Editorial by Agnès Teynié, director of the IFF Europe

It's rustling in the walls of IFF Europe, and it feels good! It's buzzing with students... it makes your heart happy! Whether they are at Tremplin or OPEN, they are back for workshops and small group sessions. And just seeing them in class or chatting on the terrace of IFF Europe, we feel like we're living again. It's crazy! It's as if colors were coming back into our premises.

A strange anniversary

Just one year ago, I was with my family in Myanmar (Burma) to meet local development actors ̶ a dream we had been carrying for several years. A week before departure, our plane that was passing through China (then in the grip of Covid 19) was cancelled due to airport closures, but we were able to find a flight in extremis. It was just before the first containment.

When we finally arrived in Myanmar, we were very impressed by these Burmese friends who are resolutely committed to helping their compatriots to live better, through training centers and the creation of social enterprises. It's a strange anniversary when you see the news of this month of February.

From one youth to another...

While our students are currently doing their internships or returning to the classroom at IFF Europe, other young people in Myanmar are taking to the streets to fight for freedom. In this country, the democratic process has been advancing step by step for a decade, after 49 years of dictatorship led by the military junta. The country was then one of the most closed in the world. On February 1, at the beginning of the month, the military carried out a coup d'état, arresting more than 450 people (politicians, doctors, students, strikers ...), taking over power and announcing a state of emergency for one year, shattering the dreams of a nascent democracy. Burmese youth, who grew up in a country that was gradually opening up, are standing up with the population against the junta, and in the front line of civil disobedience demonstrations that take very diverse forms.

This youth that wants to live challenges us. Those who resolutely choose to stand their ground in France, and to train to be an actor in a more just society, and those who struggle to defend their fundamental rights in the streets of Burmese cities, sometimes at the cost of family misunderstandings. Whatever the country, this brings us face to face with the challenge of being with the rising generations, and of believing in their capacity for action.