© Fabien Verschaere (I Kiffe NY), 2008 > Cultural Events

I Kiffe NY
French Urban Cultures Festival

October 6–28, 2008

Produced by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy
Honorary Chairpersons: Vincent Cassel and Melvin Van Peebles
Co-presented by FIAF

FIAF is proud to co-present I Kiffe NY, a new festival produced by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy that focuses on the incredible vitality of French youth culture. Borrowed from Arabic, “kiffe” is French slang that means to love—or be absolutely crazy about—someone or something. The word, like so much of French urban culture, was born in the banlieue and has since swept the nation, much like hip-hop, rap, parkour, forms of dance, etc. With so much inspiration drawn from American street attitudes, the ties to New York are strong to say the least. I Kiffe NY is a powerful testament to these latest forms of transcultural artistic expression.

I Kiffe NY: French Urban Cultures
Tuesdays, October 7, 14, 21 & 28

A selection of films from young, independent directors that place the issues and concerns of the banlieues at the forefront of French culture, as well as presenting intimate portraits of families and friends in the urban environment.

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Performing Arts

Friday & Saturday, October 10 & 11 at 8pm

Kader Attou’s hip-hop ensemble, Accrorap, demonstrates an ability to combine cultural influences, creating a response to societal dissatisfaction both at home and abroad. Through, Accrorap creates a dance that communicates a will to survive.

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Banlieues With Attitude
Saturday & Sunday, October 11 & 12
Starting at 11:30am

Discover the world of French banlieues: from fascination to rejection this culture defies definition through its constant evolution and shifting boundaries. French and American scholars present the ambivalence maintained by the current perception of French urban realities through screenings and discussions.

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Performing Arts
That’s Life!?
Pockemon Crew

Friday, October 17 at 8pm
Saturday, October 18 at 2pm

Pockemon Crew, one of France’s premier and award-winning dance ensembles, performs That’s Life!?, a visual event that juxtaposes the French urban experience with the multiple traditions that influenced the dancers, from cabaret to traditional Arabic music.

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Visual Arts
Denis Darzacq:
The Fall

October 17–November 20

In conjunction with I Kiffe NY, the FIAF Gallery presents Denis Darzacq’s exhibition, The Fall, which explores the instability of youth culture through a series of photographs and videos.

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Off-site Events


A Way of Using Vernacular

Monday, October 6 at 5pm

Writer Frédéric Valabrègue and NYU professor Emmanuelle Ertel discuss the new vernacular emerging from the Marseille suburbs and how constant shifts in language impact writers.

For venue & ticketing information, visit


Nubian Voyager:
Les Nubians presents Echos

Thursday, October 9 at 7:30pm

The Grammy-nominated R&B French duo Les Nubians presents poetry performances from promising French and American urban-underground poets.

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Jérôme Lagarrigue: Portraits
Thursday, October 9–Thursday, October 30

A series of portraits inspired by the streets, music, and sports, Mr. Lagarrigue’s exhibition embodies the spirit of I Kiffe NY.

For venue & ticketing information, visit


Rap Politics: Sociology of
French Urban Culture Today

Tuesday, October 14 at 12:30pm

Sociologist Anthony Pecqueux discusses the creation of artistic exchange in rap music between artist and audience. Based on the power of language, rap has influenced a generation of listeners, establishing communal bonds beyond their intended urban boundaries.

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Fabien Verschaere
Tuesday, October 14–Tuesday, October 28

Fabien Verschaere brings his personal mythology, articulated through his works on paper and wall drawings, to an exhibition at the Cultural Services of the French Embassy.

For venue & ticketing information, visit


Urban Cultures in France
and the United States

Wednesday, October 15 at 6pm

A panel of French artists, filmmakers, and academics explore how youth who live in underprivileged areas use street art, such as hip-hop, rap, and tagging to express their anger and hope. Featuring the documentary, We Aren’t Cheap Brands.

For venue & ticketing information, visit


French New Talents at CMJ
Friday, October 24 at 7pm

As part of the CMJ Music Marathon, Hiro Ballroom presents the latest talents from the French music scene: La Caution; Wax Tailor; Mangu.

For venue & ticketing information, visit

Festival Presenters:
CMJ Music Marathon, French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF), Hiro Ballroom, Joe’s Pub, Maison Française New York University, Medgar Evers College, Power House Arena, Lio Malca Gallery, and Galerie VU.

Festival Sponsors:
Cultural Services of the French Embassy, Florence Gould Foundation, FACE (French American Cultural Exchange), Fondation Jean-Luc Lagardère, CulturesFrance, BNP Paribas, TV5 Monde, Sofitel Luxury Hotels, Galerie Enrico Navarra, Galerie Philippe Gravier, French Music Export Office in NY, Playbill, Région Franche-Comté, Région Rhône-Alpes, and ArteEast.

FIAF Season Sponsors:
American Airlines is the official airline of FIAF; The Florence Gould Foundation; Cinéma programs are made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a State agency

Special Media Partner: TRACE Magazine

Graphic: © Fabien Verschaere (I Kiffe NY), 2008

© French Institute Alliance Française. All Rights Reserved.