Renewed Alliance

Alain Bourdon, director of the Institut Francais d’Ecosse since 1987, will be leaving Scotland lor Morocco this summer. Over the past six years he has developed a role tor the French Institute so that it makes a substantial contribution to the cultural lite of Scotland. llot content merely to preside over a language school (although the courses remain as popular as ever) nor wishing to be just another Francophile outpost (while the restaurant does credit to the French gourmet tradition), Alain Bourdon has torged links with arts organisations in Scotland to promote a wide range of imaginative cultural exchanges. Under his direction, the French Institute has also used its enlightened patronage to otter much needed commissions to young artists and writers, both French and Scottish, in a way that shows up the limitations oi the timid approach followed by our committee-based Arts Council and ‘lleritage’ departments. Alain Bourdon has helped bring Barbar to the Book Festival, Esther lamandier to the Queen’s Hall and Janice Galloway to Aberdeen. He has commissioned a series of photographs

a o , trom Bernard Faucon, supported the establishment of the French Film Festival, turned a blind eye when the llaked Man ioined in the celebrations at a Féte de la Musique and recently even moved out oi his otiice to make room tor a new photographic installation as part ot Fotoleis. While it is to be hoped his successor will continue to develop the cultural programme, M. Bourdon will be much missed for his legendary charm, generous hospitality and sharp intelligence. (illl)

I Living without cruelty: The exhibition of completely environmentally sound products and organisations makes its way to Scotland for the first time on Fri 9 July. Over 50 of the UK's leading charities. pressure groups and ethical companies will be represented. with films and talks each day. ‘We‘ve vetted every company who applied fora stall. and had to turn some away.‘ says Stan Blackley of Advocates For Animals who are organising the exhibition. ‘Each must be able to show that they do not cause suffering to animals. exploitation of people or environmental degradation.‘ Living Wirlmur Cruel/y: Fri 9—3101 ll. Assent/21y Rooms. George Street. Edinburgh.

I Bail privatisation: The Govemment is ready to sell off ScotRaiI and the east coast main line six months earlier than had previously been expected. in order to maximise the time between privatisation and the next general election. The services will be run by their managers as shadow passenger franchises from April l994 until full privatisation the following October. The decision will disappoint bidders who wanted to examine a full year‘s shadow period with the full extent of its seasonal variations before making an offer. Ten times as many passengers use certain ScotRail subsidised rural services during the summer than at any other time. Opposition MPs have criticised the openly political motivations for the move forward. arguing that once again. Scotland is being used as the guinea pig for the rest of Britain.

I Green Sponsors: It's one thing to have yourself remembered by a plaque on a crnema seat or park bench. but in these environmentally aware times. perhaps there are other. greener ways to bring your name to the fore. Glasgow

City Council‘s Department of Cleansing is offering companies the opportunity to take part in a joint recycling scheme by sponsoring a paper bank or a bin in the city. The Department provides the artwork. the object and its maintenance; the sponsor provides the funding and the choice of site. Sponsorship of a paper bank costs £500 for one year. with litter bins priced at £l52 or £287. depending on the model. Further information on this environmentally-friendly advertising scheme is available from the Department's Sponsorship Schemes. 235 George Street. Glasgow G1 lBR. I New Chancellor: British Rail chairman Sir Bob Reid became the first Chancellor of Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen earlier this week. The university. formerly Robert Gordon's Institute ofTechnology. won university status last year. Before his installation. the new Chancellor was awarded an honorary doctorate in business administration.

I TV Festival: Dennis Potter. one of the few writers almost guaranteed to send Disgusted of Dingwall and Concerned of Cornwall rushing for their pens as soon as a new series of his is announced. will set a controversial tone for this year‘s Edinburgh Television Festival. Potter will deliver the opening James McTaggart Lecture. taking ‘Occupying Powers' as his subject no doubt rekindling the fires he set on Channel 4 recently with his attack on News lntemational and Rupert Murdoch. Murdoch himself gave the lecture two years ago. criticising British television in general. while last year it was the turn of Michael Grade to roast the BBC‘s policies. Other contributors to the TV Festival, which runs from 27—30 August. range from Sir John Harvey Jones to Lynda La Plante and Sylvunia Waters couple Noeline and Laurie Doneher.

151- 'l hjuly 1993



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