As part of the Banlieues Project, created fifteen years ago by BNP Paribas to help young people in difficulty, Isabelle Giordano, general delegate of the Paribas Foundation in charge of patronage, came to Toulouse to support the LGBT association of Images at Words. Interview.
Journalist, radio and TV host, since July 1, 2021, you have been General Delegate at the Paribas Foundation. A new cap?
You can say that. After having been Madame Cinéma on Canal Plus for fifteen years, I wanted to support, after the violence we know, the Banlieues Project created in 2005 by BNP Paribas, very present in the neighborhoods, through its network agencies. This commitment is a long-standing desire. Something had to be done. A commitment that continues today after the covid where we see that young people are the first victims of this crisis. We can recall a few figures: 1 in six young people quit their studies in 2020 and one in two who pushes the door of Restaurants is under 26!
What does the Banlieues Project consist of?
Fifteen years later, the Banlieues Project in France has become one of BNP Paribas’ flagship programs in terms of solidarity and redressing inequalities. It consists of identifying the local actors of solidarity and helping them to develop. To improve living together, all sectors are concerned: the unemployed, educational support, professional integration, etc. Just a figure: Banlieues Projects, it is 900 associations supported for 15 years.
Associations supported financially but also by volunteering?
Absolutely. For example, we can help an association by repackaging computer equipment, computers, printers, etc. Often expensive equipment that associations are happy to receive.
On the occasion of the 15 years of the Banlieues Project, several associations received a crush. Hence this Tour de France via Toulouse.
Absoutely. A tour of France which, after Bordeaux, Nantes and Marseille, took me to Toulouse, to highlight major associations. In Occitania, thirteen very different associations were selected, including the LGBT association, Des Images Aux mots (DIAM) in Toulouse. An association which, through cinema, tries to change mentalities and behavior. A very good tool, in my opinion, to fight against prejudices.
Why did this subject make you aware of it?
We are in a period when society is fractured and it is therefore difficult to accept each other’s differences. But this acceptance is the basis of living together. This association gives visibility to the LGBT public through cinema. In partnership with certain secondary schools, it works with students or makes screenings to which teachers and students are invited.
In 2019, you will become president of the Pass Culture Strategy Committee. Cinema is one of your passions. Culture, an essential vector of living together?
Absoutely. Culture structures the individual, makes him think, gives him distance. I remain of course very attached to my passion for the 7th art. I am still the president of the association that I created fifteen years ago, “Cinema for all”. We regularly organize screenings for disadvantaged young people. Did you know that 17 or 18 year old teenagers have never set foot in a movie theater. Cinema, like culture in general, remains a way of bringing us together in difficult times.
So you have joined your two passions: commitment and the 7th art?
We can say that and I am delighted. Besides, it is very likely that I will return to Toulouse for the Diam association and its carte blanche program at the Cinémathèque at the beginning of February.
Isabelle Giordano: passion for information
Born in 1963 in the Paris region, Isabelle Giordano has participated in several literary programs (Bouillon de culture, L’Assiette anglaise, etc.). She also presented the Fabulous Destiny of… on France 3 and recounts the highlights of the Fesstival de Cannes since its creation in “A Year in Cannes”. She has also written numerous books on film personalities such as Alain Delon or Romy Schneider.