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From Battlefields to Burkinis: Encounters in Franco-African history in Shrewsbury

From Battlefields to Burkinis:  Encounters in Franco-African history in Shrewsbury Delivered at the new University Centre in Shrewsbury Wednesday 17 May last, this public lecture took as its starting point recent events, including the Burkini affair, that have put France in the global spotlight. Prof. Claire Griffiths (Francophone and Area Studies, University of Chester, c.griffiths@chester.ac.uk) invited the audience to take a journey back through four centuries of French history in Africa to explore some of the roots of cultural and political debates that today help define France’s role in the world. The Shrewsbury audience, ranging from sixth formers to local retired professoriate, showed a strong interest and engagement in the topics presented on the theme of Francophone African politics in historical perspective. The talk concluded with almost an hour of discussion around the outcome of the presidential election, including M. Macron’s visit to Mali, as was revealed through Macron twitterfeed on the day. The venue: Rowley’s House, Barker Street, in Shrewsbury.  

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