I learn a lot about Francophones and the Francophonie by reading my colleague Vanessa Lisbelle’s blog posts. Vanessa blogs in French, so I need to use an online translator and a dictionary to help me understand the finer points.
Since this year’s blogging season is drawing to a close, I thought I’d write about three of Vanessa’s posts that I greatly enjoyed.
In May, Vanessa wrote about an important and complicated topic, the passage of Bill 96 through Quebec’s Parliament. The Bill amended the province’s Charter of the French Language and introduced two new articles into Canada’s Constitution through article 45, which allows provinces to add articles that do not affect other provinces or the authority of the federal government. Vanessa wrote about the various perspectives on the bill, from the perspectives of young Mohawks in Kahnawake to those of English-language teachers, to those of Francophones who would like to see the bill go further in supporting the use of French in Quebec. Vanessa encourages readers to open up the discussion by considering what life is like for French speakers in other provinces and visiting Francophone communities outside Quebec.
This year, the RVF theme was traditions that forge identities. In one of her March posts, Vanessa talked about a few of her traditions:
- A winter hot chocolate and a game of Monopoly with her mom
- Holiday cooking
- Road trips with a favourite album on the car stereo
The way she wrote it is evocative; I can imagine it all.
In November of 2021, Vanessa wrote about Acadian novelist and playwright Antonine Maillet, creator of La Sagouine, who was awarded the insignia of the Commander of the Legion of Honour, one of France’s highest distinctions. In the blog post, Vanessa recalled her first time in the Pays de la Sagouine, crossing the bridge to the middle of the lake and speaking to the actors dressed as if from another era. Again, the way she describes it, I can imagine it all.