For the 2013 edition, see Révolte-Toi – A revolution in debating!
A year later, on the 20th of March, young tribunes from all over London gathered at the “Institut Francais de Londres” to decide the fate of Europe. The question for this 18th century style francophone debate was if a revolution was necessary to save Europe. On one side of the Assemblée were the Montagnards, recusing the possibility of a European upheaval, on the other were the Girdondins advocates of a new order for the Old Continent. Before these orators confronted one another, the president of the Assemblée and the Time Keeper spoke of each participant’s role in the debate. The former exhorted the public to shout their support or their disapproval with the speakers with raucous “oyez oyez” or “à mort” to recreate the political hustle of our ancestors. The latter tactfully exposed the relevance and power of time: 6 minutes per speaker, no more no less.
The Montagnards went on to demonstrate the impracticability of a revolution by weighing all that was too lose. They took the notion of revolution literally, a full circle in which one is in the same position as when he left off. They made a strong case against a pointless revolution. The Girondins were quick to respond to such accusations and asked the Assemblée to embark with them on what they called the boat of revolution setting sail towards new horizons. Puns and humour served the party well in judging the general clamour.
At the end of the debate, the jury retreated for what would be a long and complicated deliberation that crowned the Montagnards as victors. The Girondins did not go home empty handed though as Tatiana Jorgensen was rewarded as best speaker. The debate was a great success and hopefully the fruit of this collaboration between the Student Francophone Debating Society, Franco-British Connections and the French Institute will continue in the years to come. The speakers demonstrated linguistic finesse and good spirit that mirrored the smiles of the Jury and the Assembly. The event was then followed up by a cocktail kindly organised by the embassy marking the end of the International Francophone week at which the prizes were given to the laureates.
Special thanks to all the participants who made this event thoroughly enjoyable.
Leith Ismail Gouta (Queen Mary London, 2nd Year Law & French Law Student)
Mouna Moussaoui (UCL, 4th year Law & French Law Student)
Cara Goldthorpe (UCL, 2nd Year Law & French Law Student)
Sylvain Bitton (UCL, 2nd Year European Studies Student)
Morane Bensoussan (KCL, 2nd Year Law & French Law Student)
William Taylor (KCL, 2nd Year Law & French Law Student)
Tatiana Jorgensen (LSE, 1st Year Maths and Economics Student)
Karl Hallgren (LSE, 1st Year Maths and Economics Student)
The Right and Honourable Jury:
Francoise Abad – Director or Radio France London
Ann Kenrick – General Secretary of the Franco-British Council
Robert Stevenson – Barrister and member of the Franco-British Law Society
Laurent Burin des Roziers – Director of The French Institute in London and Cultural Counsellor to the Ambassador