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Confined words: Cannes' creative writing initiative


Woman writing. Photo by Camille Dellerie on ScopioThe Cannes City Council, in cooperation with Cannes Université and the Ecole Régionale d'Acteurs de Cannes-Marseille (ERACM), is encouraging creative writing and prompting the people of Cannes to take up the pen to share their experience of the confinement. The initiative entitled "Mots barrières & mots dans l'air : écrire ensemble contre le virus" (Confined words & words free to roam: writing together against the virus) is being organised by the network of media libraries in Cannes and will run from 13 April to 25 June 2020. 

Words to heal

At the beginning of 2016, the "Des mots pour réparer" initiative started by David Lisnard, invited residents to share on the City's website about the flooding disaster that occurred on 3 October 2015.

The premise was to write to free oneself from the traumas that haunt the memory, seeking comfort and finding the words to treat the ills. In the same fashion, the mayor of Cannes is relaunching the "Autour de l'écriture"  ( in order to share, through short life stories, people’s experience of confinement in order to fight the boredom, anguish or discouragement that this new situation can sometimes engender.

Writing together against the virus 

The 5th edition of the "Ecrire Cannes" writing competition, which was initially scheduled for the autumn, will now begin on 13 April, in partnership with the ERACM. Participants are invited to send in their short story or screenplay on the theme of confinement no later than 20 May. The prize-giving ceremony, after deliberation by a jury composed of specialists in literature and writing, will take place on 25 June during the "Les auteurs cannois en lumière" (Cannes authors in the spotlight) day.

At the same time, the people of Cannes are invited to write short pieces on this subject on the blog "Raconter Cannes".

Finally, on the "Des mots pour réparer" page of the website, Cannes residents are free to express themselves in other literary forms: poetry, slam, song, ticket, stage, etc. with the possibility of sound and video extension.

Cannes Université is associated with the project and will offer, both live and then replayed on the association's Facebook page, a program dedicated to writing for all the people of Cannes who wish to participate in the writing competition and, beyond that, for all those who are passionate about writing and literature.

Running from 13 April to 13 May, the program will include:

- Wednesdays at 11 am: a writing workshop led by Laurent Moretti, a certified modern literature professor and lecturer at Université Côte d'Azur 

- Tuesdays at 6 pm: lectures by professors from the University of the Côte d'Azur and specialists in writing and literature

- Fridays at 11 am: testimonials from authors entitled "From idea to writing" explaining how they came to write their first and subsequent works.

Each week's program, announced the Friday of the previous week on the association's Facebook page, will be repeated every Monday on the "Cannes Culture" Facebook page as part of the Cannes City Hall and EAC On Air initiative, "Cannes confined and cultivated”.