Since 2014, H.E. Christophe Lecourtier has been the French Ambassador to Australia. Among his many projects, he has supported Australia’s first bilingual French primary school and a $50 billion submarine project based in Adelaide. To mark the first anniversary of the Paris attacks, the French national shares his thoughts on why France will always put freedom before fear.
Today is the first anniversary of the Paris attacks. Rather than dwelling on the events of that day, how do you think the people of France have emerged from such a difficult time?
Shocked of course but at the end of the day, more resilient than ever.
People living in Paris have been heading out to cafes and bars – in big numbers, almost as an act of cultural defiance…
What the terrorists targeted was our way of life and our liberties, both of which they despise. By heading out, the people of Paris are just telling these guys something simple and something strong : we are not afraid and we will defend our values and our freedom.
The So Frenchy So Chic festival is about finding ‘joie de vivre’ in our lives – is this idea more important than ever?
Absolutely because we realise that what we’ve taken for granted might be at stake.
The French have a particular view of the world, does it have a part to play when it comes to over-coming adversity?
In our long history of course we’ve lived through good and bad times – but we’ve learnt that ultimately ‘que demain il fera jour’ (the sun will rise again tomorrow).
How do you maintain your ‘joie de vivre’?
Through the expression of our liberties that fully take into account the very best things in life: music, love food and of course champagne…
What are you looking forward to the most at next year’s So Frenchy So Chic festival?
This festival represents the very best of France and French culture. For that reason, it is something that we like to share with Australians.
Australian audiences have embraced the So Frenchy So Chic festival. Why do you think that is?
Because there is a lot that we have in common when it comes to our way of life.