Photo exhibition “European Union[s]” in Dublin from 2nd to 29th July

Press Release
Dublin, Tuesday, 26th June

Launch of the photo exhibition “European Union[s]”

The Embassy of France in Ireland, together with the Higher Education Authority, in support with the Representation of the European Commission in Ireland and Embassies of Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, and Switzerland are pleased to launch the Irish premiere of the “European Union[s]”, a photo exhibition presenting 17 Franco-European families who met through the Erasmus programme. The exhibition will be displayed in the gardens of St Stephen’s Green from July 3nd until the 29th of July.

Over the last 30 years, the Erasmus programme has helped more than 9 million Europeans to forge links that transcend national frontiers. It is reckoned that over a million babies have been born to couples who met as a result of a university exchange under the Erasmus scheme.

The European Union[s] exhibition features portraits of 17 of these families of 17 different nationalities. All of them bear witness to the programme’s success and to the keen sense of European identity it has sparked among them.

60 years after the Treaties of Rome, Europe faces many political challenges. And yet, Europe is now a practical reality for millions of men and women all over the continent. It is this human side which the photo exhibition European Union[s] highlights.

Throughout the project, photographer Frédéric de la Mure succeeded in showing how each member of the couple remained deeply attached to the culture of his or her country of origin while at the same time appropriating much of that of the other partner. More than anything else, he was struck by the fact that for the vast majority of these binational couples Europe, through the Erasmus programme, not only changed their lives but also turned them into pro-European activists, especially in these difficult times.

France remains the first destination for an average of 700 Irish students each year while an average of 2,300 French students elects Ireland as their Erasmus destination, making them the biggest Erasmus+ community in Ireland. Overall, 50,000 Irish students went on Erasmus since the programme’s inception in 1987.

For the purpose of this exhibition, French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs photographer Frédéric de la Mure travelled 14,350 kilometers throughout the European Union, met with 40 children aged between 5 days and 23 years old and took over 11,065 snapshots.

Speaking ahead of the launch, Ambassador Crouzat declared: “This exhibition organised in partnership with the Higher Education Authority, twelve Embassies from the European Union and the Representation of the European Commission in Ireland is a testimony to the human adventures that were sparked by the Erasmus programme. Illustrating the daily lives of families, it is the perfect illustration of the European Union’s motto: “united in diversity”. I am proud to help share this positive inspiration in Dublin.”

Dr. Graham Love, Chief Executive, Higher Education Authority commented “the HEA and the Erasmus+ National Agency are delighted to be associated with this very special exhibition symbolising European integration at its most personal level. The EU grew from a time when Europe was on its knees and initiatives like Erasmus have played a huge part in building citizen to citizen contact.”

Published on 27/06/2018

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