Le Bilingue MAYMAI 2019
The Time Is activism and Now student awareness at EJM Ecole Jeannine Manuel Paris
Letter From the Editor Dear Readers, Once again I’d like to thank you for taking the time to pick up this issue and read the articles our student journalists worked so hard and long on. For our fourth issue this year, we landed on the theme of student activism and awareness, with most of our articles touching upon the efforts being made by our student body to be involved in global issues. On Friday May 3rd, the world celebrated Press Freedom Day, a date that was put into place by the United Nations in 1993 as an opportunity to not only celebrate the freedom of the press, but also to “assess the state of press freedom throughout the world.” Throughout this issue, our writers explore, in their own ways, the difficulties in and the importance of speaking up. Despite many advancements and common efforts to make our world a better place, many issues such as racism, sexism and oppression still run rampant and affect large populations. By learning to speak up at an early age, we can begin to foster a culture of change, and look forward to a better future. Our school was founded with these very principles in mind, and our founder Jeannine Manuel herself was a vivid believer in taking action. In 1940 she joined the French Résistance, before opening the school in 1954 and setting a standard for her students to work in unison towards a common goal. This is what I’d like you to keep in mind as you read these articles, and as you see the work that is left behind as the legacy of a woman who embodied the true definition of an activist. We are proud to present to you this issue, and hope you come away from reading it feeling inspired to look for ways in which you can be more involved in the creation of a peaceful and united world. Sincerely, Chiara Jurczak Editor in Chief
Table of Contents ❖ Racism in a Modern World ❖ More than a Drug ❖ La Marche pour le Climat ❖ Les Femmes qui ont changé le monde ❖ Q&A: EJM debuts “Education for Girls” Club ❖ Fashion at EJM
Racism in a Modern World Hard Lessons from the Past We can point to progress in the struggle against racism: South Africa’s ‘Apartheid’ was officially abolished with the inauguration of President Mandela in 1994. Another case of racism, the ‘White Australia Policy’ regarding habitation and immigration rights of people of color in Australia, does not exist anymore. It goes without saying that the Holocaust of the Jewish people unleashed by Hitler during WWII was punished, in a global and unforgettable manner. However, we can still find various instances of racism around us. An example would be the genocide between different ethnic groups in Rwanda that’s been going on since 1994. The dispute between the Tutsi and Hutu (Tutsis are of a smaller number but hold the political power, and Hutu are a large numbered but often subjugated group) developed into the long-lasting civil war and resulted in genocide towards the opposing group. The civil war in Syria was originally caused by the democratic movement opposing the long-term seizure of power by the country’s leaders, but the fundamental cause was the interdenominational dispute between the small number of Shiites and the majority of Sunnis.
Just a few weeks ago, a racist gunman targeted a group assembled in their places of worship in Christchurch, New Zealand. He was motivated by anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim sentiments, and the world witnessed another tragic example of racism targeting a religious community. Today, although racism including discrimination against race, skin color, descent, ethnic group or tribe is already prohibited by international law in official terms. All the while, racism sadly remains ingrained in political and economic disputes, like in the case of Rwanda, when the difference in appearance between opposing groups is clear, or in Syria, when the political disputes linked with religious differences can escalate conflict. We all remember and reflect on the tragedy of the Second World War and the Holocaust, but it can be easy to forget that the fight against racism is one that is still very much ongoing. In order not to repeat the errors of the past, we should work to better understand racism in modern society, and be more aware of the consequences of our own words and actions.
Article by Joonyoung P.
More than a Drug Why the war on cigarettes isn’t going anywhere by Chiara J. Smoking kills. What else is new? Every year we see a new host of articles pop up, lamenting the state of the youth and their ever-growing smoking habits, citing this or that new government measure as the solution that will finally put an end to this addictive and reckless behavior, and every year the same question arises: If the code has been cracked so many times, then why aren’t we seeing any significant changes in consumption of cigarettes and other, more powerful drugs, especially in teens? Maybe it’s because there’s something that the lawmakers are glossing over, a crucial aspect to smoking that they’re just not addressing – maybe they’re just not seeing that cigarettes have become so much more than a drug. As someone who has never smoked, I can’t say my input on issues such as this one is very valuable. Luckily, one of my friends who does smoke, a friend who we’ll call Emma for the sake of anonymity, agreed to talk to me about her views regarding the matter. Emma’s relationship to smoking is an interesting one: she first picked up a cigarette at the tender age of 13, before taking a two year-break during which she became strictly anti-smoking, going as far as flushing a pack of cigarettes down the toilet, according to her entourage. Today, as a 16-year old student, she says smoking has become a habit for her, and an activity that she enjoys just as much on her own as with a group of friends. Through her personal experience and what she’s witnessed and heard from friends, she helped me gain a better understanding on why smoking rates persist despite government and community efforts.
The War on Drugs Even if the smoking rates aren’t decreasing at a very convincing rate, it’s surely not for lack of trying on the government’s part. In 2016, the French government's war on the packaging of cigarettes reached its apex by the imposition of a "neutral package" , thus banning the colorful and “attractive” logos that were seen as a way to incite susceptible teens. This measure was only one of many attempts made to discourage French citizens to smoke, and part of a larger movement of negative publicities and price increases. When I asked Emma what her reaction these types of publicities was, she was very clear on where she stood.
“People aren’t going to stop smoking by seeing a picture of a dead baby,” she said. “I’m sorry, but they’re not, we’re more shallow than that.”
An Unexpected Comfort Being a teen is hard – as cliché as that expression may be, it’s hard to argue against it. Becoming a teen means being forced to leave the comfortable world of childhood and be thrown without a warning into one riddled with unexpected hardships, where you begin to feel unwanted and out of place. On top of that, classes suddenly start getting harder, interactions become more complex, and you begin to drown in all the pressures and expectations of others, subject to the judgment of adults as well as that of your peers. In recent years, we’ve seen depression, anxiety and suicide rates skyrocket in France, with suicide attempts being 30 percent more common among teenage girls and 19.5 percent among teenage boys than in adults. So how do teens cope with stress? Well, as might be expected, some turn to smoking. This is what Emma told me when I asked her to share some of the reasons why she smoked.
“I’ve realized it’s kind of become like an excuse to not confront things that I would have to if I didn’t smoke,” she said. “If I’m in a social conversation with people [my age], I feel less awkward if I’m smoking. It takes away some sort of social anxiety, and a good cigarette can really bring you comfort sometimes.” There it is – a reason that goes so far past the expected “because it looks cool” answer that so many are expecting, and maybe the reason why governments don’t see cigarette consumption decrease when they begin targeting something as trivial as color and packaging.
The Conclusion After I asked her what would make her potentially stop smoking, she told me, “At this point nothing’s going to make me go cold turkey, and that’s my decision, and I think that I don’t need any external influence to help me ease off because I’m aware. I know what’s good and what’s bad for me. ” To resume the opening of this article, smoking kills. I know that, Emma knows that, and every smoker in the world knows that – so the decision to smoke is, in most cases, an informed one. However, when you’re a teen, you don’t always give faraway consequences the weight that they should have. In the end, it is not government policies, even though aggressive, that will make teenagers change their minds. Teenagers know the consequences of smoking, but these consequences seem so far down the road that they’re not a powerful enough deterrent. Maybe this is what we should work on: increasing awareness that consequences will show up at our doorstep.
La Marche Pour le Climat Students protest against climate change by Diya B. On Friday March 15, thousands of students from over a hundred countries around the world chose not to attend school or university, marching instead as a way to peacefully protest the growing threat of climate change. Sixteen-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, encouraged this movement, which was based upon her “Skolstrejk för klimatet” (school strike for the climate) in front of the Swedish parliament each Friday. This inspired the hashtag #FridaysForFuture, a recurring slogan on many protesters’ signs. The goal of these marches, spanning 1650 cities internationally, was to call for reforms in the lack of action taken by governments regarding global warming. All across France, a total of 305,000 students marched on both the 15th of March as well as the following day. This was almost three times as many protesters as the last climate marches in France, on the 8th of December, 2018. On Friday, students skipped school to show their support of the cause, including students from Ecole Jeannine Manuel, from both collège and lycée. On Saturday afternoon, the march began at Place de l’Opéra, arriving at Place de la République later that evening. Another march has been organised on Friday the 24th of May, just a day before the European elections, which will be held on the 25 and 26th of May. This is a way to ensure that the new candidates will be more mindful of the ecological measures we need to be implemented in order to make the most positive impact on the situation. With any luck, the turnout will be even larger, and the underlying message will be heard loud and clear. Pictures provided by Carmen G.
Les Femmes qui ont changé le monde Un nouveau club de “gender equality” à EJM par Isabella A. Au lendemain de la célébration du 42ème jour de la journée internationale de la femme et lors de la semaine pour la paix, je voudrais saluer quelques-unes des grandes figures qui ont marqué l’histoire en faisant face aux défis de l’égalité des genres, de parité entre l’homme et la femme de par le monde pour lesquels elles ont lutté il y a plus d’un siècle.
Clara Zetkin, journaliste et femme politique allemande initie en 1910 la Journée de la Femme en réunissant à Copenhague une centaine de femmes venues de 17 pays, Journée qui sera officialisée pour la date du 8 Mars par Lénine en 1921 et déclarée fériée depuis dans tous les pays ex soviétiques et du bloc de l’Est. Il faudra pourtant attendre 1977 pour que l’Organisation des Nations Unies reconnaisse cette date.
Simone de Beauvoir, Marguerite Yourcenar, Simone Veil, Rosa Parks ont marqué l’histoire par leurs écrits et actions ; mais de nos jours, des femmes aux carrières diverses (politiques, écrivaines, journalistes, chanteuses, actrices, étudiantes..) actent au service de la cause féministe, qu’elles s’appellent Michelle Obama, ou Beyoncé, ou Malala Yousafzai , ou encore les « Georgettes ». Elles ont des personnalités proches de nous et font avancer la lutte contre la discrimination entre les hommes et les femmes, l’accès de toutes les filles du monde entier à l’ éducation et la dénonciation de toutes formes de violences faites aux femmes. Des campagnes comme HeforShe de Emma Watson encouragent les hommes à rallier leurs causes et à s’engager contre les inégalités subies par les femmes.
Les discours prononcés à l’ONU le vendredi 8 mars se sont focalisés sur l’importance de l’éducation offerte aux filles dans le monde entier et à la pleine contribution des femmes dans le monde du travail afin d’atteindre les objectifs d’émancipation économique de la femme et le nombre de dirigeantes dans les sociétés. Le chemin reste long puisque 2/3 des 900 millions d’analphabètes dans le monde sont des femmes. Je souhaite rappeler avec espoir que dans les pays où la discrimination entre femme et homme s’estompe, l’indice du bonheur augmente ; que dans les pays où l’accès à l’éducation est paritaire, les résultats obtenus par le sexe féminin sont meilleurs. Cette année le 8 mars a été marqué par des manifestations importantes au Portugal et en France, contre les violences physiques que la femme subit, puisque 1/3 des femmes connaissent dans leur vie une violence physique. Le prix « Simone Veil » de la République Française a été attribuée pour la première fois à la camerounaise Aïssa Doumana Ngatansou pour la défense des droits des femmes contre le mariage forcé et les violences conjugales. Il est essentiel de prendre conscience dans notre vie quotidienne d’éliminer toute forme de discrimination entre homme et femme que nous pourrions témoigner dans le langage utilisé, dans nos classes, la cour, les textes lus, des soirées…
Si les problématiques changent d’un pays à l’autre, la préoccupation reste la même : atteindre l’égalité des genres à tous niveaux. C’est pourquoi je suis heureuse de vous annoncer le lancement du Gender Equality Club au
sein de l’Ecole Jeannine Manuel et vous attend nombreux pour des discussions animées.
EJM Debuts Education for Girls Club Fighting Against Discrimination in a Modern World by Soﬁa M. Despite all the progress that has been made in terms of gender equality, women are still being discriminated against in various fields and don’t have the same opportunities as men. More than two-thirds of the world's 796 million illiterate people are female. According to global statistics, just 39 percent of rural girls attend secondary school. Education For Girls is a club started by Justine D., in which a team of Seconde students works on various projects to aid young girls across the world who don’t have access to proper education. We interviewed two members of the club about their current work and their views on discrimination and gender equality.
What is the mission of your club? Matteo S.: Our mission is to promote gender equality and give more girls around the world the chance to have a proper education. Justine D.: We want to raise funds and raise awareness about girls’ education because if all girls were educated it would be a great way to fight gender inequality.
What has the club done so far to achieve this? M: We submitted a video to the Team Dream project, which is a video contest that helps raise funds for associations. We interviewed people and asked them some questions about what they thought our current situation [in terms of education for girls] was. J: The goal was to show that people don’t really know much about girls’ education and the lack of it. We also held a few bake sales and we’re hoping to be able to have a movie projection. In the future, we also hope that one day we’ll be able to go to Cambodia, which is the area on which we’re working right now, and help the girls there.
Do you think women are still being discriminated against today? Why? J: Definitely, it’s a big problem today. Of course, there have been rises of movements like #MeToo and other women empowerment movements, but sadly there’s still a lot of discrimination in the world. A lot of it is based on the cultures and how women were oppressed for so long, so of course, it’s not going to go away just like that, but I think that if we take steps forward, one day the world will be a better place.
The club’s main objective is ensuring that girls get the same opportunities in terms of education as boys. Why is that so important? M: It is only fair for girls and boys to have the same chances in life because I don’t think anyone should be discriminated [against] just because they’re a girl or a boy. J: Also, if we did give girls a proper education they would get better jobs, and I think the reason why today there’s gender violence between married couples is because women can’t leave their homes because they’re dependant on money. If they do have better jobs, they won’t necessarily depend on males to survive.
Follow Ed For Girls Club @education.forgirls !
Fashion at EJM The inner workings of student style by Valentine S. I have always wondered what goes into everyone’s personal style, the inner workings behind the decisions they make every day in how they’re going to present themselves to the world. We go to a school where we are surrounded by very fashionable and trendy people, but a few still manage to stand out as having a very remarkable style, whether it be unique in its vibrancy or even its elegance. I decided to talk to one of these students about what fashion means to him, and how he came to dress the way he does today in order to gain a better understanding of the matter at hand.
Hugo J., 2nde Where do you get most of your clothing items? I’d have a hard time telling you! My friends would tell you I’m always dissatisfied. For that reason, I often have things made by friends or ateliers. The rest of the time, it’s a matter of luck. For example, I found plenty of shirts in a hidden little shop in Florence. Do you have a favorite brand/ clothing article? I don’t have a favorite brand, I don’t care too much about brands. I’m of the opinion that luxury today is cheap and outdated. Real luxury is one of artisanship, of a real knowledge of what clothes are, of their weight, both literal and symbolic. I’m thinking of Inis Meain, a family company that produces very good knitwear on a remote Irish island, or Nicolas Gabard, who makes suits cool again, as they ought to be.
photos by Valentine S.
When you wear something, what are you trying to say/show? I certainly know that many use their clothes to say something. Sadly, I don’t invest the necessary mental energy for that in my dress, I just pick what feels right. More often [than not], the clothes seem to come to me, [like] strolling in London and coming across the perfect trench-coat. Why do you dress the way you dress? I don’t spend an awful amount of time going through pictures, paintings of men etc. in the intent of finding styles or items that strike me. As I do clothes for women, an intense iconographic work takes place about that. And whilst contacting fabric archivers and other people like that, I sometimes come across a beautiful cashmere or something like that, and then I think "Hmm, maybe I can take a little sample, have it reproduced and make a suit, or a sweater or pair of shoes out of it". What does fashion mean to you? What do you like about it? First of all, clothes, not fashion. I like clothes as expression and protection. What do you mean by “protection”? I like clothes as protection. Once you're in an armor, something perfectly made, in which you feel just right, you can go on with any activity far better.
If you could describe your style in one word, what would it be? Kusi. Kusi is one of your nicknames, could you please explain why it describes your style and what it means? Kusi is what stuck with people : the name is really "Kusimira". It's a word in shona, a dialect spoken in Zimbabwe, which means "naked.â€? Could you just develop on how you get things made by friends or ateliers, the process you go through? A large part of it I couldn't [divulge], I pinky-promised not to tell. About the process, though it depends on the person or atelier, we generally go from a set of images, which quite naturally leads to the fabric. Once we've chosen the fabric, we select the cut, pinpoint the details (space between the buttonholes, armhole circumference) and send the order. Are you looking to fashion as a career in the future? Absolutely not. I like clothes, seeing them made, touching them, wearing them. But, although I have an intense respect for the people involved in the industry, Iâ€™d like them to remain surroundings, devices, things in place that then allow me to work, as I feel I function when surrounded by beautiful things (and people...)
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