Born and raised in France, Françoise is an anthropologist, writer and linguist. She has taught in Stuttgart, Germany and at the San Marcos university of Lima, Peru. She has been employed at the United Nations Headquarters in New York for twenty five years training Staff and Diplomats in acquiring language proficiency in French. In 1997, after being trained in various forms of Senegalese and Guinean dance, she produced and directed a documentary Guew Bi: Sabar Dances Of Senegal. She has been a constant supporter of the African Film Festival since its inception in 1993, serving as facilitator for Francophone filmmakers, solicited as translator and interpreter, and consulted for her editorial and critical advice.
We met Françoise Bouffault after the DDFR @ NY African Film Festival and invited her to share her family story. The following is the email that she sent in response.
“It was lovely to meet you and such a great pleasure to attend a live performance of the Diaspora Digital Family Reunion Roadshow. I found it very inspiring to get into the lives of total strangers, who each had something fascinating to say about their origin and family history. Each story made the past more alive and added to our wider knowledge like a piece in a puzzle. And I think everyone in the audience must have felt also an urge to share!!! You said I could also be part of the Show so I chose 2 pictures of my own family that I particularly like because they illustrate the transformation of our society.”
“My name is Françoise, I am French. Many of my grand-mothers nine siblings moved West from a poor rural area in Lorraine to seek a better life in Paris in the 20s. What I love in these 2 pictures is how the proud peasant girls posing in their Sunday best (aunt Josephine on the left, my grand mother on the right), became cool urban sophisticates in high heels! (aunt Josephine on the right with her Parisian husband and another of the sisters)”