Sasha Campbell introduces us to Pierre Mateo who is the director of the Alliance of France in Costa Rica, and we learn a little about the worldwide event known as Noche en Blanco.
Noche en Blanco started in Paris, France, as a way to allow citizens of Paris access to the museums of the city for one night for free. The idea was that the people who primarily saw the many different museums of the city such as the Louvre and others were mostly tourists, and the mayor of Paris wanted to make the museums available to the people of France. The idea soon spread to cities throughout Europe and later the world.
Sasha was able to talke to Pierre Mateo about the significance of Noche en Blanco both worldwide and in Costa Rica. They also discussed some of the activities people would find at the Alliance of France, and a transcript of the interview is as follows:
Sasha We are always following artistic or cultural tours in San Jose. We are at the Alliance of France and here with us is the director Pierre Mateo, and we are going to talk a little about the meaning of the White Night. What is its significance and how did it get to Costa Rica?
Pierre Well…the White Night in French is “Nuit Blanche,” which means you stay up all night, and the origin of this cultural party comes from Bertrand Delanoe who was the mayor of Paris in 2002. He created this event to open cultural places for Parisians who don’t have time to visit them, because they work or are too full of tourists when they want to visit. He created the event to open places like the Louvre, the Museum of d’Orsay, the Museum of Notre Dame and other Art Galleries for Parisians to take advantage. That got so successful that they repeated the event many times making it a tradition. In those famous places of Paris where they welcomed artists such as actors and musicians who little by little helped to make the event a great cultural party.
Now it’s held in almost every capital city in the world. Places like Shanghai, Madrid, Rome, Lima and of course in Costa Rica have been having it for the past three years. We have sound conductors that are like a path guiding people through the Alliance, and they realize that there is this exposition of sound. There is a room of ambient noise, and singing bathrooms. The stairs are used in a particular way, and the cafeteria also provides crunchy food. At midnight there is a series of films that are representative of French cinema. Some of the biggest successes in French film like “Intocable,” and also “Welcome to the North,” help to entertain people, and we hear them laughing. For us this is a party about culture, about promoting cultural and about getting closer to combining the Costa Rican way of life with the French tradition. (End of transcript)
If you find yourself in Costa Rica in December, be sure to check out the White Night in San Jose to get a look at some of the city’s museums and cultural centers for free.