CHENNAI: Earlier this month, Dr Patricia Thery-Hart joined as the new director of Alliance Française of Madras. In a chat with DT Next, she speaks about her plans and upcoming programmes at the centre. “We will be officially inaugurating the newly extended building at Alliance Française of Madras soon. It will be a multipurpose space for cultural and academic purposes. I am also planning to interact with the students of Alliance Française of Madras and extend the cultural and French classes to other parts of Tamil Nadu like Coimbatore, Trichy, and Ooty, where we are working as an academic partner with colleges and a few schools. While visiting these places, I am planning to explore Tamil Nadu a little,” Patricia starts the conversation.
Prior to working at Alliance Française Madras, she was Dean of a Business School in Paris. When quizzed about the upcoming programmes at the centre, she replies, “There is going to be a wall art expo by French artist Monsieur Poes at Alliance Française of Madras. We are partnering for the Short+Sweet theatre festival in the month of November and there is going to be a photo exhibition by Enora Lalet in December. We are working on many projects and I cannot tell unless it’s finalised.”
Throughout her career, Patricia developed a global persona and perspective with a focus on arts and higher education in England, Canada, and Thailand.
Speaking about ways to strengthen the Indo-French relation, Dr Patricia says, “We should have cultural exchange by bringing French artists here and if possible sending Indian artists to France. France has opened up after the pandemic and there are a lot of opportunities for Indian students to do higher education in France. After their studies, they will have a good experience in terms of culture and education. And Indian culture presence in France too needed at times.”