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States: “Are We Done with France?” Now Available

States: "Are We Done With France?," Illustration by Pierre Buttin.

By Villa Albertine

Discover the second volume of States, Villa Albertine’s creative magazine dedicated to exchange in arts and ideas rooted in the US context.

Welcome to the second issue of States, a 280-page luxury bookazine that takes readers on a journey through an array of artistic and intellectual landscapes, inviting global creators and thinkers to reflect on profound, contemporary questions. States Magazine is not just a collection of articles; it is a platform for creators from around the world. The magazine brings together diverse textual and visual content, including interviews, analyses, op-eds, and reviews as well as comics, photographs, and illustrations to contribute to key cultural debates. 

This year, States casts a discerning eye over transatlantic cultural exchange with its provocative theme: “Are we done with France?” This introspective inquiry not only addresses the historical significance of French culture but also challenges its present standing in a rapidly evolving global context. The main feature dives into this theme, central to France, a nation deeply embedded in its artistic and intellectual heritage and concerned by the decay of its own relevance as well as the global resonance of its arts and ideas. 

Throughout the magazine, readers will discover a new wave of women in French cinema; ponder the artistic renaissance of Paris; and learn about Marseille, the Parisian bohemian scene, and the personal and intellectual journey of an American bread historian. 

This issue also delves into the margins, using, for instance, the American desert as a canvas for introspection and inspiration for Villa Albertine’s residents. Photographer Laura Henno captures the spirit of the Slabers, a community etched into the Sonoran Desert, highlighting the nomadic heart that pulses through American history. SMITH and Marie NDiaye pursue trance states across the stark vistas of Death Valley and Joshua Tree, while writer Nina Léger examines the environmental and historical impact of gold prospecting in Oroville, California, weaving a narrative that questions the erasure of Native American histories.  

On a quest to explore the grand myths that shape the American narrative, Villa Albertine evokes the spirit of a new frontier, venturing into uncharted waters with a unique maritime residence aboard the container ship Marius. In partnership with Marfret, we seek to revive the maritime imaginary, sailing from France to America and Australia via the Caribbean and the Panama Canal. Writer Arno Bertina and illustrator Pierre Buttin chronicle their scouting expedition in a captivating story and graphic logbook within the pages of the magazine. 

Led by Editorial Director Raphaël Bourgois, States is a testament to Villa Albertine’s expansive vision, highlighting the diverse and multidisciplinary creatives who contribute to a broader global discourse. This issue of States is an ode to the enduring enigma of French culture and its intricate dance with modernity, asking readers to consider the multitude of ways in which it continues to inform, challenge, and enrich the world.

Each feature is more than a story, a testament to Villa Albertine’s profound belief in the power of imagination and invention as precursors to meaningful action. These narratives bridge the gap between differences, offering diverse viewpoints on the United States through French eyes, and on France through American lenses. They are an open door to the possibility of discovering common ground. 

To purchase the latest edition of States, please click here.

This issue of States has been made possible thanks to the support of Albertine Foundation and Albertine Books Foundation, and through the generous contributions of Sana Sabbagh and Société Générale. As a major partner of Villa Albertine’s residencies, Société Générale supports the development of artistic careers, cultural outreach, and excellence.  

In partnership with

Albertine Foundation

Previously known as FACE Foundation, Albertine Foundation is an American nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting French-American relations through innovative cultural and educational projects. In partnership with the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States, Albertine Foundation promotes artistic, literary, and educational exchange and collaboration between creative professionals from both countries. With additional corporate, foundation, and individual support, Albertine Foundation administers grant programs in the performing and visual arts, cinema, translation, and secondary and higher education, while providing financial sponsorship to French-American festivals and other cultural initiatives. Albertine Foundation focuses on new and recent work of living artists and the promotion of bilingualism and the French language.

Societe Generale

Societe Generale is a top tier European Bank with 117,000 employees serving 25 million clients in more than 60 countries across the world. We have been supporting the development of our economies for nearly 160 years, providing our corporate, institutional, and individual clients with a wide array of value-added advisory and financial solutions. Our long-lasting and trusted relationships with the clients, our cutting-edge expertise, our unique innovation, our ESG capabilities and leading franchises are part of our DNA and serve our most essential objective – to deliver sustainable value creation for all our stakeholders.

The Group runs three complementary sets of businesses, embedding ESG offerings for all its clients:

  • French Retail, Private Banking and Insurance, with leading retail bank SG and insurance franchise, premium private banking services, and the leading digital Bank BoursoBank.
  • Global Banking and Investor Solutions, a top tier wholesale bank offering tailored-made solutions with distinctive global leadership in Equity Derivatives, Structured Finance and ESG.
  • International Retail, Mobility & Leasing Services, comprising well-established universal banks (in Czech Republic, Romania and several African countries), Ayvens (the new ALD I LeasePlan brand), a global player in sustainable mobility, as well as specialized financing activities.

Committed to building together with its clients a better and sustainable future, Societe Generale aims to be a leading partner in the environmental transition and sustainability overall. The Group is included in the principal socially responsible investment indices: DJSI (Europe), FTSE4Good (Global and Europe), Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index, Refinitiv Diversity and Inclusion Index, Euronext Vigeo (Europe and Eurozone), STOXX Global ESG Leaders indexes, and the MSCI Low Carbon Leaders Index (World and Europe).

For more information, you can follow us on Twitter/X @societegenerale or visit our website societegenerale.com.

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