Featured image: A Reading in the Salon of Mme Geoffrin, 1755
Reading of Voltaire‘s tragedy of the Orphan of China in the salon of Marie Thérèse Rodet Geoffrin,
by Anicet Charles Gabriel Lemonnier
In my university days, I majored in history and was especially attracted to courses on cultural history.
I had a very good teacher, who got me enthralled by stories about European cultural salons, where women would host artists, writers, philosophers, musicians and even scientists and politicians, for an exchange of knowledge and ideas.
The word “salon” originates from the Italian word “sala” which is a large reception hall. The term started to catch on from the late 17th century, becoming popular in Europe throughout the 18th and 19th centuries.
In a world where women could not receive higher education and women artists, musicians and writers were pushed to the background and did not receive their rightful recognition, salons were a way for them to hold their own and command the conversation.
These salons continued until the 1920s and beyond. Some even migrated to the US, such as the salon of Alma Mahler when she fled Vienna for the US, first to Los Angeles, finally settling in New York City.
For years my dream was to hold a cultural salon of my own. Some twenty years ago my friend and I fantasized about opening a galley-cafe one day, where she’ll curate exhibitions and I will moderate cultural events.
Years passed and our social scene changed completely. Instead of connecting in person, people started connecting online. Over the past year, with the pandemic keeping us all under lockdown, this tendency became a must.
The idea to have some kind of a show or a podcast where I’d host creative people, germinated in my head over a year ago. It took me a while to formulate this idea and put it into action.
So at long last, I’m proud to announce that I have created my online salon, where I interview creatives from all walks of life. It is called Awaken and Uplift TV. At the moment it is being recorded live and streamed onto my Facebook page.
It will be turned into a podcast very soon as well.
If you haven’t listened to any of my shows yet, here is the link to them all on Awaken and Uplift TV.
I also encourage you to subscribe to the Awaken and Uplift Youtube channel, where I will be posting much more diverse content.