Portrait of Alumni: Christophe Steyer, Director of the French Institute of Fez, Morocco
Passionate about culture, he holds a degree in musicology from the University of Strasbourg, has worked for the European Commission, has been involved in the management of the Misha, worked for international cooperation and the promotion of French culture in Bangladesh, Germany and Morocco.
He is a man who is totally fulfilled in his work. And we can understand that, for a lover of culture - and cultures - to participate in the diffusion of the French language and creation abroad, to organise readings, exhibitions, events or residencies, to welcome plastic artists or artistes like Michael Lonsdale (for a reading at the Sacred Music Festival of Fez), is very stimulating. 'It's exciting to be able to initiate and carry out projects through to their end. It is a rich and nourishing position' he says.
The French Institute of Fez belongs to the French cultural and cooperation network of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development. Christophe Steyer manages budget and human resources, designs cultural programming, manages partnerships and leads the teaching teams, as the director of a team of 28 people (not counting about 100 variable term teachers). The institute ensures courses of French as a foreign language to Moroccans.
Its other mission is cultural action with the setting up of exhibitions, events, shows, hosting artists in residence, etc. The offer encompasses all artistic forms: dance, music, cinema, visual and plastic arts, poetry, theatre, etc.
Managing cultural institutions
It was already his dream as a student: the management of cultural institutions. His first love was music, which he learned as a child (piano, organ), which he presented at the bac, and then studied at the Faculty of Arts of Strasbourg, from Deug to DEA, from 1988 to 1994. Like many alumni, his memories are his encounters with personalities, like the 'crucial' encounter with Jacques Viret, his thesis tutor in Master's and DEA. Sociology, history, writing and the practice of music have always fascinated him. 'Music takes an extremely important place. It's always an adventure. It builds, it blooms, it helps me to feel good.'
Bilingual Franco-German, he began his career in Saarbrucken in 1995, as a European project manager in a vocational training organisation. Attracted by international cooperation, he became Deputy Director of the Alliance Française de Dacca in Bangladesh, then Director of the French Institute of Bremen in Germany, before reinforcing his double competence with a Master 2 at the IAE in Metz. In 2008, he worked for the European Commission, as an international cooperation and aid officer, and then for one year in a beneficiary foundation.
'You must totally believe in what you do'
In 2013, he obtained the CNRS's contribution and became secretary-general of the Misha (Alsace Inter-university Centre of Human Sciences). He has managed the administrative and financial side of the establishment for two years. A detachment allowed him to take his current post in Fez in 2015.
His advice will give a breath of fresh air to students: 'Totally believe in what you do and give yourself to it completely. Keep an overview of the professional environment and chart your course towards what you believe deeply.'