Video games: Ubisoft is entering hospitals in France

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In early September, the famous French video game industry Ubisoft, partnered with Petits Princes association, created playrooms in hospitals of Lyon, Bordeaux and Parisian suburbs. There, children can play different games coming from the franchise.

Un moyen d'évasion pour les enfants hospitalisés.
Children playing Ubisoft’s video games in Montpellier. © Midi Libre

Added to the video games, the playroom should include board games, television and books. Everything is provided by Ubisoft. The company is aiming to “let children access to their dreams in the hospital itself,” said Sandra Vernus, in charge of the Human Ressources in Ubisoft Montpellier, to the Midi Libre‘s journal.

To do this, Ubisoft partnered with Petits Princes, a French association linked to more than 150 hospitals all over France. Their goal is to help sick children in their fight. Dominique Bayle, co-founder of Petits Prince, is delighted with the collaboration with Ubisoft : “It’s wonderful, because it allows children to leave aside their disease […],to share a moment with their roommates. Their hospitalisation is softer.”

Un petit prince en chevalier
A child disguised as a knight. © Petits Princes

More than just a pleasant moment, having a space to play is also advisable for their recovery. Video games allow children to let down huge emotional charges that can sometimes prevent their body from being resistant to medicines. The time they are spending in hospitals seems also shorter. Ubisoft and Petits Princes are aiming to extend their work to all hospitals in France, as they said in Le Parisien.



France urged to return looted African artworks

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A picture of a African’s art exposition at Dapper Museum in Paris.

The situation is critical for African art. With more than 90% of Africa’s cultural heritage currently found outside the continent, France has to react. The times have changed, and these artworks have to go back to their original continent.

That is the subject of the report Emmanuel Macron will receive, this Friday, on his desk. Written by two French researchers, Bénédicte Savoy and Felwine Sarr, appointed by the French president, the report lists the arguments for the return of the largest part of African cultural pieces.

This debate is dear to Macron, who fights in favor of a complete restitution. “I cannot accept that a large part of the cultural heritage of several African countries is in France,” said the French president during an auditorium in Ouagadougou, in November 2017, as reported by The Guardian. “Starting today, and within the next five years, I want to see the conditions put in place so as to allow for the temporary or definitive restitution of African cultural heritage to Africa.” French collection is estimated to more than 90,000 pieces originating from sub-Saharan Africa. A large part of this heritage has been looted during the colonial era and were intended to French museums.

The task seems complicated for Emmanuel Macron. The French president wants to appear positive, like he explained in Ouagadougou last year, with the same wish “to build a new intellectual connection between France and Africa”. 

Alexandre D’Agostino, IEJ 3E

Michael Jackson reborn in Paris

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Michael Jackson on the wall will be exhibited at the Grand Palais in Paris

A major exhibition on Michael Jackson is opening in Paris’ Grand Palais today. Named almost like his first album, the exhibition “On the Wall” shows paintings, pictures, sculptures and videos of the singer everywhere and especially on the walls. There is no music in the program but mostly works of the artists who have been inspired by Michael Jackson since the 1980’s. Chronologically exposed in order to show the evolution of the King of Pop, the pieces of art invite the visitors to explore his life since his childhood.

One of the main artists exposed in the exhibit is David LaChapelle, showing Michael Jackson as a martyr of modern times. Symbols like Jesus or the Devil are represented in his paintings, next to the singer. Michael Jackson was already a legend, and with David LaChapelle, he is now becoming an angel. Andy Warhol’s works can also be found in the Grand Palais, like the cover of the King of Pop ordered by the Time magazine in 1984. The centerpiece of the exhibition is “Dangerous”, Mark Ryden’s original painting which served as the cover of  the eponymous album.

With this event, Michael Jackson is more than an iconic singer: he’s an art object attracting the interest of visual artists…

The exhibition will be held at the Grand Palais until 14th of February.

Jonas Hattab, IEJ 3E

Japan: Osaka in the battle for the 2025 World Expo

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The 2025 universal exposition Japanese’s logo.

The Bureau International des Expositions, based in Paris, is reuniting their 170 members today to vote for one of three candidate cities to host 2025 World Expo. Japan, Russia and Azerbaijan are the finalists of the race.

The World Expo, expected to draw millions of international visitors, would be largely beneficial for Osaka. If Japan is chosen, it would be the second time for the country to host the event, after 1970. That’s why the Japanese city appears as a safe and reliable choice, since the other two candidates, Baku (Azerbaijan) and Yekaterinburg (Russia), are lesser known.

Osaka is proposing an expo about robotics and A.I. located on a man-made island.

Baku has the advantage of being a rich city thanks to it’s Caspian’s sea oil reserves. It’s proposing and expo based on the way to redefine human roles in an automating society and improve human health.

Yekateringburg, this time is proposing the theme of technological innovation and how to balance it with quality of life. This is the second time the Russian city is challenging for the World Expo.

Even if none of those three cities appears as a favorite, Japan has the advantage that they already hosted the expo in 1970. In that year, the theme was “progress and harmony for humanity”. It has drawn more than 64 million visitors.

The World Expo is taking place every five years.


Marie Gounin, IEJ 3E

Kyoto reveals treasures at Cernuschi Museum

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Cernuschi Museum is welcoming “Treasures of Kyoto: three centuries of Rinpa creation” from 26th October to 27th January. The mission is to bring beauty into everyday life through the exhibitions of the event, “Japonismes 2018: souls in resonance” to celebrate 160 years of diplomatic relations with Japan. The event will last until February 2019.

Rinpa is a Japanese art technique created in the 16th century and was developed until the modern period. The artists were looking for themes in the classic literatures, they especially tried to reproduce the culture of Heian (794-1185). French people respected these arts after the Treaty of Friendship and Commerce between France and Japan in 1858, but have little knowledge of them. The director of the museum said that he would like to remind people that the art of Rinpa is the best way to prove what the Japanese art is. The artists did not care about the relationship between the teacher and the disciple, but it is the esthetic and spiritual fellowship which tied them up.

For the exhibition, Kyoto sent a national treasure:  the painting entitled “Fujin Raisin-zu byobu” (The folding screens of Wing God and Thunder God) by Sotatsu TAWARAYA. It is the first time for this piece of art to be revealed in Europe.



Culture: Hockney’s painting sold for record price

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Hockney painting was sold for $90m at auction in New York.

A famous painting by artist David Hockney has been sold for 90.3 million dollars, a new record for a living artist.

The previous record was held by Jeff Koons for his painting “Balloon Dog”, which was sold for 58.4 million dollars in 2013. “Portrait of an Artist”, by David Hockney beat this record, on Thursday 15th, during an auctioning in New York. The auction started at 18 million dollars and in 30 seconds, the threshold of 50 million dollars was reached. The oil painting was finally adjuged at 80 million dollars after nine minutes. Adding costs and commissions, it finally costs 90.3 million dollars. This sale was the last of the autumn big sales in New York and it will be remembered!

David Hockney is now 81 years old and his previous record was owned by “Pacific Coast Highway and Santa Monica”, a painting, sold for 28.4 million dollars in May, during a sale organized by Sotheby’s.

On “Portait of an Artist”, a large-format painting, we can notice, in the foreground, a stylish man, standing-up alongside the pool. He is wearing a pink blazer with a pair of pale green pants. He is watching another man swimming in his direction under the blue water of a pool. In the background, there is a green landscape of woods, with blue mountains.

In 1972, Hockney sold this oil painting for 20,000 dollars. 46 years later, the painting’s value has been multiplied by four. Now more than ever, the painting is a cult piece of art.

Louise Amrhein, IEJ3E

“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald”, dark, complex and spectacular

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Fantastic Beasts 2 Source: Le

The second part of the “Fantastic Beats” saga,  “The Crimes of Grindelwald” is being released today, exclusively in France and it really lives up to the hype.

After New York in 1926, it’s now time for Paris to rise. We are in 1927, and the story written under JK Rowling’s pen sees its main characters travelling through the French capital recreated in a spectacular way in studio. Every detail of the reconstitution is astonishing and gives a new lease of life to “les Années Folles”.

Eddie Redmayne, who plays Newt Scamander, emotionally recalls his first meeting with JK Rowling: “She’s impressive ! She directly gets to the heart of the matter telling me in a very absorbing way a lot of Scamander’s fact on his passed.”

Has Grindelwald a link to Dumbledore ?

It is not surprising to see Grindelwald (played by Johnny Depp) at the heart of the movie as he is aspiring to become the greatest dark Lord ever and to subjugate all human beings.

The movie delivers some information about Dumbledore’s relation with Grindelwald and it appears that both of them can’t fight each other after a non-agression agreement was made by them previously in their lives.

A bluffing episode

Once again, JK Rowling shows us all her fancy inventions in the sequel of the: “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” and reveals another, darker tale, dramatically and spectacularly superior to those we have been used to.