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The Order of Arts and Letters is an Order of France, established in 1957 by the Minister of Culture.
It recognises significant contributions to the arts, literature and cultural fields, and impact individuals have made in this sector.
Included in this distinguished list are the likes of T.S Elliot, Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan, Meryl Streep, and many more.
“It is such an accolade to be recognised in such an Order and to have the opportunity to do what I love. To make, present and teach art, and use it as a tool to bring people together, and teach them about historical moments like slavery and the impacts it has in the modern day.
“Art should represent today’s national values – of freedom and tolerance – the opposite to what slave traders stood for. And I am lucky that a place such as ISM exists for us to explore these topics.”
Before coming to Liverpool, Jean-Francois worked as curator of the Memorial ACTe (Guadeloupe – French West Indies), which is the first memorial site dedicated to the history of slavery and made way to contemporary Caribbean Art in the Caribbean region.
In 2015, he directed and curated the first Caribbean Festival International Festival of Caribbean Visual Art where 41 contemporary artists from the Caribbean had their works displayed. He is also an internationally prized photographer and film director.
“I am delighted to hear that Jean-Francois has received the great honour of becoming a Knight of the Order of Arts and from the French Minister of Culture, and indeed the French cultural sector.
“I do not know anyone more deserving of the recognition, and his colleagues at the International Slavery Museum are incredibly proud of him. Jean-Francois is a valued member of the ISM family and his experience and creativity has taken the Museum on a new artistic and curatorial journey.
“A lifetime of commitment to the arts has rightly been recognized.”
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