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Feb 6, 2020 at 7:30 pm

RADIO EN DIRECT: The Stoop Presents…Black in Paris

Program to be followed by discussion with Leila Day, Mame-Fatou Niang, and Claude Grunitzky

Our second event for the RADIO EN DIRECT series will be exploring the topic of Black French identity, specifically looking at what it is to be Black in Paris. For decades, Paris has been a place where many African Americans have felt at home. We know the stories of Josephine Baker, Richard Wright or James Baldwin, who had made it their base. But what is it actually like to be Black in Paris?

We are excited to join audio producer and co-host of The Stoop Podcast: Stories from The Black Diaspora, Leila Day as she facilitates an audio journey exploring how blackness is defined in France and why it is that so many African Americans have been drawn to it.

Echoing the style of The Stoop podcast, this evening combines storytelling, reflection, audience involvement and commentary to dig deeper into discussion as we look at one woman’s decision to pack up and leave behind what she feels are exhausting racial tensions in the U.S. Framed by her decision to move to Paris, the evening will dissect why so many have viewed Paris as a post-racial utopia, and why it is that in France many people feel defining yourself as “black” is an insult.

Special guests include professor and filmmaker Mame-Fatou Niang, who recently published Identités Françaises, a book that interrogates notions of marginalization and national identity through an analysis of housing developments outside of French cities, or “banlieue”.

This event is a part of a series organized with Brooklyn Falls for France, a cultural season organized by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and FACE Foundation in partnership with Brooklyn venues.

UnionDocs is thrilled to host RADIO EN DIRECT, a series of listening events featuring stories from the French-speaking diaspora, in January and February of 2020. Each event will be centered around an audio documentary—told in French with English subtitles run on the screen— with producers present to speak to the intricacies of the craft and story being told. We are bringing together a mix of local NYC based artists with producers from around the world whose work represents the diverse and widespread French-speaking community. This series will allow listeners to come together to understand how we can see audio as a global medium that works across language, and reflect the nuanced intimate and universal power of sound, voice, and listening in capturing and communicating the human experience. This series is part of Brooklyn Falls for France, a cultural season organized by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and FACE Foundation in partnership with Brooklyn venues.


The Stoop: Black In Paris


Leila will be debuting excerpts from the most recent episode of The Stoop. This episode features clips from conversations had between Leila and her friend Deborah Abroal, examining Deborah’s decision to leave the U.S. and move to Paris. The vevning involves personal story and an audio tour through Paris with Kévi Donat, founder of Les Paris Noir tours, as he walks us through historic sites in Paris that relate back to Black French identity. Deborah will be in attendance to participate in conversation following the listening.


UnionDocs Advisor Leila Day is an audio producer and editor. She’s co-founder of “The Stoop Podcast: stories from the Black diaspora”, and “Stoop Talks” on the Luminary podcast network. She’s produced and edited stories for Pineapple Street Media and has worked as a senior reporter at NPR member station KALW in San Francisco.

Her reporting has garnered national and local awards through the Society of Professional Journalists, PRINDI, and the National Association of Black Journalists.

Leila has a degree in anthropology from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and studied documentary radio at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies. Before radio life she spent four years in Havana, Cuba, where she developed a dance intensive program and was a frequent contributor to Cuba’s national .newspaper, Juventud Rebelde. You can find some of her reporting advice on NPR’s Training site.


Claude Grunitzky is the founder of TRACE and TRUE Africa, a media tech platform championing young African voices all over the world, online and on television. His brand, TRACE reaches an audience of more than 200 million people across 150 countries. Claude is often speaking about media as well as engaging in thought provoking conversations about the African Diaspora. Claude Grunitzky was raised between Lomé, Togo; Washington, DC; Paris and London. He grew up in London, speaks six languages and carries three passports, was exposed to many different cultures. He joins us tonight to talk about blackness in Paris from his personal lens.


Mame-Fatou Niang is a filmmaker and professor from Dakar, Senegal. She conducts research on contemporary France, Sub-Saharan Africa, Francophone female writers, Postcolonial and Transnational Studies, Media, and Urban Planning at Carnegie Mellon University in the Department of Modern Languages. Her recent research examines the development of Afro-French identities, and the works of second- and third-generation female immigrant writers of the “banlieu”. She directed Mariannes Noires, a documentary about Afro-French womanhood where seven French-born women of African descent from radically different backgrounds confront their own unique identities and challenge the expectations of French society.

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Feb 6, 2020
7:30 pm
Free – $10.00


352 Onderdonk Avenue
Ridgewood, NY 11385 United States
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