27 March – Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, participated in a study workshop at France’s National Library, the Bibliothèque Nationale de France (BNF), on the work of Julia Kristeva, on the occasion of the launch of her latest book, “Pulsions du Temps”, in the presence of Mr Bruno Racine, BNF President, Ms Lemardeley, President of Université Sorbonne Nouvelle - Paris III, and Julia Kristeva herself.
In her intervention, Irina Bokova spoke about feminism, about Bulgaria, from where both the Director-General and Julia Kristeva hail, and about culture: “It is quite remarkable that an intellectual of Bulgarian origin, a woman who arrived in Paris at the age of 23, has become so recognized around the world as a prime example of the French intelligentsia… We live first in language and in culture – this, clearly, is a message at the heart of UNESCO’s mandate,” she said.
Irina Bokova underlined also Julia Kristeva’s work to promote a dialogue among cultures and the building of peace: “We live in a world today of complex processes, with cultural constellations, the mixing of identities, and cross-cultural movements. Julia Kristeva’s work gives us reference points and a vocabulary to analyse the forms of relationships with others and oneself -- being singular, being together, being different.”
“As Roland Barthes used to say to his students who sought his advice on what books to read – ‘you should read everything’. I would add to this, without being a specialist, that you should read everything by Kristeva,” she concluded.