For centuries, the hills above Paris have been a haven for artists and intellectuals alike. But the history of Montmartre stretches back to Roman times, and just as there are stories of masterworks and great ideas, in the hills above Paris there are stories of violence, and bloodshed, too. This conversation delves into Montmartre’s narrative as we trace its intriguing history in this enlightening seminar.
The story of Montmartre begins with the story of Lutetia, a Roman settlement that came to be known as the City of Lights. Throughout the centuries, the hills to the north of Paris would become home to a famous abbey destroyed in the French Revolution, a major battle between French Communists and the French Army known as the Paris Commune, and the arrival of the greatest jazz musicians of the twentieth century. With a particular focus on the nineteenth-century history of warfare in Montmartre, the subsequent Belle Epoque and its world-famous artists, and the musicians, artists, and hedonists of the early twentieth century, this introductory seminar covers the (brief) history of Paris’ Montmartre, one of the most famous neighborhoods in the world.
Led by Samuél Lopez-Barrantes, a Paris-based novelist, musician, and professor at the Sorbonne, this interactive seminar will cover the story of Montmartre from its ancient origins up until the thriving music scene today. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with a better understanding of the story of the hills above Paris and an appreciation for why it remains one of the world capitals of art to this day.
Samuél is a writer and musician who has lived in Paris since 2008. He holds an M.A. in European Society from University College London and an MFA in creative writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Samuél teaches creative writing at the Sorbonne and is also in an American folk-rock trio, Slim & The Beast, which has toured extensively throughout Europe and has been featured numerous times in Rolling Stone France.
Not suitable for children under age 13 (sensitive content).
90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.