During an interview with the Saigon Times, Mr. Vincent Floreani, Consul General of France in Ho Chi Minh City, said the big photos exposed on the wall of his residence on Le Duan Street, are one of the ways to promote cooperation between France and Vietnam. Photographs can do many things to enhance messages, and may contribute significantly to the public’s understanding and appreciation apparently here of the bilateral cooperation between the two countries.
Q.: What is the implication of the large photos on the wall of your residence?
A,: Displaying these exhibitions on our walls is a way to promote cooperation between France and Vietnam on different themes. We are convinced that this format has a positive impact and we receive very good feedback.
When did this start?
These exhibitions started one year after the beginning of my mandate, three years ago.
And how many times already?
We have a new exhibition every two or three months. So, there are at least four exhibitions per year.
Do you also put these pictures on social networks? And which are they?
Facebook is our main channel of communication and exchange in Vietnam. With each new exhibition, we post the photos on our Facebook page and we see a lot of interaction. We are very satisfied with the positive impact these exhibitions have on the image of France.
What are the results of this initiative? In terms of statistics, emails or phone calls?
Our exhibitions generate a lot of traffic on Facebook. People recognize themselves or see things they like and share them with their friends, which provides a lot of visibility for our Facebook page.
How about the ongoing exhibition?
This exhibition has been prepared in conjunction with the French Institute around Street Art. Artists came to graffiti on April 24 and 25 on large canvases in the gardens of the residence. About 1,400 people came to see them create their work.
We see that you are a good photographer. Do you think of exposing one day your photos on the residence wall?
Thank you for your compliments. I have to separate my hobby and my official activities. I just publish my pictures on my Facebook and Instagram accounts.
Today, we see that the U.S. Consulate General is doing the same thing with their consulate wall nearby yours. Has anyone from them contacted you about this?
Yes, we were contacted by the U.S. Consulate General a little less than two years ago for the technical and administrative aspect of the exhibition.
And what do you think of it?
We are very proud of it. If our idea is taken up it is because it is good and works.
Do you think that other consulates in town will also follow your example?
Our British colleagues have also followed our example. Other consulates exhibit photos but on traditional themes, usually on the meetings between the two countries.
Reported by Ngoc Tran