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Leeds takes to the stage at Lille’s International Solidarity Week

This week our French partner city of Lille has held a “week of international solidarity” to mark 60 years of international cooperation with cities around the world, including the 50 year old partnership with Leeds.

As part of the programme Lille held a round table on climate for the Mayors and Leaders of twelve of its partner cities. Councillor Judith Blake, the Leader of Leeds City Council, presented the work and findings of the Leeds Climate Commission alongside case studies from cities as far afield as St Louis in Senegal and Oujda in Morocco.

At the gathering of partner cities, the Mayor of Lille, Martine Aubry, cited the Leeds-Lille partnership as one of Lille’s most important and active partnerships, as it is centred on projects involving children and young people.

The Mayor of Lille, Martin Aubry with the Leader of Leeds City Council, Judith Blake

There were several representatives from Leeds taking part in activities as part of the “International Solidarity Week”. Artist Paul Miller was part of a group of international artists who presented a video-mapping exhibition at a former church which was open to the public all weekend. Organised by the Lille organisation “Audiovisual Encounters”, the installations were co-produced by animation, sound and video-mapping artists from a selection of Lille’s partner cities.

Martin Grund from Leeds Young Film Festival joined forces with the Goethe Institute and the German city of Erfurt’s “Golden Sparrow Film Festival” to put together a special film festival for children and families in Lille, with a selection of films specially selected from both Leeds and Erfurt’s film festival. As Leeds Young Film Festival is famous for its Golden Owls and Erfurt’s film festival for its Golden Sparrow, the film festival was given the title “Films and Wings” or “Des films et des ailes” in French.

Martin also presented a number of short films from Leeds International Film Festival at a special short film festival held in Lille last night by Audiovisual Encounters.

Watch this space for guest blogs by both Paul Miller and Martin Grund on their exciting work with Lille’s cultural organisations.

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