Encyclopedia of Contemporary French Culture

By Alex Hughes; Keith Reader | Go to book overview

W

Waechter, Antoine

b. 1949, Mulhouse

Environmental activist and politician

A founder of the main French Green Party, Les Verts, in 1984 and its main leader and speaker for the following ten years, Waechter became known for his uncompromising, earnest views. He represents a radical, fundamentalist approach to green politics, refusing alliances with other political groups. He was the Green candidate in the 1988 presidential elections, and an MEP from 1989 to 1991. His views were defeated within the Green Party in 1994, by an alliance of less 'fundamentalist' activists, and he left to create his own movement, the Mouvement Écologiste Indépendant, which has not been successful in attracting support.

FRANÇOIS NECTOUX

See also: green issues; Lalonde, Brice; parties and movements

water sports

A variety of water sports are popular in France and each has its national federation (Fédération Française de...): Canoë-Kayak (canoeing), Natation (swimming), Ski Nautique (waterskiing), Surf et Skate (surfing and skateboarding), Voile et Planche à Voile (sailing and windsurfing), Water-Polo. Sailing is particularly popular and France has produced sailors of world stature such as Alain Colas and the incomparable Éric Tabarly.

IAN PICKUP

Wenzel, Jean-Paul

b. 1947, St Étienne

Playwright, actor and director

After national theatre school in Strasbourg, Wenzel acted for Brook, and helped create the company Théâtre du Quotidien in 1975, before writing plays such as Loin d'Hagondange (Far from Hagondange) and La Fin des Monstres (End of the Monsters). A supporter of decentralization, Wenzel often collaborates with the Théâtre Ouvert and directs the Centre Dramatique National at Montluçon, Les Fédérés.

ANNIE SPARKS

See also: Attoun, Lucien; theatre

wine

It is commonly said that France is the home of the best food and drink-particularly wine-in

-555-

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