Online Talks

Online Talks

Learn more about French and Francophone cultures

With our free online talks, we invite you to learn more about a wide range of French-related topics. Meet high-quality specialists, who after a presentation of their work and/or field of expertise, will open a discussion and answer your questions.

Our talks are held in English (with a touch of French)!

Unless otherwise indicated, all Alliance Française de Manchester cultural events are free and open to all. They are public events and under 18s remain under the responsiblity of their parent/guardian at all times.

Do not forget to book your space in time to receive the link!

Upcoming Talks

FRI. 18 June 6.15pm-7.30pm So far but yet so close: Beyond the appearances of French-British relations
FRI. 16 July 6.15pm-7.30pm The Olympic Games from Antiquity to the Present

Friday 18 June - So far but yet so close: Beyond the appearances of French-British relations (6.15pm to 7.30pm)


Often referred to as "the best enemies", France and the United Kingdom have a long history together and a complex relationship with each other. This free online talk (in English) invites you to go beyond the noise to explore the deep links binding our two countries.

In recent times, we have witnessed some heated debates in the media about the relationship between the UK and France. Sensation sells, and there are some things that they just do not show on TV: behind the scenes, British and French civil societies acting together to make the world a better place. In the discrete world of diplomacy, cooperation is at the heart of French-British relations.

On 18 June - the day Charles de Gaulle made his great “appel” from the BBC in London, a real symbol of the United Kingdom and France uniting to fight fascism and restore peace in Europe - discuss the links between France and the UK with our very special guest Peter Boxer, UK diplomat who has worked in, for and with France during his career.

The presentation will be in English (with a touch of French), and interactive: Peter will be ready to answer all your questions.

Click here to book your place and receive the Zoom meeting link!

Our guest: Peter Boxer, diplomat

Peter is the Executive director of External Relations in the Cabinet Office of the Isle of Man Government. He took up his current role in April 2019. He oversees the work of six Isle of Man Government teams in the Cabinet Office: Crown & Elections, European & Trade Policy, External Relations, Passport & Immigration, and Government Communications.

Before coming to the Isle of Man, Peter had been a UK diplomat for 24 years. He has served in South Africa, Iraq, Morocco, Pakistan and Cyprus. As well as the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, he has worked in a number of other UK Civil Service departments including the Cabinet Office and the Northern Ireland Office. He was seconded to the French Foreign Ministry for the French Presidency of the G8 and attended the Evian Summit as part of the French Delegation.

As well as traditional diplomacy, in the course of his career Peter has worked on a number of major events for the UK Government. These have included the G8 Summit in Lough Erne, the NATO Summit in South Wales, the 2018 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, the Global Ministerial Mental Health Summit and the first visit of President Trump to the UK.

Peter holds a first degree in French Studies from the University of Birmingham. From 2001-3, he attended the Ecole Nationale d’Administration in Strasbourg (Promotion René Cassin) where he completed the school’s Diplôme d’Administration Publique as well as a Masters in Public Administration.

Peter has two young sons who are chess fiends. Peter’s partner is a teacher of French in the Isle of Man and a Limougeaude.

Friday 16 July - The Olympic Games from Antiquity to the Present (6.15pm to 7.30pm)

An evening dedicated to the history of the Olympics and the 2024 Paris edition In French, free and open to all!

By Éric Monnin, Vice-President of the University of Franche-Comté, delegate on the programme L’Olympisme - Génération 2024.

One week before the scheduled start of the Olympics in Japan, join us to explore the rich history of the Games and the values that they project, learn about their growth and expansion, and the upcoming role of France in the 2024 Summer Olympic Games. Éric Monnin will discuss the evolution of the Olympics over the centuries to its current-day form as an important international showcase that symbolizes the strength and power of competing nations in peacetime. He will also answer all your questions.

This talk + Q&A is free and will be in French (suitable for intermediate-level speakers upwards).

This event is organised by the Alliances Françaises in the United Kingdom in collaboration with the University of Franche-Comté and the Academic Olympic Studies and Research Centre.

Click here to register for the ZOOM link

Our guest: Éric Monnin

Éric Monnin is a French sports historian and sociologist, specialising in the International Olympic Movement. Associate Professor at the University of Franche-Comté, Monnin is also a former high-level judo athlete (French school champion) and musician (he performed with the Philharmonic Orchestra of Besançon until 1994).

His research focuses on the Olympic Movement and Olympic education. This study led him to organise "Olympic Weeks" and "Culture, Sport and Education Days" in schools and universities with the support of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). He participated in the organisation of the Olympic Youth Camp in Sydney (Australia) and Athens (Greece) during the two Olympiads. In October 2006, IOC President Jacques Rogge invited him to Beijing, China, as an IOC expert for the "World Forum on Sport, Education and Culture".

He intervened as a speaker in 2010 in Beijing, discussing the Union of World Olympic Cities (UWOC), and frequently participates in the work of the International Olympic Academy (IOA) in Olympia (Greece). In 2017 and 2018, he was invited to South Korea by the French Embassy for the Francophonie celebrations (speech at Ewha University) and during the Pyeong Winter Olympics in PyeongChang.

In December 2019, he founded the French Centre for University Olympic Studies and Research (CEROU) at the University of Franche-Comté, of which he is the director.

In March 2020, he had been scheduled to take part in the Olympic torch relay in Athens for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. He is currently a member of the Scientific Commission for the inscription of the "Olympic Spirit" to the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

In 2012, the IOC awarded him the Pierre de Coubertin Medal at the London Olympic Games (he is so far the only Frenchman to hold this prestigious international distinction).

Monnin has published several books and has been awarded several other medals: Knight of the National Order of Merit, Officer of the Order of Academic Palms, Gold Medal for Youth and Sports, Bronze Medal for Voluntary Military Services.

Click here to register for the ZOOM link