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A weekly seminar series by French literary figure Marc Sagnol held in Taganrog.

October 31—November 4, 2016: French poet, writer, translator and former diplomat Marc Sagnol visited the city of Taganrog to participate in literature seminars. He used to work for Alliance Française in a number of CIS countries, and in 2007-2010 served as Cultural Attaché and Head of the Book Department at the Embassy of France in Moscow. The first meetings of Taganrog audience with the French author were held in October 2014 within the framework of the Year of Culture in Russia.

The new program "Current Issues in Russian and Foreign Literatures" with Marc Sagnol was realized by the Foreign Languages Dept. of Taganrog Chekhov Teachers' College (TGPI) in cooperation with Alliance Française and Taganrog Local Government. The project offered all participants an opportunity to learn more about contemporary French literature and to participate in several conferences and exchanges of opinions.

November 3 a round table discussion was held to summarize the series of seminars in Taganrog. Taganrog foreign relations officer Alexander Mirgorodskiy highlighted the program's special importance in time of current geopolitical tensions and crisis in Russian-European relations: "Despite all this, the city's cooperation with France develops further. Relations between Russia and France are deeply historic and founded on mutual attraction. For centuries writers, philosophers, artists and musicians of the two countries brought together peoples' minds and hearts. There was a time when Russian Empire gave a home to French immigrants who left after the fall of monarchy during the French Revolution, while in 20th century it was the turn of France to shelter great Russian intellectuals.

With that in mind I would like to remind you that only in 2016 many events were realized in coperation with our partners in Alliance Française: in October we received an official cultural delegation from Le Man, France; theater group l'Acthalia from Le Man performed on Taganrog stage; in May folk band "LEL" of Taganrog Chekhov Teachers' College was the only Russian group selected to play at 2016 International University Music Festival (FIMU de Belfort) in France; in April teachers and students of Taganrog College of Management and Economics participated in a weekly study abroad project "Council of Europe & European Court of Human Rights: Theory and Practice" in Strasbourg, France; and earlier - Francophone Cinema Mini Festival. Now, thanks to our good friend Marc Sagnol, this list has been extended with a series of literature seminars. I would like to thank all the organizers and express my hope for continued cooperation and new joint projects in Taganrog", — told Mr. Mirgorodskiy.

At the final event the French poet recited two of his poems dedicated to Taganrog and gave an autograph-signing session. Among the organizers were present: Marc Sagnol, director of Taganrog Chekhov Teachers' College (TGPI) Andrey Goloborodko, provost of Rostov State University of Economics Irina Golubeva and heads of foreign languages and literature departments.