November is a time of remembrance in France—the history of WWI is very alive in the cultural memory of the country. On the 100th anniversary of the Armistice, even more so. This year France honors the past of this bloody conflict with a series of cultural and political events.
Saturday, Nov 10
A Franco-German ceremony in the Armistice de Compiègne clearing
The afternoon of the 10th, the President of the French Republic and the German Chancelor will preside over a ceremony in the famed clearing of the Armistice in the Compiègne. The ceremony will be a solemn gathering, honored with a moment of silence.
8pm—Shell Shock at the Philharmonie de Paris
Shell Shock-A Requiem of War, choreographed by Belgian artist Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, is dedicated to the traumatic shock that soldiers of WWI experienced (music by Nicholas Lens, lyrics by Nick Cave). It will take place at the Philharmonie de Paris (1,600 seats), with President Macron in attendance. Foreign dignitaries invited for the ceremonies on Nov 11 will also attend, as well as the French actors of the Centenary and representatives of youth and civil societies.
Sunday, Nov 11
9am—Tribute Ceremony to the Marshals of WWI at l'Hôtel national des Invalides
This ceremony, organized by the army staff and military governor of Paris, will also be attended by President Macron. It will honor the eight marshals who lead combatants during WWI, working towards the final victory during the long war, five of whom are buried at the Invalides.
11am—International Ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe
More than 120 dignitaries representing the countries in conflict during the war, European institutions, the United Nations, and many other international organizations will be convening at this event. This year's ceremony will run with miliary honors as it has since 2012, in honor of those who died for France a wreath laying and relighting of the flame on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. For the Centennial of the Armistice, this year's celebrations will be completed with musical and artistice elements. A speech by President Macron is expected.
3pm—Opening of the Paris Forum on Peace
The foreign dignitaries who convened at the Nov 11 ceremony, as well as some who didn't, will be invited to come back together in the afternoon for the opening ceremony of the first Paris Forum on Peace. The Forum will be an occassion to make concrete proposals on peace and on global government in all its aspects. The opening ceremony will also feature a speech from the President of the United Nations. She will be followed by a meeting with certain heads of state, who will have the opportunity to present their projects. The Forum will continue its work on Nov 12 and 13. Underwritten by a federal association of global partners, it will mainly involve non-state actors from around the world: think tanks, associations, and NGOs. The partners hope to reunite in the following years to make this a major international meeting.
From Sunday, Nov 11 to Tuesday, Nov 13 at the Grande Halle de la Villete, Paris.