With the European elections only days away, initiatives to spur voter turnout abound. Some rely on shock value, such as the Danish Voteman, while others look to social media, with mixed results. Now, poetry too is being used to try and bring voters to the polls.
In a video shot by the Européens Sans Frontières (Europeans without borders) association, French actor Guillaume Gallienne recites an Alexandrine poem praising the European project and underlining the importance to vote in the May 22-25 elections.
“ For Europe, the deepest passion I feel”
in spite of the terrible unceasing zeal
and comments of those scaremongering creeps
who seem to think nations are still for keeps
Européens Sans Frontières is a pro-European organisation whose mission is “to launch initiatives to reinforce European citizenship and the feeling of a community of destiny in Europe,” according to its website. One of their initiatives is the “Rock the Eurovote” campaign to increase voter turnout. This campaign includes the poem video.
Guillaume Gallienne is a French actor and member of the prestigious Comédie-Française troupe. His most recent film, Me, Myself and Mum, won four César Awards, France’s highest cinematographic prize, including Best Film and Best Actor.
The delicate task of subtitling the poem was the work of French literature professor Catriona Seth at the University of Lorraine.
Full disclosure: the president of “Européens Sans Frontières” and author of the recited poem, Philippe Cayla, is the former chairman of euronews’ management board.