French teenagers swipe up for arts on Macron’s app

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New electronic pass prompts debate on cultural snobbery.

Common Wealth, Albany Park Theatre Chicago , photo by Benjamin Serrano

It’s like Tinder but for the arts, and with benefits. Your phone shows you a picture teasingly described as likely to “arouse desire” – of a play, a film, a concert, a book, an instrument, a dance class – that is on, or available, in your neighbourhood.

If it’s not for you, swipe left and the app serves up an alternative. If it is, swipe up to get more details, reserve a ticket or buy your copy. The bonus: if this is the year of your 18th birthday, it comes preloaded with €500 of culture credit.

Four hundred young people in five départements are currently testing the technicalities of France’s new culture pass, which fulfils a campaign promise by President Emmanuel Macron to improve popular (and particularly youth) access to a broad range of cultural events, activities and goods.