportunity to strengthen the elements of knowledge we need to conduct our action.
The Ministry of Culture will therefore finance the completion of an in-depth qualitative study whose specifications will be determined with the authors' trade unions. This study will take over from the one conducted in 2015 by these same organizations.
We will thus collectively have a complete vision of the conditions under which the activities of the sector are carried out and of the developments faced by the authors.
On the other hand, we will fully integrate the authors of comics in the allocation scheme for workshop equipment set up by the Ministry of Culture.
In 2020, comic book authors will be able to receive support for the purchase of material, commensurate with the reality of their needs.
We hope that comic book authors will benefit from funding directly useful to their artistic work.
This device will then be sustainable in the long term as it already is for the visual arts.
BD 2020 must also be a space for reflection around the cultural policy of comic strip festivals.
As you know, I want to put authors at the heart of our cultural policies, affirming their capacity to be concrete relays of the movements that cross our society.
BD 2020 must therefore be an opportunity to reflect with all the actors on an enrichment of their cultural proposals in order to allow any comic book author invited to a festival to be integrated into a collective activity towards the public.
Some events are already working on this model and can serve as examples. I’m thinking of the Rendez-vous de la bande dessinée in Amiens, Lyon BD festival, Quai des Bulles in Saint Malo or BD Boum in Blois.
Let’s mobilize the energy of the creators of the 9th art around activities with more demanding cultural content.
Let us create together the conditions for a link, an exchange, a richer interaction with the public.
It is this collective effort that I propose to the various actors to accomplish and that the State is ready to accompany. I put my services at your disposal to organize this reflection and to assume the role of mediator that they have often played.
In order to initiate this reflection, the State through the CNL will provide in 2020, exceptionally and transitional, additional support to the comic festivals that it supports, to allow to remunerate all authors during these events.
In return for this funding, the festivals will undertake to evolve their model to include the vast majority of the authors present in their cultural programming.
I invite all those involved in the comic strip industry to take part in this effort to build a sustainable model, fulfilling for authors, and more enriching for comic lovers.
BD 2020 will also be an opportunity to give a new dimension to the promotion of comics as close as possible to all French people.
The year of the BD will see multiple and protean programming.
Its variety is further proof of the dynamism of the BD industry in France.
It is also due to the remarkable involvement of its organizers, the Centre national du Livre and the Cité internationale de la bande dessinée et de l'image.
I would like to salute Vincent Monadé, Emmanuelle Bensimon-Weiler, Pierre Lungheretti and all their teams, who will be strongly mobilized throughout 2020.
I also salute the teams from the Media and Cultural Industries Branch, and in particular Laurence Cassegrain.
I thank the partners who support them and make an indispensable contribution to this operation.
I would also like to welcome the participation of the other ministries: the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs (Mr. Le Drian), the Ministry of Justice (Ms. Belloubet), the Ministry of Armed Forces (Ms. Parly), the Ministry of National Education and Youth (M. Blanquer), the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation (Ms. Vidal).
At this time, the BD 2020 programming already has more than 350 events. It will continue to grow in the coming months.
It shows a real enthusiasm among cultural institutions, local authorities, associations, etc.
It is impossible for me to quote them all, but you will find many of them in the BD 2020 press kit.
It is indeed all of France that will be invested by the 9th art: exhibitions housed by museums (such as the museum of decorative arts, the Picasso museum in Paris or the museum of the Resistance of Limoges) to travelling exhibitions in stations, from conferences at the Collège de France to meetings at libraries and festivals…
So many opportunities given to the French to gather around the comic book!
After 2020, nothing will be the same.
Thank you again for being here so many times to show your commitment to the year of comics that is about to begin.