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Confinement: From Underwater to Outer Space





NYC French INstitute of Alliance Française



As our own confinement here in New York City is coming to an end, now is the time to reflect on this experience.

Two experienced practitioners of being confined in extreme conditions—one who delved below the sea and another who ventured into space—discuss how to cope with the particular challenges of having to stay put.

Antonin Baudry, a former diplomat turned writer and filmmaker, conducted extensive research on life in a submarine—including living on one—for his movie The Wolf’s Call.

Anousheh Ansari was the first female space tourist, and underwent extensive training for her mission, which included a visit to the International Space Station.

Together, Baudry and Ansari will describe their experiences from these adventure and share tips on how to mentally and physically prepare for transitioning out of confinement.

Writer and journalist Leah Pisar will moderate the conversation.


About the speakers:


Antonin Baudry is a writer, director, and former diplomat. Baudry most recently held positions as Ambassador for French Culture and President of the Institut Français. Baudry was French Cultural Counselor in New York from 2010-2015. While in New York, Baudry founded the renowned Albertine bookstore. Under the pen name of Abel Lanzac, he received the prize for best album at the Angoulême International Comics Festival in 2013 for the graphic novel series “Quai d’Orsay.” Baudry’s film adaptation of “Quai d’Orsay” won the special jury prize for best screenplay at several festivals. Le Chant du Loup, Baudry’s feature-length directorial debut, opened to great critical acclaim in France 2019 and was acquired by Netflix for US distribution. Baudry is an alumnus of both the Ecole Normale Supérieure (Ulm) and the Ecole Polytechnique.

Anousheh Ansari is a CEO of the XPRIZE Foundation, the world’s leader in designing and operating incentive competitions to solve humanity’s grand challenges. She captured headlines around the world when she embarked upon an 11-day space expedition, accomplishing her childhood dream of becoming the first female private space explorer, first astronaut of Iranian descent, and first Muslim woman in space.

She has received numerous honors and is a UNESCO Good Will Ambassador and serves on the board of Jabil and Peace First, as well as several other not-for-profit organizations focused on STEM education and youth empowerment.

Ansari holds a BS in electronics and computer engineering from George Mason University, an MS in electrical engineering from George Washington University; and honorary doctorates from George Mason University, Utah Valley University, and International Space University.

Leah Pisar is Chair of the Aladdin Project, which seeks to combat extremism by teaching the universal lessons of the Holocaust and building bridges of knowledge among Jews, Christians and Muslims. An expert on transatlantic relations, she also writes, teaches and is a frequent news commentator. She served on the staff of President Clinton’s National Security Council and at the Department of State and U.S. Embassy in Paris.

She holds a BA from Harvard College, a masters from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques and a PhD from the University of Paris. She serves on the Board of the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) and was awarded the Global Hope Coalition’s Hero Award in 2019.


Hosted by fi:af - Illustrated live by Sophie ONG - zovi

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