BUZZZ Autumn 2010
CONTENT EDITO GEF NEWS A creative education? Page 4
A chance to attend the Employment Week Forum - free! Page 5 Job Day Europe: your future is in your hands! Page 5
Update from the Green Entrepreneurship (GreEn) Team Page 6 Moscow, in the heat of summer Page 6 Giving hope through art Page 7 PORTRAIT
Christian Engström, MEP, Pirate Party (Sweden) Page 8 GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE IPR: legal aid or hindrance? Page 10 Social games for social good Page 11 Year of Chopin: music to our ears Page 11 EU IN FOCUS Your Europe, Your Say Page 12 The Un-Presidency Page 13 The language arts Page 13 Desperta o Transformer que há em ti Page 14 KEY FIGURE & QUOTE COMPETITIONS’ CORNER
Copyright © 2010 Generation Europe Foundation. All rights reserved. Publisher: THE BUZZZ is published by Generation Europe Foundation. We welcome your questions and suggestions on firstname.lastname@example.org Become a fan on facebook.com/generationeurope Follow us on twitter.com/GenerationEurop Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of Generation Europe Foundation.
EDITO The Creativity issue To infinity and beyond! Buzz Lightyear, an unintentional namesake of this magazine, is not simply stating his mission to explore the far reaches of outer space, but also his yearning to transcend mundanity. Despite what the other characters may tell him, he knows that he’s not just a toy... John Lasseter and his creative team at Pixar (now part of the Walt Disney family) captured our imagination in 1995 with Toy Story, the first feature-length computer-animated film. While other studios have become content to rehash popular folktales, best-selling novels and old cinema classics, Pixar has consistently produced original, high-quality entertainment. Beyond their technical achievements, their stories are always fresh. And it is because of this freshness, creativity and originality, that the moviegoing public rewards Pixar so handsomely: this summer’s Toy Story 3 has net an estimated $400 million at the box office. How do they do it? Without delving into the metaphysical question of where ideas come from, there is a lesson to be learned here and that is the paramountcy of creativity. We traditionally distinguish between artists and everybody else, the consumers of culture. We encourage artistic expression in traditional forms - that is, the fine arts - while neglecting the potential contribution of creativity in other fields. It is this line that we have drawn between producers and consumers, between the creative and the mundane that we, like Buzz Lightyear, must strive to transcend. As we explore throughout this issue of the Buzzz, our society needs an infusion of creativity and innovation during these challenging times, not only in the arts. If we are to address the pressing issues of today and tomorrow - and as a society achieve the same level of success as Pixar - then we must all join the creative class. Enjoy the read! To infinity and beyond,
Daniel, GEF Team (Editor-in-Buzz)
GEF NEWS Mimikry I pierce needles into my eyes, to see the same way as you.
A creative education?
Clog up my mouth and my ears, to know the same things as you. I cut my flesh, it scars over, to feel the same pain as you.
Creativity is an important part of an all-around education and it can stimulate our appetite to learn. However, it has often been treated like a ‘second-order priority’ in many schools and universities, which run under the pressure to respect high academic standards. The traditional understanding of ‘teaching’ is to give students information to memorise, instead of confronting them with problems to analyse on their own. Schools, and to some extent universities too, expect students to imitate. For students, imitation is the often the surest way to good marks, while originality is a gamble. The European Year of Creativity and Innovation (2009) was supposed to change all this. There is so rarely follow-up on the thematic years, it seems, but we want to know: just what has been done? Has creativity really entered schools and universities? It would be wrong to assume that the entire school system has undergone a fundamental reform.… But in our own search, we have found some examples of good practice.
For students, imitation is the often the surest way to good marks, while originality is a gamble. German-speaking students from all over the world can participate in a monthly poetry competition, of which the best poems are published at the end of every month. The project encourages students to deal more with lyric poetry and finally write their own texts. www.dradio.de/dlf/ > Lyrix
The ‘Hear my voice’ project unites teachers, artists and students in an attempt to get a better understanding of the Holocaust through music, literature and the visual arts. After doing research,
I break my legs, disable myself, want to be lazy like you. Then I tie up my hands, to act the same way as you. I freeze my feelings deep down, to feel the same way as you. Next I try to stop thinking, to accomplish as much as you did. Try to grasp, but can’t understand how one can act like you do.
Martin Piekar from Bad Soden, Germany, Friedrich-Dessauer-Gymnasium, graduate, mother tongues: German / Polish (Poem translated by GEF)
meeting former victims and reading about the Holocaust, students either perform in a musical or make a film about it. www.hmyv.org.uk
In Estonia, the ‘Big Dipper’ science bus visits schools and offers more innovative teaching techniques. University students carry out the programme and are viewed as ‘older friends’ rather than teachers by the school students. They make the students feel like scientists themselves, which encourages them to continue studying these subjects at university. www.teadusbuss.ee
Generation Europe Foundation, too, has contributed to the aim of fostering creativity in the classroom. Our project ‘Mind Your Rights’ - funded by the European Commission - proposes analytical, interactive and artistic exercises to teachers in order to teach young people about an otherwise potentially dry subject, the European Charter of Fundamental Rights. www.mindyourrights.eu
A chance to attend the Employment Week Forum – free! Want to rub shoulders with the Chairman of Microsoft Europe, the Deputy Prime Minister of Belgium, the EU Commissioner for Employment and other bigwigs? You can! Tickets for the Employment Week Forum, which takes place this year on 24-25 November in Brussels, normally go for hundreds of euros, but Generation Europe Foundation has an in...
Also, the three winners of the Employing the NEXT Generation survey competition will have the opportunity to present their ideas to stakeholders and decision-makers present at the conference. Watch our website for an announcement of the winners!
GEF is looking for three volunteers to attend the Employment Week Forum to take notes during the different sessions. In exchange, they will gain free entrance to the event and the chance to network with potential employers and policymakers. Are you interested? Please send your CV to Arnaud Houdmont (email@example.com).
Job Day Europe: your future is in your hands! GEF is once again partnering with Job Day Europe, the annual recruitment event where you can meet employers and have onthe-spot job interviews. It’s also a unique opportunity to learn more about the new skills needed for tomorrow’s careers. There will be practical information on all aspects of mobility in Europe, including opportunities to work abroad. Perhaps though you prefer to stay in Brussels and work for a multicultural company or within an organisation linked to the European institutions. Whatever you are looking for, be prepared by checking the programme and job listings on the website. Online registration is easy and free. As for all Job Days events, entrance is free as long as you bring at least ten copies of your CV with you! The European labour market is full of often overlooked opportunities.… Don’t let your chance at a great experience slip through your fingers! www.jobdays.eu twitter.com/jobdayeurope
Practical information Date: Saturday, 2 October 2010 - 10am to 5pm (Last admission at 4:30pm!) Place: Berlaymont (European Commission) Schuman Roundabout - Brussels
Update from the Green Entrepreneurship (GreEn) Team Our mission is to empower young people to find the sustainable entrepreneurs within themselves in order to become agents of change in their environment and the world. Building an ambitious project to co-create a better future and to foster change-making takes time! The framework is in place, our objectives are clear and the land is fertile. We envision many opportunities for the online Co-Creation Community to flourish and, together with our partners and other stakeholders, to contribute to a brighter future. After much thought and consultation, we have decided to transform the Youth Summit into a Forum on Green Entrepreneurship*. This is an area that most people agree is critical.
*[Entrepreneur]: Anentrepreneur is willing to venture into connecting or creating alternatives and pursuing innovation to address the needs in her or his environment. [Green]: For a truly sustainable future, not only our natural environmental must be considered; economic, social and personal needs must also be addressed.
Rather than hosting a large event in December, we will instead invite ten young people on the basis of their online contributions to attend a Co-Creation Workshop - a ‘workshopwith-a-difference’ - in Brussels. Together with entrepreneurs, policymakers, the private sector and academics, they will explore two fundamental questions: - What is needed by young people to become active in the field of green entrepreneurship? - What will be our innovative and effective ways to respond to these needs of the youth? The workshop will also lay the foundations for the common vision and ‘roadmap’ - which has been the guiding light of our project since its inception in April. And meanwhile, our online Co-Creation Community continues to spark inspiring dialogue about sustainability issues and the future - constructively, collaboratively and creatively. www.generation-europe.eu/forum
Moscow, in the heat of summer 5000 square kilometres charred by wildfires, 53 people dead, 150 villages destroyed. In many cities, it was impossible to breath because of the smog... Record high temperatures combined with a prolonged dry spell produced a critical situation in Russia this summer. A number of foreign embassies had to withdraw their staff, because it was too dangerous for them to stay in Moscow. All means to fight the fires were mobilised. As the GEF Ambassador in Russia, I would like to thank the EU Member States as well as Ukraine, Belarus, Armenia, Serbia, Azerbaijan and Turkey for their help. Interestingly enough, the Russian Federation did not ask for help and there are no official agreements on mutual assistance, but the EU still gave €81,589 of humanitarian aid to help 1700 Russian families who lost their homes and means to
survive. Estonia alone donated €100,000. 471 foreign rescuers, 6 helicopters and 7 planes participated in the efforts. All Russians appreciate this help, and many of us are ready to return the favour. A lot of lives were also saved thanks to large groups of volunteers, bloggers, charity organisations and the Russian Orthodox Church, who all collected and exchanged information. The wildfires revealed, on the one hand, the need for interconnectedness and mutual help in the modern world and, on the other hand, the environmental and ecological problems in Russia. Hopefully, in the future we will be able to cooperate as closely as possible again, not only in case of disasters.
Zlata Kharitonova, GEF Ambassador in Russia
Giving hope through art This summer, a group of volunteers and over two hundred Palestinian children escaped the reality of life in Qalqilyah, a small, isolated border town in the West Bank. The ‘escape’ was a summer camp, organised by 12 Belgian and some 25 Palestinian artists and volunteers, who offered workshops for children in different disciplines: painting, photography, video, puppet theatre, music, movement, drama, journalism. I was one of the Belgian painters. It was my second visit to Palestine, but my first time in Qalqilyah, a rural town of 40,000 people. The town has two main commercial roads with shops and a big fruit market. The only place for distraction I saw is the zoo; there is no theatre, no cinema, no museum, no place to go out dancing, no access to the sea even though it is only 15 kilometres away. Leaving town is difficult, too. The Israeli separation wall and fence (erected in 2003) encircle Qalqilyah and separate it from agricultural lands; the only road out of town leads through a checkpoint, which is controlled by Israeli soldiers.
Every morning passed like this, painting and singing with the children at the school, until it got too hot. In the afternoon, we visited other towns, talked to farmers in the villages or were invited into the families of our Palestinian friends. Their stories about life under the occupation affected and shocked us, but in the evenings life went on, when we gathered around a water pipe, talked and laughed and enjoyed the slight breeze… And every morning when the muezzin called to prayer, we woke up with new energy and were cheerful again with the kids, who - for a little while - were able to escape their reality with creativity.
Annika, GEF team
When the summer camp opened the first day, children came from all over town and a few came also from the villages nearby. It was a colourful mess in the courtyard, until every child found a group and we could start working. I was in a team with three young Palestinian women: one artist and two assistants. The children in our group painted their city, their portraits, Jerusalem, their shoes, flowers, animals, etc. We taught them different techniques, such as drawing, watercolours, pastels and collages. The overall topic was ‘Hope’, so we encouraged the children to paint their hopes, to express their dreams, to think of the hopes of other groups in their society, and to create a ‘tree of hope’, on the leaves of which they wrote their best experiences in life which may repeat themselves in the future.
portrait Christian Engström Member of the European Parliament, Pirate Party (SE) The Pirate Party could be characterised, on the one hand, as a single-issue party focused on copyright reform. On the other hand, however, the Pirate Party has been portrayed as libertarian, while you actually sit with the Greens-EFA in the European Parliament. Can you help make sense of this picture? ‘Free file sharing and protected privacy’ is the quickest way to summarise our party programme, but of course those few words don’t tell the whole picture. The internet and new computer technology are the biggest thing that has happened to mankind since the printing press appeared 500 years ago, possibly bigger. There are untold new opportunities, but also dangers that we need to be aware of. The new technology gives us access to all of mankind’s culture and knowledge just one mouse click away, but the same technology can also be used to create a surveillance state beyond nightmares. Which way we choose will be a political decision. This is a question of freedom vs. control rather than left or right. In this dimension, both Greens and libertarians can be found on the freedom side, which is why I feel equally at home among both.
How does copyright law impact, for better or for worse, creativity and the spread of culture? The stated purpose of copyright is to promote the creation of new works, so that there is more culture for all of us to enjoy. Instead, today’s copyright is a major obstacle to people wanting to create new works. All culture builds on previous culture, and the more intellectual property rights expand, the more difficult it becomes to create new works to share without having an in-house legal department.
You have argued that musicians in the face of declining record sales can still make money from live concerts, but how do you see the future of cinema and other art forms which do not have such an obvious alternative revenue source at hand? The Pirate Party wants to legalise non-commercial file sharing, but we want to keep copyright for commercial purposes. Cinemas, television licenses, and online and DVD sales would still be covered by copyright, just like today. Those revenue streams would still be there. If and when the market changes because of free file sharing, the film companies will have to adapt if they want to stay in business, but that’s just how it is to run a business. The economic statistics for the last ten years show that people are spending as much money (or slightly more) on culture, regardless of the fact that file sharing on the net has exploded since the advent of Napster in 1999. If some of the corporations that dominated the previous century are making less money, it means that other players are making more. That’s called a market economy, and that’s how it should be.
Are Creative Commons and the open source movement, both of which operate within the existing legal framework, ends in and of themselves or stepping stones to reform? Both. The Creative Commons licenses encourage people to experience the joy of creating and sharing works, which is great in itself. But the more people get accustomed to a world where there is no sharp dividing line between artists and audience, the stronger the calls for copyright reform will become. The open source movement is absolutely essential for preserving freedom on the net. If there were no open alternatives available in practice, we would still be locked in no matter how many beautiful principles we formulated in laws. But it is also the open source movement that opened everybody’s eyes (including mine) to the dangers of software patents, so they are an important force for political change as well. It’s win-win in both cases.
Is there a trade-off between the right to privacy and the enforcement of intellectual property rights (copyright, etc.) in the digital age? Yes, and this is a fundamental point. If there is a way to send messages in private, people will use it to share copyrighted material. If we want to stop this, we have to end the right to send messages in private. There is no middle ground, and society has to choose. We think the right to private correspondence is more important, so we choose copyright reform.
Piracy and file sharing are issues which resonate with young people, and the youth branch of the Pirate Party is strong. What advice do you have for young people who would like to exercise their political voices? Get involved as an activist! The internet is an absolutely fantastic platform for political activism, and thanks to the openness anybody who wants can get involved in any way he or she likes. I myself got accidentally dragged into politics by getting more and more involved as an activist against software patents in 2004-2005, and I was fascinated by how fun it was to be part of a swarm on the net working towards a common goal. And we won the battle, which proves you can.
GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE IPR: legal aid or hindrance? Everyone’s seen it. It’s not like we are given a choice: when we finally sit down to watch a DVD in the comfort of our own home, we are invariably reminded that downloading a movie is really the same as stealing an old lady’s television… and you wouldn’t steal an old lady’s television, now would you? Copyright law exists to maintain a balance between the rights of creative professionals and the rights of consumers. Artists have the right to be fairly compensated for their work, while the public has the right to access culture and knowledge. Over the past ten years, intellectual property rights (IPR) - copyrights, patents, trademarks, etc. - have become the subject of a fierce debate. At the heart of the debate is the question of whether IPR encourages or stifles research and creativity. In essence, how does an economy best promote innovation? The internet has fuelled the debate by blurring the traditional distinction between creators and consumers. Nowadays, it is just as easy to download content as it is to publish online. The question of whether IPR hampers innovation is not limited to the creative industries, however. In fact, the divergent views are best illustrated by a case study
such as the AIDS pandemic. Because they are prohibitively expensive, treatments that could save millions of lives are not readily available in developing countries. Generic versions could theoretically be made available at a fraction of the cost, except the chemical formulas are protected by patents belonging to the pharmaceutical companies that developed the drugs. But, or so the argument goes, simply abolishing patents on life-saving drugs would exacerbate the problem at hand because if it wasn’t for patents, the drugs would never have been developed in the first place. Why would any individual or company spend the time, money and energy on the development of a new drug, if there’s no guaranteed return on investment? Without IPR, anyone would be free to reproduce an invention at hardly any cost once it has been initially developed. Following this train of thought, logically companies would lose all incentive to invest in research and development. Critics argue that IPR is actually a form of ‘intellectual monopoly’ with all the side effects that entails. What’s more, several creative industries, such as the food and fashion industries, are thriving without the protection of IPR. It’s entirely possible to sell a product regardless of whether someone is copying it…
So, where does that leave us? If competition and knowledge transfer are both essential to innovation, what form should IPR take? We need to strike the right balance. As important as this debate is for our society and economy, it seems unlikely to be resolved anytime soon. In the meantime, sit back, relax and enjoy the movie. Just leave the television set where you found it.
Social games for social good Roger Ebert, a long-time American film critic, ignited a fiery debate earlier this year when he wrote, ‘Video games can never be art”’. Yet, video games are undeniably part of our modern culture, incorporating various forms of creative expression complex narratives, graphic and sound design, screen and voice acting, etc. - into a cohesive whole. A growing number of games are, in turn, influencing our wider culture; this feedback can be seen in movies, music and even fashion. Ebert is not the only naysayer, though.
and, more importantly, to draw their friends into the action.
Another complaint commonly levelled against video games is that they are a mindless distraction with no redeeming social value, an escape into a fictive world divorced from real problems. New trends in ‘social gaming’ are putting that assertion to the test, however. Social games, such as Farmville and Mafia Wars, have sprung up in recent years around Facebook and other social networks. These games are designed to allow users to play for only a few minutes at a time
Village Raffles, to be launched this autumn, is the first in a series of planned releases from SoshiGames. These games are being designed from the ground up to help raise awareness - and money for good causes. The premise of Village Raffles is simple. As the name implies, players win prizes by entering raffles. The player is then rewarded by completing treasure collections, visiting different locations and entering raffles that are also associated with social causes. The
SoshiGames is a newcomer to this field. The UK-based company offers a creative twist by tying gameplay to social causes. While ‘playing with a purpose’ might sound like an oxymoron, a contradiction in terms, the model has already been proven by Farmville players who donated $1.5 million to help the relief efforts in Haiti through the purchase of in-game virtual goods.
Year of Chopin: music to our ears Frédéric Chopin’s Nocturne, Op. 9, No. 2 is perhaps one of the most famous songs in the classical piano repertoire, recognisable from the opening melody, which is woven throughout the piece with increasingly elaborate ornamentation. Born on 1 March 1810 outside of Warsaw, this year marks the 200th anniversary of the composer’s birth, and to celebrate Poland has proclaimed this the Year of Chopin. Although he is being commemorated for his contribution to Polish national
identity, Chopin made a global impact on our musical culture. While 2010 is now more than halfway over, there are still plenty of events on the calendar - recitals, concerts and competitions, not only in Poland but around the world. New recordings, books and films are set to be released in conjunction with the Year of Chopin. The Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, the institution behind the
funds raised through the game will be directed, for example, toward clean water in Africa, refugee assistance and local community action. ‘Social games for social good’, like Village Raffles, might not put to rest the debate over video games as an art form, but they are a convincing riposte to those who question the social benefits of gaming. Get your game on!
yearlong celebration, has also made plenty of free resources available online, including an educational game and a downloadable audio guide to Chopin’s Warsaw. Chopin can rightly be described as a child prodigy; he began formally studying the piano at the age of six and wrote his first piece of music shortly thereafter. He drew inspiration from traditional Polish music, but his accomplishments as both a musician and composer still raise questions about innate talent and the source of creativity. http://chopin2010.pl/ www.youtube.com/ChopinYear2010
eu in focus Your Europe, Your Say The EESC, what’s that!? In discussing EU decision-making, academics and pundits often refer to the ‘institutional triangle’ - the Commission, Parliament and Council - but this illustration lacks some nuance. There are also two consultative bodies whose opinion, while not binding, is nevertheless required in many policy fields. The Committee of the Regions is one, and the European Economic Social Committee (EESC) is the other. Instead of reading up on what it does (‘a bridge between Europe and organised civil society’), young people have the opportunity to experience firsthand the work of the EESC. If you like to discuss issues and stand up for what you believe, if you enjoy negotiating and finding consensus, if you think roleplaying sounds fun… then this invitation is for you!
The invitation is open to students in their second-to-last year of school. Three students from each EU Member State - accompanied by a teacher, of course will have the opportunity to discuss and vote on an EESC opinion. The next youth plenary session, which goes by the name ‘Your Europe, Your Say’, takes place in Brussels from 5-7 May 2011.
But that’s just the culmination! Schools selected to participate will be visited by a Committee member, who will explain the role of the EESC in the institutional architecture, its working methods, as well as his or her personal experiences. Want to be a Committee member for two days? Then ask your teachers to sign up your school straightaway!
The timeline 1. Application period: from early October until 30 November 2010 2. Schools selected by lottery: December 2010 3. EESC members visit schools: January-March 2011 4. Youth plenary session in Brussels: 5-7 May 2011
The Un-Presidency It is only fitting that Belgium - home to René Magritte, Paul Delvaux and other famous surrealists - has upturned tradition by staging an EU Presidency recognisable in name only. Whereas the rotating presidency was once an occasion for national grandstanding, Belgium’s plans for its six months at the helm are considerably more subdued. But then again, that was exactly the intention of the Lisbon Treaty. For Belgium, the transition between the Nice and Lisbon Treaty regimes is now over; the country has consciously set about to avoid the gaffes of the Spanish Presidency, like jostling for the limelight with the EU’s new leadership tandem. That Belgium is currently run by
a caretaker government only encourages this step back from the forefront, and it helps that Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, was plucked from Belgian politics. What then can be expected from the Belgian Presidency? Economic governance, financial regulation and the EU2020 strategy naturally figure high on the agenda, but the common thread that winds through many of the priorities is green. A ‘green knowledge economy’ to promote growth and competitiveness, boosting employment with ‘green jobs’, and pushing ahead at the next UN Climate Change Conference in Cancún, Mexico this winter.
In terms of foreign policy, the Belgian Presidency will take direction from the High Representative, Catherine Ashton, with particular attention paid to the enlargement process and the new European External Action Service (EEAS). Already by the end of July, leaders agreed on the overall structure of the EEAS and to formally open membership negotiations with Iceland.
The language arts While language learning is often regarded as utilitarian - the route to a more lucrative career or less stressful holiday abroad - language, the spoken and written word, is an art. It is our most common form of expression and means of communication. Although sound bites have dulled our appreciation for lengthy oratory, we do celebrate
accomplishments in literature. But how often do we reflect on language in broad terms? One occasion is the European Day of Languages, an annual event held on 26 September. The EU officially recognises 23 languages and promotes the goal of ‘mother tongue + 2’. What is the advantage of learning two foreign languages? The answer is often simply stated as: globalisation, but that still leaves a lot to unpack. We need to learn more languages in response to changing patterns of business and migration, or so goes the argument. Yet, globalisation is usually perceived as a
homogenizing force, which in terms of languages would imply the world is converging towards one lingua franca. And, indeed, 51% of Europeans already speak English either as their mother tongue or as a foreign language. Is English not enough? Or is it because of globalisation that we need to learn more languages to preserve local culture? In any case, globalisation seems to be a utilitarian reason for language learning. Perhaps it’s a sign of the times that we don’t often hear the case for the language arts as such. How about it, wie viele Sprachen sprechen Sie? http://edl.ecml.at/ facebook.com/group. php?gid=13428601547
Desperta o Transformer que há em ti Desde há muito tempo que no meu país, Portugal, temos um dos mais baixos índices de participação da União Europeia, explicada por muitos como consequência de sermos indiferentes e despreocupados sobre o que acontece à nossa volta. Assim, muitos dos programas que existem para a juventude em Portugal, com raras excepções, focam-se simplesmente em alertar e informar a juventude para os desafios do nosso tempo, local e internacionalmente. No entanto, a minha própria experiência diz-me uma coisa diferente… sempre estive motivado para fazer a diferença na minha comunidade mas, durante muito tempo, permaneci inactivo.
oncologia pediátrica, centros de reinserção social do ministério da justiça e centros para invisuais da região de Lisboa, as formas de arte, desportos e actividades que eles gostavam de aprender. O objectivo é dar-lhes uma forma de explorar a sua liberdade de expressão e um meio de transformarem, de forma positiva e original, as suas comunidades.
O click aconteceu quando fiz 16 anos e deixei um título de campeão nacional de natação para trás para ir tentar a minha sorte, aprender a dançar break-dance, e tornar-me um b-boy, ou break-boy. Durante mais de um ano treinei na rua com amigos, e passei a fazer parte dos In Motion.
Alguns meses mais tarde, juntamente com o meu grupo de dança começámos a dançar para projectos de solidariedade social, a dar workshops de break-dance, quer em Portugal, quer no Zimbabwe e até organizámos campeonatos de break-dance como forma de usar a dança para transmitir a mensagem da Cultura Hip-Hop: Paz, Amor, União e Divertimento e mostrar à juventude em contextos sociais desfavorecidos algumas coisas que a dança nos transmitiu. Estes ensinamentos têm a ver fundamentalmente com o conceito de battle, que no break-dance permite-nos resolver os nossos conflitos pela dança, sem armas nem contacto físico, e com o passarmos a mensagem de que é possível termos atitudes positivas por degradado ou desafiador que seja o ambiente onde nascemos ou por desafiadora que seja a nossa condição de saúde e a nossa situação social e económica. E é com base nesta ideia que eu mais um grupo de amigos começámos o projecto TRANSFORMERS (www.projectotransformers.org), um programa de voluntariado que está a mobilizar 18 mentores das áreas artísticas, desportos e actividades mais variadas para orientarem e ensinarem, entre Outubro de 2010 e Junho de 2011, 150 jovens em escolas, centros de
Todos estes jovens serão ensinados sem terem de suportar quaisquer custos, mas há um payback, e que será o usarem o desporto, forma de arte ou actividade que aprenderam ao longo do ano para transformar positivamente a sua comunidade.
- Jovens que aprenderam graffiti podem dar uma vida e identidade cultural às paredes da sua escola; - Jovens que aprenderam Freestyle football podem organizar um jogo com outros jovens de regiões mais desfavorecidas de Lisboa; - Jovens que aprenderam break-dance podem ensinar outros jovens a dançar como forma de lhes transmitir que é possível resolvermos os nossos conflitos pela dança, sem contacto físico... O limite é a nossa imaginação. E é esta mensagem que eu e a minha equipa queria partilhar convosco – cada um de nós é único e é na nossa unicidade, na nossa originalidade e singularidade, que está o nosso maior potencial para fazer a diferença.
João Rafael Brites
4,600 The hours of footage uploaded to a special YouTube channel for the ‘Life in a Day’ project, far exceeding expectations. Saturday, 24 July 2010, might well become known as one of the best documented days in history. Some 80,000 videographers from around the world responded to the call to capture moments from that window of time. All of those hours of raw footage will be whittled down into an 80-minute documentary film, edited by Kevin Macdonald and produced by Ridley Scott. It will be an immense challenge, even for those Hollywood heavyweights, to create a cohesive storyline from the submissions, but anybody whose clip is used in the final cut will be credited as a co-director. ‘Life in a Day’ will premiere at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival in January. Early results will be available on YouTube starting in September, as eventually will be the end product. www.youtube.com/lifeinaday
“Racism and xenophobia have no place in Europe.”
José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission For a speech billed as the ‘State of the (European) Union’, it sure was a low-key affair. Even within Brussels circles, few seemed to be aware of President Barroso’s opening address to the European Parliament after the summer recess until only days beforehand; party leaders at one point threatened MEPs with a slap on the wrist - withholding a portion of their daily allowance - for not attending the debate, only to back down in the end. With a title borrowed from the US President’s annual address to Congress, a primetime media event, it is difficult not to draw comparisons with the American homologue. Perhaps most telling are the audience reactions. The US President is frequently interrupted by standing ovations, but President Barroso was able to rush through his speech without really pausing. He received the warmest applause for his indirect reference to the deportation of Roma from France, a broad affirmation that ‘racism and xenophobia have no place in Europe’. Although crowd pleasing, his words somehow rang hollow, following the Commission’s tepid reaction to the Roma situation over the summer. Where was the outrage? Who is supposed to uphold the European Union as a community of values? What about the principles of non-discrimination and equal treatment?
Credit: European Parliament
competitions' corner Europa Diary cover competition What? A design competition Preparations for the 2011-2012 edition of the Europa Diary, a European Commission-funded project, are well underway, and once again we are running an open competition for the cover design! And in the coming weeks, you will be able to submit your designs through our new Facebook application! For whom? All EU citizens, no matter your age! Until when? 13 November 2010
17 y. old
18 y. old
17 y. old
Prizes: A â‚Ź500 cash prize will be awarded for the top design, whilst second through to fifth place will all receive a smaller cash prize. The winner will also be credited on the inside back cover of the diary.
Organised by: Generation Europe Foundation More info: www.europadiary.eu
Staples Youth Social Entrepreneurship Competition What? Spotlight on changemakers In the lead up to TEDxYSE (TED, the lecture series, and YSE for young social entrepreneurship), young leaders who, through their own initiative, have created positive change in their community or the world at large are asked to share their stories. For whom? Anybody between the ages of 12 and 24.
Until when? There is no strict deadline. Entries are evaluated on a rolling basis. The sooner, the better! Prizes: Up to two members from each of the eight winning teams will be invited to Washington, D.C. for TEDxYSE on 13 November 2010, all expenses paid. An as-of-yet unannounced grand prize will also be awarded.
Organised by: Ashokaâ€™s Youth Venture More info: www.genv.net/staples-yse www.tedxyse.com