gheneration ISSUE 33%
youth in progress session coverage
Confidence, Sunshine and Zahra Interview with the president
06 08 10
What Our Future Needs Is a Snowball Effect 24 Hours in Ghent Vegetarianism: Ghentâ€™s latest innovation
If Life Gives You Garbage, Make Music
To People With Hearts The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity Foundation
Natur Og Ungdom Fighting for the environment in a country defined by oil
The Remedy For Apathy Thieves of Knowledge
politics and people
12 14 16 18 30
One Greek in Ghent: Homesick or Sick of Home? Nevermind North Korea, Give Me a Job Weather Forecast North Korea, Cyprus and Ghent in upcoming days
Rich Only in Myth I Wear Your Granddadâ€™s Clothes
“Is that a way out?” ... “How did I get here?” Those were only a few of the confused inquiries we heard from participants stumbling into the press room yesterday between teambuilding and coffee breaks. Even some officials looking for a committee room or an exit that wouldn’t trigger a fire alarm had their difficulties navigating the hallways and staircases of Sint-Bavo Humaniora school (which many described labyrinthine). So you don’t have to endure the embarrassment of losing your committee or getting stuck in a dead end on the way back from smoking break, we have managed to obtain a blueprint of the committee work building from the HeadOrganisers for your orientation!
Randolf Carr and Robin Janasek
magazine team Editors Randolf Carr Robin Janasek Video Editor Beth Thayne Media Journalist Alex Guzenko
AFCO I & CULT II Christopher Proctor Khalid El Ghoul AFCO II & EMPL II Juan Estheiman Amaya Marilena Saraidari
EMPL I & FEMM Elisa Martinelli Nathalie Thiel ITRE & CULT I Gonzalo Sola Rodríguez Sorcha Foster
REGI & LIBE Christian Browne Nina Cathrine Selmer Guest Contributor Maja Zalewska
Christian Browne Bro (UK) nathalie thiel (se) Zahra Runderkamp is not only the President of Ghent2013; she is also the current President of EYP The Netherlands . She arrived in Ghent prior to the session in order to get to know the organisers and to hold a press conference. Now, her goal is to get to know you all and she wants this session to be a great experience for everyone involved. For us it is difficult to be around her and not be smitten by her positive energy and her contagious laughter.
really annoyed because I was laughing too loudly. In the end they told me to stop making so much noise, which felt odd to me. I work in the way that either I am loud, or I do not speak at all. Is there a special part of this session that you are looking forward to? I do look forward to every part of the session. However, I have always liked General Assembly because I am always interested to see how the resolutions are being defended. Moreover, I enjoy the chairsâ€™ resolution typing since it is the first time I get to see the resolutions. Who has the better British accent, Dan or Jan?
Was there any embarrassment on the way to Ghent? Well, there was only one incident. I decided to ring all my friends from the train before I crossed the border to Belgium, but after a while, the people I was sitting near got
Even though I have known Dan for a long time, I have to admit that at the start I could not understand what he said. Yet, Jan is very clear and has a very posh accent, so I would have to say Jan.
I do look forward to every part of the session... I want it to be a great experience for everyone who is involved. go to sessions from time to time and have contact with delegates and participants motivates me. It is nice to attend sessions so that EYP is not just about paperwork but also about socialising; because if you do not take the time to do that, then you will not really get to see the people that you are doing all that work for. Have you ever been a member of a political party?
“confidence sunshine and zahra” Out of all the officials, who will have the most ‘banter’? The “Banter Board”. We even have an e-mail which is just for banter. No lie! What is your best EYP memory? There are so many memories. I have previously been to sessions where things happened that affected the session and sometimes in a negative way. Nevertheless, those were often sessions where I have made some really good friends. So, it is difficult to point out one specific session that was outstanding. But the International Session in Tallinn in summer 2012 was really nice because I had a fantastic committee, so that was a high point for me. What keeps you going within EYP? The work for your National Committee is not always too exciting, since it involves some administrative work, but to
When aged around 7 or 8, I founded the “ZZZ Party”, which loosely translates to “Confidence, Sunshine and Zahra”. The members were my friends and family, who received newsletters updating them on the developments of the party. I was very active in voicing my opinions on such issues as women’s rights, civil rights and conflict. Yet, it was not always impressive. My trustworthy nature let me down when it came to the matter of Swiss women’s right to vote. I had heard that they did not have the vote there, but I was misinformed. Yet I was determined to solve the issue and embarrassingly wrote to the Swiss embassy about my disgust at the fact that Swiss Women could not vote. What are your thoughts about the session theme “Youth in Progress”? We wanted to have a theme that would be linked to the all the topics in some way. Usually, there is a wide range of committee topics because of the delegates’ different interests, but I believe that all the topics here are accessible – especially since the theme “Youth in Progress” should be relevant for every single person at the session. The aim of these cohesive topics is to facilitate committee work and GA by connecting your own topic with the other ones. In that sense, I think that the overlap is interesting, and something you will not see very often. What are your expectations for Ghent2013? This is a big International Forum and there is also an International Session happening at the same time. Both of these types are the main events throughout the year. Besides, I feel that considering the amount of people and days this session consists of that we can definitely live up to the same standards that are set up for the IS. During this session there is time to be able to write really good resolutions. Also, with this session, I want it to be a great experience for everyone who is involved. The organisation is so well put together, so I expect it to be at the highest standards.
what our future needs is a snowball effect
Elisa Martinelli Martine (IT) For some people it is an opportunity to travel, for others it is a way to get in touch with different cultures and points of view, but are we really aware of all the opportunities an event such as Ghent2013 can offer us? We are thrown into a new environment, new people and places to discover, and we don’t quite know what we should expect from everything around us, what is actually going to happen, where all of this will lead us. We leave home packing our suitcases with ideas, curiosity and expectations; we spend all day travelling just to get to that one place and live that one event that we’re going to remember, if not forever, at least for a very long time. This is the once-in-a-lifetime chance to put aside problems affecting us in our ordinary lives in exchange for the issues that are having an impact on our whole continent or even beyond, most probably also on a concrete part of our future. Here we are, detaching ourselves from our routine
and showing other youngsters that life goes beyond the fence of our yard; there’s a whole world to be discovered out there. We might seem like good representatives of the motto “Youth in Progress”, but we have to admit that, from an external point of view, why more than two hundred youngsters would gather in a town in the middle of Belgium may be hard to relate. It might seem we are a bunch of overexcited people who are convinced to change the world and solve everything with words and good intentions. Some will laugh at our naivety, while others will praise our enthusiasm and the strength we have to speak up for our dreams and future that goes with it. So the real question is if we are really making this experience as useful and unique as we think – if we really get the opportunity to change things around us. As every single water drop makes the ocean, we can be the beginning a new way of seeing and acknowledging what is happening around us; we can contribute to a snowball effect. We have the opportunity to become more openminded towards other cultures and ideas, and aware of the importance of caring more concretely about the world we live in.
We are definitely not going to change the world during these seven days, but yes, we are making something even more useful and challenging than what we think. Certainly it is not changing the lives of millions of people, but it’s definitely going to change our attitude towards our world. Not only we can become the ambassadors of a European identity among the youngest generation, but we can also develop our abilities and do things we had never thought ourselves capable of. “Youth in Progress” has therefore a double meaning. On the one hand it refers to our engagement in society as European citizens, as people who actually care about the main issues occurring all over the continent. On the other hand, Ghent2013 and similar events can be considered as a progress in one’s own personal development. We all have the chance to improve specific skills and aspects of our own personality, putting aside any kind of prejudice and learning to speak our mind in public without being afraid of the audience’s reactions. Progress can go even further than what meets the eye; we can discover some passions we have never had the chance to be aware of, we can expand our knowledge in surprising ways about topics we have never cared about. As a matter
of a fact, starting to develop our own culture among each other on different levels is the stepping stone that leads to a consistent personal progress that is going to affect our common future. Not everyone has the opportunity to be part of a youth organisation promoting the sharing of opinions among different cultures in such a respectful and constructive way. Therefore we should all not underestimate and treasure this experience and make other youngsters aware of the importance of expressing ideas on such complex and challenging issues like the financial crisis or the respect of human rights. Once again the one thing that makes the difference is the ability to share; we should be able to make other people understand how important it is to step up for our own ideas and set our sights on progress. If youth is the future, there is only one way forward: It is pretty obvious that youngsters need to put aside any kind of fear and take up the challenge to try to shape the progress of Europe. This session can be the starting point and a lesson on seizing the moment. Ghent2013 is on.
By Marilena Saraidari, Sorcha Foster and Juan Amaya
Name: Taylan and Idil – Delegates (TR) Starting point: Ankara This is the adventure of two Turkish delegates. What started with innocently buying flight tickets ended up for them in a dreadful misfortune from a traveller´s perspective. After an exhausting flight over the whole European continent, our two delegates arrived in Brussels with the sensation of having lost something more than just the six hours spent on the plane. Their baggage was nowhere to be found; no options were given to them apart from ‘enjoying’ their seven days in Ghent with a little more than what they carried in their pockets and expecting a miracle. Luckily, after more than 10 hours of suspense, this near-tragedy ended in a happy beginning to the Ghent odyssey, with the bags finally arriving at their expected destination.
Sorcha Foster Fos (IE)
24 hours in
EYP sessions always seem to end before they’ve even begun. Quite often, there is insufficient time to visit the session city’s main sights; the airport and the venues are the extent of any cultural immersion. However, at this session there will be the chance to visit the centre of Ghent if you desire, whether it be the free Wednesday afternoon or some spare time at the end of your stay. But with so many sights to choose from deciding which to visit is nigh on impossible. So here is a handy twenty-fourhour guide, consisting exclusively of sights recommended by local organisers. With their first-hand savvy at your disposal there’s no going wrong. After breakfast at the Holiday Inn hotel, a visit to the modern art museum “S.M.A.K.” is essential for all fine arts aficionados. The gallery exhibits a must-see selection of paintings by both internationally renowned and lesser known local artists. For a tasty low-budget lunch, “Frietketel” cannot be missed. It has a vast selection of vegetarian burgers, vegetablebased snacks and, of course, Belgian fries. Frietketel is often lauded as the best “chippie” in Europe and thus there are often queues at its doorstep so arrive early!
For those who are interested in architecture, the remarkably well maintained medieval city centre is enthralling. A short walk around will transport you through the ages; make sure you don’t miss Saint Bavo Cathedral, Gravensteen castle and the belfry. A particularly notable walking route is Graslei, which runs parallel to the riverbank and is overlooked by some of the most beautiful buildings in Ghent. If the weather is good, it’s a great place to go to mingle with local students and sample Belgian beers. To get away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre, head to the Secret Garden of St Peter’s Abbey. The small garden found at the side of the church is a serene, scenic haven. Although finding the way can be tricky, the exploration and the goal are definitely well worth the effort. While beer is the signature beverage of Belgium, there is an alternative: Jenever, a liqueur that can come in a variety of flavours. To sample this delicacy, head to the tavern Dreupelkot, where an eccentric gentleman will serve you one of the hundred different brews, created on site. If you aren’t exhausted by your activity-filled day, hit the Overpoort for mainstream top-forty tracks or head to Vlasmarkt if alternative cafés and free concerts are more your scene. When you return to the hotel to rest your pretty head you’ll dream about the fabulous day spent in this hidden gem.
Names: Ari Puig, Laura Diaz and Cristina Rodriguez – Delegates (ES) Starting point: Barcelona The Spanish delegation had an exceedingly eventful journey. It began badly and gradually became worse as the day progressed. The girls had an early start; their flight was due to leave at 8:15 a.m. But one alarm clock did not go off, and the delegate in question finally woke at 7:10 a.m. There was a mad scramble, but she managed to reach the airport just in time. Another member of the delegation discovered that her passport had expired just as she was checking in, leading to a confrontation with the airline hostess. Further difficulties arose: Stereotypically, the girls had overpacked and their luggage exceeded the permitted weight. They each had to pay 80€ to cover the cost and a further 30€ to sit together on the plane. Once on the flight, everything seemed fine. No more problems arose. But at the baggage reclaim in Brussels airport, one bag did not arrive. It transpired that it had somehow been sent to Russia and the unfortunate victim was forced to buy a provisional supply of clothes for the session.
Vegetarianism Ghent’s latest innovation Sorcha Foster Fos (IE) Name: Christina D. Newman – Organiser (DK) Starting point: Copenhagen Have you ever woken up excited by the idea of travelling and finally ended up wondering how much worse things can actually get? Our lovely Danish organiser definitely knows what that’s like. For Christina, being on time at the airport was just a mistaken illusion of a smooth trip. Her hopes of a nice journey were shattered when each and every machine in the check-in section suddenly crashed and all the flights were cancelled. As a very last resource she tried to do the check-in with her electronic ticket on her mobile phone, only to eventually find out that the electronic control system had gone down as well. Her last resort was to stay in the airport and wait for a flight heading to Brussels four hours later. At least the 125€ refund can be considered a fair compensation for a highly anticipated trip turning into a nightmare.
As cities go, Ghent is a vegetarian’s paradise. Whilst ‘veggies’ customarily have to look hard to be served more than a plate of potatoes and vegetables, Ghent takes a more accommodating approach: Lentils and hummus are commonplace ingredients and the meat-free options are often the tastiest on a locale’s menu. This has led to Ghent being praised as one of the most vegetarian-friendly cities in the world. The vegetarian diet is today regarded as not just morally but also environmentally sound. The realisation that lessening meat consumption could greatly reduce pressure on the natural environment led the Ghent city council to pass a law which requires all restaurants to offer a vegetarian dish. As well as this, as of 2009, the local government made Ghent the first city to observe official “Veggie Thursdays”, whereby schools provide only vegetable-based meals and other public servants are encouraged to avoid meat for that day every week. Observing Veggie Thursday is not obligatory, but it is a novel step which recognises the positive impact of a vegetarian diet, widely considered healthier and more environmentally sustainable. Ghent is thought to be the first city in
Name: Chris Tito – Delegate (ES) Starting point: Madrid Apart from being famous for saving us a few euros, Ryanair is also known for frequently providing its travellers with “bizarre” stories to tell. About a month before the session, our Madrilenian delegates’ flight was conveniently changed to a time when they would have arrived to Ghent a day later than expected. On the so counted-upon day of the trip, while at the airport, Sol realised that she had forgotten her passport at home, with the small complication that her parents were 1000 kilometers away from Madrid. She rushed back to her house as fast as she could and got to the airport just before the departure gates closed. But when they got to Brussels things took another turn for the worse, and only thanks to the mysterious intervention of an Indonesian angel were the three lovely Spaniards able to finally conclude their journey successfully.
the western hemisphere to have sponsored vegetarianism so vigorously, but this is really no surprise. The town has been at the heart of many new technological and social developments throughout its history. During the rise of cities in the 11th century, Ghent’s population was second only to Paris in terms of size. This was due to the discovery that the surrounding lush pasture land was ideally suited to sheep farming. Using this raw material, desirable woollen textiles were produced and sold across Europe resulting in Ghent’s rapid expansion in both size and stature. Although this affluence was short-lived, new ideas continue to radiate from Ghent to this day. In the 16th century, the city was one of the key strongholds of the radical Calvinist religious agenda, which enabled the rise of Protestantism across Europe. In modern times, it is cited as the city where trade unionism first became part of widespread societal consciousness. The spread of new ideas is essential for development in today’s globalised society. But, the initial concepts have to grow somewhere. Ghent has a reputation as one of these cities, and its new penchant for vegetarianism should hopefully spread through Europe in the same way.
Homesick or Sick of Home? One Greek in Ghent
So where in history did it go wrong for the region where democracy and other modern values were founded? In the Western and Northern Europe, after the medieval era, feudalism was smoothly and gradually replaced by monarchy as the citizens, fed up with the arbitrary rule of their feudal lords by concentrating power in the hands of a king. In contrast, the regions of Southern Europe were organised as city states and politically acting as independent countries, which prevented their citizens from developing a national sentiment among them. This age-old development formed the mentality and politics in the region for centuries to come.
Marilena Saraidari Saraid (GR) With almost 245 000 inhabitants, Ghent, Belgium’s secondlargest municipality, is a treasured destination, not only for Belgians but for an increasing number of people from abroad as well. Although it is not as large and crowded as Brussels, it reminds us a lot of many typical Northern and West European cities, with lots of cultural highlights and an equally aesthetic and convenient composition. Most of the city’s medieval architecture remains remarkably well preserved and restored. It has established a nice blend between modern comfort of living and history. It is not a city-museum, however; we experience that its historic tradition is very much alive as we are walking in its streets and alleys. Moreover, we can attribute its symmetry and orderliness to the city’s planning – some critics of its urbanisation have argued that it was designed like this so that it can be managed easier for the public. One way or another, the result is brilliant. We can say the engineers and architects achieved two targets at the same time. On the opposite, South-eastern end of Europe, the contrast to our current North-western surrounding is strong. When you plan to visit the Balkans, expectations are high, especially concerning the climate. Certainly though, these romanticised expectations have little to do with the actual situation in this part of Europe.
At this point, one would logically think that historians would not want history to repeat itself; they want it to move forward. Unfortunately though, it turns out that the mindset described above was adopted and has carried through from the past into the modern society. While in the Northwest, decision-makers invested in health and educational systems, and built cities with a specific structure that was pleasant for the inhabitant, in the South we spot sprawling, carelessly planned cities, a cumbersome bureaucracy and people reasonably complaining about politicians “stealing their money” from taxes and keeping it for themselves. I am returning to the Balkans – Athens, specifically – in October, after spending some time in Normandy, France. I have no doubts that the messy streets will remain unchanged. Dust will be sparkling like glitter on the gray streets. There is no more festive atmosphere. With the financial crisis at the moment, more and more people every day believe they are all victims of the crisis. Rather, we can definitely tell that the crisis occurred as a result of many mistakes made in the way politicians were running the economy. The city itself is shocked and strangled by the huge number of crowded cars and buildings, and will, to no surprise, appear once again in my eyes ugly and panicked, as chaos is defined.
Despite the financial crisis, most coffee shops and bars in cities like Athens are still crowded. There, one can hear many discussions – among them many supposedly political ones. But it is a priceless surprise if any of them have ever heard of the French Revolution, something about the Paris Commune, the capture of the Bastille. In these countries, one can easily spot episodes of hysteria rather than rationality in these arguments. Within wretched buildings, full of graffiti and slogans, complaints are shouted in every house and apartment; climbing the stairs of a building is more than enough for me to get nauseated. I have lived in Greece almost all my life. What I like about it: my friends. Apart from that: nothing. I guess there is an explanation for this chaos. Historic reasons, maybe – definitely, to be honest.
nevermind north korea, give me a job Gonzalo Sola Rodriguez Rodrig (ES) Once again, we are experiencing a situation of conflict between North and South Korea. The permanent tension between these two neighbouring countries has increased during the last weeks. Unfortunately, this more intense conflict in the Eastern Asian region is not a simple diplomatic argument between countries, it also involves a multitude of other nations like the USA and also the threat of utilising nuclear weapons as a result of this contention. However, the defining quality of the issue is the symbolic significance it has: Two different and opposing political systems that already once fought to rule the world are trying to demonstrate their power and superiority to each other once again.
As the political scientist Robert Dahl declared some years ago, since the Berlin Wall fell the victory of liberal democracy and the free market economy has persisted. It is obvious that North Koreaâ€™s current attitude does not threaten the privileged position that capitalism possesses right now in our world order. Also, admittedly this articleâ€™s intention is not to praise communism or to do a simple critique of capitalism either, it is to reflect about the development of the liberal and capitalist model using the USA as a general example. We can read and watch on the news how the majority of Western democracies have allied with South Korea and consider Pyongyangâ€™s arrogance as one of the most dangerous acts affecting the geopolitical order since the September 11th attacks occurred. The possible use of nuclear weapons and the beginning of a war as the result of this
diplomatic power play are the reasons behind the global fear. Nevertheless, it is time to take a look at the recent history of the countries that are taking on the main roles in this globally relevant and dialectic struggle: the USA and North Korea. We all could agree that it is curious how differently these countries are being treated by the media and other countries’ representatives across the Western world. To illustrate:. Much more than North Korea, the USA is the country with a track record of invading other countries in recent history. Going further, of these two countries it is only the United States of America that has used its nuclear arsenal against another country. In that light, it is easy to see the irony in the fact that the United States’ President is one of the latest recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize, while North Korea’s leader is regularly described as a madman who is a continuous danger for democracy and civilisation. The attitude that Western countries in general have adopted in this conflict seems to wish to defend democratic values and promote the spirit of progress. It is clear that North Korea’s way of acting should not be a model to follow if we have the aim of spreading democracy and world peace. Are we, the European Union and the rest of Western countries, the model that the rest of the world must look to?
cerns have changed and become different, the method for solving them has to be distinct as well. Advances in technology and globalisation have made our world a different one. By the misfortune of the economic crisis, our current everyday worries are social issues like youth unemployment, corruption, or the future of the European common project, instead of possible invasions by communists. Now, it is the time to stop letting a play at the second version of the Cold War distract us and focus on the issues that really matter to the population. It is more than frustrating to be a European youngster and find that most of the European governments are wasting time weighing in on North Korea’s challenge against the USA rather than considering our most urgent needs. It is true than most of us did not have the questionable chance to live through the Cold War period these lines refer to. However, that fact does not make this critique less pressing. We, the European youth, have been born in a completely different period and we are today suffering the consequences of this new era we live in. Therefore, politicians cannot waste time as our democracies are in crisis by prioritising issues like this second cold war over our necessities. Consequently, it is finally the moment when youth should be the solution to the problem of the present and take their as the leaders of our future.
Today, we are facing a completely different period of history, in which our daily problems are vastly different to those of 25 years ago. For this reason, as far as our con-
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Rich Only in Myth Khalid El Ghoul Gh (NL) By legend it is the birthplace of the Greek goddess of love Aphrodite, in reality the stage for an ongoing conflict with Turkey, Cyprus has yet again crossed the path of adversity. As the black ox now moves on from Greece to Cyprus, it goes to show how Olympus remains unstable. Throughout history and the realm of myths, the fate of both countries has become firmly intertwined, even inseparable. Consequently, it is not unusual for misfortune to find its way from one to the other. Whereas previous reports concerning Cyprus were dominated by the territorial conflict with Turkey, it now stands in the spotlight of fiscal uncertainty. The financial crisis that struck Greece has inevitably found its way to Cyprus, a country so small that one would be surprised at the great lengths the Eurogroup is willing to go to for a solution. Naturally, this gives rise to an inquiry on the actual situation and how it came to be. The Greek Euro crisis is a topic everyone has speaks of, but few understand. Its relevance to Cyprus’ current financial
situation is however, more than significant. As mentioned earlier, it is near impossible to consider both countries as truly independent entities in this context. Before the banking crisis struck in 2008, Cyprus was considered to have a healthy economy, with high growth, low unemployment and sound public finances. During these years of prosperity, its banking sector grew rapidly. By 2011 the International Monetary Fund reported that Cyprus’ financial assets equalled nine times their annual national income, or GDP. As a result of Greece’s financial trouble, Cyprus also became entangled in a conflict of merely projected wealth and its debt-to-GDP ratio. As Cyprus had neither the means nor the funds to bail out its own banks, it appealed to the European Union for financial assistance to shore up its banks, which were heavily exposed by the stumbling Greek economy. The Cypriot government was able to secure a ten-billionEuro bailout following an investigation by the European Commission, the European Central Bank, and the IMF, otherwise known as the ‘Troika’. In order for Cyprus to receive the bailout funds, they had to agree to certain terms, which were met with tough opposition. Accordingly, the first draft of measures was practically wiped off the table in a vote by the Cypriot parliament.
In the second draft, Cyprus has agreed to restructure its banking sector, along with other measures such as tax rises and privatisations. The measures are designed to raise billions towards the bailout, but protect bank customers with savings of 100 000 Euros or less. Cyprus’ second largest bank, Laiki Bank, will be closed down and deposits above 100 000 Euros moved into a ‘bad bank’. Deposits below that mark will be moved into the Bank of Cyprus, the country’s largest bank, which is to be significantly restructured. Deposits at the Bank of Cyprus of more than 100 000 Euros are being frozen. At both banks, deposits above 100 000 Euros will be tapped into by the government to contribute billions towards the bailout. A government spokesman had earlier suggested customers should expect about 40 percent of the balance to be converted into bank shares, but this number is likely to turn out to be around 60 percent. Furthermore, the government feared for a run on the banks by citizens frantically withdrawing their deposits, which would reduce the amount of financial means at the banks’ disposal. Thus all banks were closed for two weeks. During this time of restricted transactions, however, some money did slip away. This of course ran counter to the earlier agreed upon measures. Therefore, the European Commission started an investigation as to how this could have happened. Following this, Cyprus’ Finance Minister Michael
Sarris stepped down. Jeroen Dijsselbloem, President of the Eurogroup, emphasised the importance of committing to the measures in place, national regulations, and Cyprus’ responsibility to execute them. In the short term, the risk that the Cypriot banking sector collapses has receded. The bailout funds may allow the government to pay its own debts and undertake the restructuring of the banks, and to do this without facing economic collapse or exiting the Euro. In other respects, the outlook is less certain. Cyprus must enact tough austerity measures to rebuild its economy, and regain trust among investors in its banking sector and government. It is unclear whether the Cypriot public, angered by how the crisis has been handled so far, will support that. It also remains unclear how much trust is left in Cyprus’ banks. Finally, all these events have damaged the confidence in the EU authorities’ ability to handle an economic crisis. Following the chain of events, it ought to be apparent the crisis is far from over. The bonds of this region have endured for ages, yet the questions stands whether they shall hold and recover to former strength, restoring order to lands of Olympus.
If Life Gives You Garbage, Make Music Juan Estheiman Amaya Am (ES) “Los reciclados” (the recycled ones), “Melodias de la basura” (melodies of trash) or more commonly known as the Landfill Harmonic, are an orchestra of teenagers from one of the most poverty-stricken areas of Paraguay. Throughout their work, they have given and taught the world much more than just music. Cateura, Paraguay. Located on the outskirts of Paraguay’s capital city, Asunción, this suburb clearly reflects the situation of inequality, exclusion and poverty that sadly many people struggle through in South America. Over the last 30 years, Cateura has been the site of a landfill where 1500 tons of solid waste are dumped every day. This same area is home to nearly 2500 families. According to UNICEF, these families, with the help of their children, survive mainly by recycling and reselling whatever they can find in the landfill. But despite everything, Cateura is now widely known for being home to something much more important; hope. It all started thanks to Luis Szarán. After a very successful musical career, this internationally recognised Paraguayan
orchestra director decided that music shouldn’t only be an expensive privilege reserved for those who have means to afford it. With the idea of promoting education through art, in 2002 he started a project called “Sonidos de la Tierra” – “Sounds of the Earth”. Today, this project gives around 14 000 children the opportunity to receive musical education inside 160 economically deprived communities of Paraguay. Four years after Sonidos de la Tierra was started, Flavio Hernán Chavez Morán, the current conductor of the Landfill Harmonic, suggested giving the youth of Paraguay’s biggest landfill the opportunity to become involved in the project. As both Szarán and Hernán state, it was immensely difficult to explain the objective of this new initiative to the families. This was due to the scepticism of these inhabitants about the possibility receiving any kind of help from anyone, caused by the repeated manipulation and lies from their governments in shameful attempts to win votes. Finally, after a perseverant persuasion of Hernán, the families agreed to let their children participate. Even though motivation is an essential part of reaching a goal, in such a poor environment, it wasn’t affordable to
put an instrument in every kid’s hand to initiate their musical learning. But instead of quitting or excluding new members because of lack of funds, Hernán came up with the surprising idea of using a resource of which they were completely surrounded by: garbage. With the willing help of Colá, a local craftsman who made a living of selling waste and who had no idea of who Mozart or Beethoven were, oil tins, spoons, forks, buttons, and broken water pipes began taking the shapes of violins, flutes, cellos and guitars. This was the start of a journey for nine teenagers that has taken them so far as to perform in Europe, showing them along the way that dreams can travel beyond the difficulties that they go through at home. As Maria Eugenia Benitez, 15 years old, and violinist of the Landfill Harmonic says, “I think that a lot of kids in my country haven’t found the meaning of life. They get into drugs and alcohol because they don’t know what to do with their lives. Music is something that helps avoid these things”. In a country where minors who are between 14 and 17 years old commit around 70 percent of robberies, it is no secret that by promoting “cultural escape paths” like this one, boys’ and girls’ future perspectives have little to do with the realities that they live in. Such is the success of Landfill
Harmonic that this program is being implemented in other Latin American countries where youth is in danger of social and economic exclusion. But apart from probably finding all this as something admirable, you may be asking yourselves, how this is all related to us? Well, in an exercise of self-reflection I want to leave you with another fragment of Maria Eugenia’s words: “The effort that my parents make is priceless to me; it’s really valuable because not everyone is lucky enough to have this. I really appreciate it so much.” Now let me ask you: Who are the ones that actually make the most out of their opportunities and struggle for a better future in their society? If we actually want to become a youth that works for progress, we have to begin by acknowledging the fact that our progress has probably less to do with our economic and social backgrounds, and more to do with the little actions and treasures that these kinds of people teach us. If they were able to do such thing with just garbage, what could we be able to do if life gave us lemons? A link to the teaser of a documentary on the Landfill Harmonic that will be released in 2013: http://vimeo.com/52711779
To People With Hearts maja zalewska zalew (PL) The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity (GOCC), “Wielka Orkiestra Świątecznej Pomocy” in Polish, was established in Warsaw, Poland in 1993. It all began in a small room of the Polish Radio station “III”, where Jerzy Owsiak, one of the founders and nowadays the person mostly associated with GOCC, hosted a radio programme. Back then, he donated money, which was spontaneously contributed to the Polish Radio by his eager listeners, for helping children with congenital heart disease. This initiated the whole idea of creating the GOCC.
The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity Foundation Today, the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity is one of the largest charity foundations in Poland and is responsible for conducting many events and happenings famous all around the world. Their aim is to “work in the field of health protection by saving patients’ and especially young patients’ life and supporting their treatment”, as stated in the foundation’s deed. To achieve this, the GOCC firstly organises the Grand Finale money collection, from which it purchases medical equipment for Polish hospitals. Moreover, it runs five nation-wide medical programs and one educational program. Nevertheless, the “Grand Finale” is what has lately become nearly the synonymous with the GOCC. This is an event that
everyone in Poland looks forward to every year. Youth from all over the country, heedless of snow and cold, gather on the second Sunday of each year and march through the streets in order to collect donations for a given aim. On this day, everyone who offers even only the smallest coin is given a heart-shaped sticker as a thank-you gift from the GOCC volunteers. After the Grand Finale, Poland becomes a country of people with hearts, literally; there is hardly any person who would not have their own GOCC heart stuck to their coats, hats or bags. Furthermore, during the Grand Finale, huge parties are thrown around the country, but also abroad, in places where Poles live. Those events are organised by volunteers, except for the biggest one in Warsaw, which is managed by the GOCC itself. Everyone joins in this common deed, especially when at 8 p.m. in every city a fireworks show is set off as a so-called ‘light to heaven’. So far, with the help of over 120 thousand volunteers, the GOCC has collected nearly 170 million dollars, which has been spent on children’s heart surgery, saving infants’ and young children’s lives, especially victims of accidents, as well as modern diagnostic tools and treatment in neonatology and paediatrics. However, The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity Foundation does not only collect money all year round. They
also organise a huge summer music festival, called in Polish “Przystanek Woodstock”, which is said to be the biggest open-air event. Its motto is “Love, Friendship and Music”, as this festival is supposed to be a thank-you gift to all volunteers and supporters, who took part in the annual Grand Finale in January. This festival does not only consist of musical concerts, which feature around 30 groups a year who play there for free, but also of the Academy of the Most Beautiful Arts (AMBA), which is a place where various authorities, including journalists, TV braodcasters and celebrities come to talk to ‘Woodstockians’. In the AMBA’s tents, there are many interesting topics discussed that are dear to the youth, such as faith, dreams and adventures. Przystanek Woodstock is a place where a massive number of people gather in one spot to have fun and to experience something extraordinary. What is worth underlining is the fact that the money used to organise this festival comes exclusively from GOCC’s sponsors and it is raised throughout the year; none of the funds collected for charitable purposes during the Grand Finale are spent on the Przystanek Woodstock. The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity unites youth from all over Poland to work together for a noble cause. They show that every little step counts, but at the same time, they teach that a greater goal is easier to achieve when everyone works together. Lastly, they show that helping others can be done in a very enjoyable way.
Natur og Ungdom Fighting for the environment in a country defined by oil
Nina Cathrine Selmer Sel (NO) In 1967 Norwegian youth created an organisation that ended up not only being a place where they could meet and share their mutual interest for the conservation of nature, but also a voice that would influence and shape many major decisions in Norwegian politics for years to come. Through proving that their opinions are worth listening to, and that the youth of Norway are not only thoughtless consumers but also passionate protesters, they have earned a seat at the table that really matters. The day before Christmas 1969, oil was found on Norwegian ground. The ‘black gold’ transformed a cold country up north to a country that today is ranked number one on the Human Development Index. However, this passionate group of young Norwegians continued to put nature
first, and insisting on preserving the only Earth we have. In a country where oil and gas production, and all the environmental damage this brings with it, is such an essential part of the industry, the Gross Domestic Product, and the culture, youth all over the country have decided that this is something they do not want to take part in. Rather than supporting an industry that keeps growing and expanding, and therefore also becoming more lucrative, they have decided to prioritise something they believe that we can never fix once we have damaged it. Growing up in a society where the focus is on consumption, ever-changing trends and always upgrading what you already have, it’s easy to imagine that all children growing up with these influences will take part in that never-ending cycle. However, there are young people that have decided to question all of this, and fight the mindset that tells us that all change is progress. Natur og Ungdom (Norwegian for “Nature and Youth”) has
been, and still is, a huge influence in many parts of the Norwegian society. Through building up their reputation and resources, one can claim that they today play an equally significant role in Norwegian politics as the youth factions serving under the main political parties in Norway. When important decisions that will affect the environment are up for discussion, this Natur og Ungdom is an organisation politicians look to for better understanding how the public opinion will react to the eventual change. Natur og Ungdom was founded for the purpose of minimising the damaging effects of climate change, and to preserve biodiversity. They say themselves that they want to fight the major polluters and â€œspeak out on what needs to be done.â€? Moreover, Natur og Ungdom is an organisation driven by youth for youth. Members have to be between 13 and 25 years old, and they are divided into 70 local organisations all over the country. Their activities consist of either fighting for different environment-friendly local
projects or combating harmful developments, and these can vary a great deal. Looking at some examples, Natur og Ungdom has protested against further deep-sea oil drilling off the coast of Norway as well as campaigning against nuclear power since 1973. On the other hand they have been actively supporting the spread of wind energy. Today, Natur og Ungdom is the most well-known environmental organisation in Norway, and when looking at the age of the members, 13 to 25, this is more than impressive. Natur og Ungdom is an example of what youth can achieve when they come together for a cause they believe in. Even in a country where oil is the dominant part of the industry, Natur og Ungdom has managed to assert their message time after time, and ended up changing policies and stopping environmentally damaging projects from being realised. In todayâ€™s society where the consumer is told to just want more and more, the youth have shown that they know better; they know what it is worth preserving.
the remedy for apathy Alex Guzenko Guze (UA) When you ask a local to describe or characterise the Ukrainian youth, the most common and at the same time controversial adjectives are “enthusiastic” or “indifferent”. Although both characteristics are complete opposites, they are relevant for the description of today’s young people. It happens to be that the Ukrainian youth is divided into these opposite groups: industrious and indifferent – and only one of the two is beneficial for the society. The enthusiasm and insatiable passion of young people can make an enormous difference for the development of the country’s communities, but, unfortunately, this feature is not dominant. The greater part of Ukrainian youngsters is not completely determined and has lost hope for community work as a means of improving society. It is that same kind of apathetic behaviour that is present in other countries as well. Apathy, the mental and physical tiredness and unwilling-
ness of doing something that requires extra endeavours, can and has to be cured. In many cases the enthusiasm is present at the beginning, but disappears as taking action requires more and more effort. Various factors such as the lack of facilities, equipment, money, and community support can halt a person’s enthusiasm although he or she had a significant desire to help the community. We can assume as a fact that willingness, commitment and awareness make up only one half of what it takes to reach the successful outcome of a desired goal. The other significant half is the opportunity. Indeed, it is a lot easier to grasp a given opportunity, preserve and develop it according to the society’s needs, than to push forward a project with no encouragement but one’s own initiative. Summarising, the formula for successful community work combines two cases: enthusiasm and an opportunity to implement it. Luckily, there is an organisation that attacks the apathy of young people by providing opportunities to contrib-
ute to the Ukrainian society’s development. “Open Hearts Ukraine” is a newly established charity organisation, ran by young passionate people whose chief aim is to improve their communities in the spheres of medicine, education, environment, sports and culture. Young people working there sacrifice their time and effort in order to provide a fertile basis for other people to somehow contribute in the solution of various issues. For instance, in December 2012 the organisation launched a donation campaign in order to raise funds to buy medical equipment for hospitals in Ukraine. The volunteers of the organisation carried out various fairs, where they sold goods, offered photo sessions or provided entertainment – and thereby they achieved their goal. At the end 17 Ukrainian hospitals received new medical equipment, purchased from the earnings. But Open Hearts’ great success is not limited to new medical equipment, as many future lives will be saved: What is no less important is that many less active youngsters became involved in the community work and were stimulated and encouraged to keep up the noble activity.
Let’s look at another angle: the perspective of sportsmanship. Due to many factors like environmental issues, unhealthy food, bad habits, and inactive lifestyle only 50 percent of all school children are capable of doing average activities in high school physical education classes without any risk to their health. The statistic is not encouraging, but it can be amended. That is why Open Hearts Ukraine introduced another initiative of organising sports competitions among youngsters and fundraising money to build necessary facilities and supply them with appropriate equipment, so children can improve their health outside in the fresh air instead of devoting time to bad habits and computer games. The lesson is that opportunities are valuable - if every young person would grasp such opportunities, promote them among friends, implement them inside the society, the apathy will be cured and we will witness the gradual improvement of both our local and the global community.
Thieves of Knowledge
behind the name was that people didn’t have to rely on God to learn about life and what it means to be an independent person, and although the story of Prometheus doesn’t have the happiest of endings, he has remained a symbol of empowerment for ages.
Christopher Proctor Proc (FI) “Prometheus was punished by the gods for giving the gift of knowledge to man. He was cast into the bowels of the earth and pecked by birds.” – Quote from the popular video game “Portal 2” For many centuries until this day it has been a custom and a tradition for the Finnish youth, having reached a certain age, to partake in a Confirmation camp, learning about ethics, morality, the Bible and fundamentally taking their first steps into adulthood. It has been seen as an event that gives people the proper tools to lead a good and fulfilled life and something every teenager should experience. These Confirmation camps are organised by Finnish church communities, and so the ideals taught there are based upon Christian values and beliefs. The lessons concerning ethics and morality that take place in the camp mostly consist of interpreting the message of the Bible into everyday problems people face and struggle with. Such camps for young people to learn about life are a significant and helpful institution to have, but they also made a lot of young people who do not belong to a church and thus could not participate feel like outsiders and misfits. An alternative for Confirmation camps became a popular topic in the late ‘80s for many high school students – a camp where no one needed to be religious or a part of a specific religion to be able to participate, a place where anyone could take those first steps towards adulthood no matter what they believed in, and in 1989 their pleas were heard. A group of high school philosophy teachers decided it was time to help their students make the idea a reality and so in the summer of 1989 the first religiously neutral camp took place, organised by the teachers for their students. The camp was a neutral environment for youths to discuss and learn about morals and ethics, right and wrong, and take those first steps towards psychological maturity without any political or religious influences or agendas in the background. The gathering extremely small, consisting of only a handful of students, but it was a success. So in 1990 the Prometheus Camp fund was founded and became an official non-governmental organisation. The organisation and the camps were named after the mythical ancient Greek Titan Prometheus, the famous character who stole fire from the gods of Olympus and gave it to mankind. The thought
In the years leading up to today the Prometheus Camps have evolved in quality and quantity and become a viable and respectable alternative to the Church’s Confirmation camps, and it is not unusual for teenagers to attend both for an all-round experience. The camps have over the years been transferred almost entirely into the hands of youths; being held by young people for young people, much like the EYP. The concept has been such a great success that in 2009 Sweden held its own “Protus Sverige”, becoming the first country to adopt the Prometheus Camp project outside of Finland. The standard Prometheus Camps are directed for 14- to 16-year-olds and mostly lead by 15- to 19-year-olds with a few adults for legal purposes. The concept of ‘lessons’ in the modern Prometheus Camps has been abolished, and instead of teaching right and wrong the curriculum of the camp offers not answers but instead sets up a discourse for all the participants to discuss each other’s views on the subjects. Among the frequently discussed themes are: ‘being different and being left out’, ‘drugs and addiction’, ‘the environment’, ‘society and making a difference’, ‘relationships and sexuality’, ‘the future’, ‘different views on life’, along with anything the campers find particularly enticing. These subjects are often tackled through games, performances, or even music and art in some cases. The camps last a week and the most popular ones are in the summer. At the end of the week there is a ‘Prometheus Celebration’ where the parents of the participants can come watch as their children are presented with the Prometheus Necklace symbolising the ending of childhood and the beginning of maturity. Many people who have completed a Prometheus Camp count it as one of their most transformative experiences and a place that has helped them define themselves as human beings.
For your convenience we have gathered an underground list of tips and tricks to impress your fellow ‘free minded thinkers’ at the Hipster Theme Party: 1. Stop shaving, hipsters are organic. 2. Stop showering, odours are individual and cool. 3. Get a Starbucks membership. 4. Bow ties and suspenders are a hipster’s best friend. 5. If your clothes don’t look vintage enough just roll around in the dirt. 6. Learn to play the synthesiser. 7. Learn to mix and match your grandparents’ clothes. 8. Don’t wear socks. 9. Listen to Coldplay ironically. 10. Buy an analogue camera and take pictures of your food.
I WearYour Granddad’s Clothes Christopher Proctor Proc (FI) alex guzenko (UA) You notice them daily, selling vegan burgers and riding their fixed-gear bikes; you may see one or two smoking pipes and listening to indie tunes on their vintage portable record players. In the completely globalised world there is not a single spot that hipster fervor has not permeated. You may think that the isolation of a session like Ghent2013 is a perfect place to avoid direct contact with the obnoxious hipster culture; however, you are out of luck, since one of the first parties of the session will be flooded by supposed members of the underground subculture. Whether you like it or not, hipsters are here to stay - at least until the next thing comes along. Do not think the whole concept of hipsterdom has popped up recently. Believe it or not, the idea of identification with a subculture was initiated even before the term ‘sub-culture’ existed, namely in the 1940s. The widely used term ‘hipster’ derived from the combination of the words ‘hip’, which means ’aware’, and ’gangster’, created a new group of fashionable, anti-establishment people. Clad in bellbottoms and Flower Power shirts, they stylishly took over the underground scene in the United States. The devastated post-war generation was inspired by the freedoms and liberties gained after the war period from self-expression to music preferences. The issues of the mundane world may have changed, but the attitude towards them continues to follow the same pattern for each generation. . The idiosyncrasies and behaviours have deviated slightly - today’s hipster attire for instance. The present outfit of the prototypical hipster unfailingly includes skinny jeans, Ray Ban wayfarers, a ‘vintage’ shirt or dress and a pair of suede shoes, while the
pioneers of the 1940s hipster movement had not heard of such apparel. A young man is not considered a hipster if his appearance does not fulfill specific criteria. Although fashion plays a significant role in the hipster concept, it is a not the factor which labels you as a hipster or not. In reality it takes so much more than mere appearance, because to be a genuine hipster, you also have to have the attitude down: Cynicism, obnoxious sarcasm and rigorous deviation from norms are the building blocks of any selfrespecting hipster. The number one rule is that you are worth only as much as the amount of abstract new-age indie bands you listen to. A person’s value is determined by the likes you have on your Instagram photos and the vintage typewriters you own. Another important fact to remember is that the ‘mainstream’ equals the ultimate evil. Once something catches the public eye it instantly becomes rubbish, there are no exceptions. You may think you love something, but when it becomes mainstream, you will just have to say goodbye. Hipster life is brutal and full of heartache. In the hipster world a cruel fate awaits anyone who falls into the category of ’conventional’ or ’mainstream’. It is inhumane to say the least, but it does not stop the flood of youngsters trying to reach the fabled status of ’hipster’. Of course every hipster would without a doubt deny this as it is clearly stated in the unwritten handbook of hipsters that anyone who admits to being a hipster is not a hipster. Hipsters who refer to themselves as hipsters are held in contempt by other hipsters with the exception that if a hipster proclaims it ironically, he actually becomes a Uberhipster, which quite likely you’ve never even heard of. Some of you may argue that being a hipster in itself is mainstream nowadays, but the irony of this statement makes hipsterdom just that much more hipster. issue 33%