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The German Art of War

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Pass the Rum page 8

theplanetaup The American University of Paris

May 2013

AUP’S FLYING DUTCHMAN Sven van Mourik’s journey from “anti-social nerd” to SGA President

He is the clean cut Dutchman you can always find in the corner of the Amex with a glass of house red. The founder of AUP Debate Club, he enjoys squeezing one too many students into his chambre de bonne for an after party. Eloquent and affable, Sven van Mourik gave The Planet a glimpse behind the dark rimmed glasses of AUP’s most approachable student. The student who ran unopposed for his new position as SGA President. Behind the wooden SGA doors on the first floor of the Bosquet building, he sits at his immaculate black office desk with the Amex plat du jour steaming in front of him. This is the room where he has spent the past academic year as vice president. In a simple black T-shirt and jeans, he leans back in his comfy chair nonchalantly, ready for anything. He has a new title of Mr. President, “elect,” he emphasizes, and “it feels good.” The history and international politics double major seems to know exactly what the AUP student body wants: “to create an increase in party quality.” It is, he says, “the main eye-catching goal for next year.”

There is more to the job than organizing parties. He’s one of the administration’s crisis controllers, sometimes sending up to 90 emails a day and filling in endless hours of work behind the closed doors of the SGA office. He also has an alternative agenda: “I want people to like me.” Back in his home country of the Netherlands, he was never the most popular kid. In fact, he says, “I was too nerdy for socializing,” and always had his nose in a book. It was his 15-year-old little brother who attracted all the girls with his leather jacket, he says.

Back there and then, he was more of a sideline kind of guy. Karaoke Star Then he came to Paris. “This place is my identity,” he says. In a university of misfits and international mutts, the Dutch erstwhile nerd thrives. Van Mourik is proud to admit that he can offer you a drink in eight different languages. At AUP, he discovered an ability to be sociable. He plunged into many different clubs and organizations, in a bid to become a part of the AUP he adores. As a former judiciary committee member, con-

When Barbies Use Barbells By Togzhan Kumekbayeva and Simon Kafie In ancient times, when men competed over who could lift the heaviest rocks, they could hardly imagine their fragile wives doing the same. Times change. Now that women have gained the right to wear pants, to vote and to be independent, they are moving on to the next target – fitness. To be more precise, the sort of fitness that comes from lifting weights. For female AUP students, that means a trek to gyms like CrossFit, near the Louvre, or a less formal workout with weights in the AUP Grenelle building. AUP senior Chloe Dunderdale recently started practicing CrossFit and says, “I’m happier to be stronger than I am to be skinny. I feel like I can take on more. Mentally I feel like I can push myself.” Lucia Bourgeois, another AUP senior, has practiced everything from swimming to running and fitness, including CrossFit. “It’s never about reaching fitness,” she says, “it’s about reaching a level higher

than fitness.” She goes to the gym and runs five days a week. Her workouts alternate from upper to lower body exercises. But as much as Lucia works on her body, her goal is not to achieve physical perfection, but to stay toned and strong. “It’s not just exercise, it’s treating and sustaining your body. Nutrition is also important,” she says. Really Feminine Not all AUP male students have evolved from caveman attitudes quite as fast. To some, the idea of a weight-lifting woman is, well, a little heavy. “I understand it’s not hard-core weight lifting, but it isn’t really feminine to lift weights,” says Cesar Abdelaziz, AUP Senior. “I wouldn’t be attracted. Nasty!” Others may prefer plump female curves but don’t object to muscle tone. “If you want to have a healthy lifestyle, if you want to be the next female Arnold Schwarzenegger, it’s fine by me, it’s your choice, it’s your body,” says AUP graduate

Barbells cont. on page 3

Photo: Courtesy of Reebok CrossFit Louvre, Paris

Sven van Mourik long had an eye on the SGA presidency; after a year as Vice President, the seat is his.

Strength is now seen as beautiful.

tributing writer to the Peacock, a section editor overseeing news and politics for The Planet, and current SGA Vice-President, he is someone who has been a permanent fixture in spotlight. “He is so down to earth. He really is his own person, never adapting his personality,” says junior Camille Pitkethly. As a bartender at the Amex Café, she sees van Mourik regularly. “Sven is the guy during Karaoke night who isn’t just bobbing his head like the rest of the crowd. He actually dances.” Senior Stephanie Dissette says that, “If you haven’t met him, you will.” After spending the last year working with van Mourik as the SGA Communications Director, she knows him very well. “He is always on campus, he goes to ever SGA event, required or not, and if anyone just goes and talks to him, he is always intrigued.” Being a social face to the student body, van Mourik long had an eye on the SGA Presidency. “Two years ago I bumped into Pierre Bach when he was president, towering over me, I was like, wow! He must be important.” Yearning to be someone that other students could look up to, he spent two months preparing for the 2013 election. He is quick to confess that putting up posters around the university campus was the most awkward part. “I hate seeing my face on the wall,” he says, protectively covering his face with his hand. After all the effort organizing his campaign, writing and practicing his speech and designing posters, van Mourik was only a little upset about running unopposed. “I would have liked a good fight but I’m not complaining,” he says. Nonetheless, together with his new team, he is ready to “kick ass as a better than ever SGA.”

DUTCHMAN cont’d on page 2

Photo: Karina Klindtworth

By Karina Klindtworth



Currying Flavor:

Praneeth Rebba cooking the daily special

By Valerie Weber Tucked away beneath the Amex, in a tiny kitchen next to the music room, four new chefs are bringing a universe of international flavors to AUP. Among their innovations: the club sandwich. Not to mention: chicken curry, chicken palak, and a changing daily special that includes pasta bolognese. So who are they? “Yeah, I guess we’re kind of a mystery,” laughs Ashok Vepada, one of the four. “But we know we’re appreciated when the plates come back empty.” All four are enterprising Indians. Alongside Vepada are Praneeth Reddy Rebba, Praveen Kumar Reddy Nallamaddi, and Amarender Reddy Pullaka. Nallamaddi and Pullaka are graduate students. Vepada works with computers, and Rebba describes himself as “a businessman. I came to Paris to do my MBA.”

DUTCHMAN cont. from page 1

Open Ears As he sees it, the SGA has been evolving over the past few years into a more sophisticated, better-run organization. Van Mourik now wants to push further. He has watched as Kevin Fore, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs, took the initiative

His warm smile fills the small kitchen space as he methodically moves around to prepare that day’s special: a club sandwich. “Someday I want to open my own restaurant. I have a lot of ideas,” Rebba says. “Probably Indian food – we’re still working out the concept. Until then, I wouldn’t mind experimenting a little more with different foods.”

”When I first started working...I had to call up my mom every day and ask her how to make this” Plat du Jour For the Amex, it’s all a big change from its previous standard fare of burgers and nachos. The difference is that, in the past, professionally than ever. The new team is made up of Penelope Shaw as SGA Treasurer, Clare Haug as UCS Vice President, Rahael Kuruvilla as USC Communications and Mathieu Banduwardena as USC Social Director. The back to school party is a priority, and will be planned over the summer rather

He’ll be paid -twenty cents per hour, Sven van Mourik calculates –but he says he’s more interested in giving back.

to revamp student government. He wants students to be proud of what the SGA has become and what it can still grow into. “He takes his role as the voice of students very seriously,” Fore says. “He is a diplomat who has his ears open. He’s always looking to learn.” Van Mourik learned many things from working with two previous presidents: Bach, while he was on the judiciary committee in 2011, and Patrick McDermott on SGA this year. Bach taught him structure and seriousness, while McDermott showed him how to “sell” SGA to the student body and manage a team. “I’m not a businessman like Pat, I’m more personal. But he taught me to use my authority and really be a boss,” said van Mourik. He already knows what to focus on, and wants to get the ball rolling already over the summer. That’s when he’ll prep the new SGA team to do their jobs more

than at the last minute. He’s already raring to go: “I want to just skip summer and have it be September already.” Being SGA President is not about feeling important or valuable for van Mourik. He’ll be paid - twenty cents per hour, he calculates – but he says he’s more interested in giving back to the university and student body that have facilitated the discovery of his own distinctiveness. Ask him what the student body doesn’t know about him, and van Mourik pauses to think. He won’t mention his interests in AngloDutch relations during the 17th and 18th centuries, nor talk about the novel he has written and for which he is hoping to find a publisher. Nor does he acknowledge his desire to go to law school in the United States upon graduation. Instead he’ll disclose something a little more down to earth. “I get up really early 6:30 each morning… I’m not kidding.”

AUP students did the cooking. “When I employed students in the kitchen, I sometimes had a really difficult time maintaining consistently good quality in how the meals were prepared,” says Amex owner Raul Hernandez. “Now I don’t even have to set foot in the kitchen to know that what’s coming out of it is something we can be proud of.” Hernandez is thrilled by the innovations to the menu. “They definitely have an enormous influence,” he says. “Before, we didn’t have a Plat du Jour – they introduced that – and we also added Poutine on the menu because it’s a way to use ingredients we have on hand to add something new our customers would like.” Many students are equally enthusiastic, but there are also some skeptics. “I do think the quality has improved and things are definitely more consistent,” says Stephanie Dissette, the SGA’s Communications Director. “I know people like the daily Indian food – that seems to be going pretty well.” But Michael Morales, a business major, said, “I’d rather go to the boulangerie.” Naz Ali, a politics major, complained about the price. However, even the complainers say the service is good. The four weren’t always cooks. “It’s funny, but when I started working as a chef I had no idea how to cook my own rice,” Vepada recalls. “I had to call up my mom every day and ask her how to make this or how to make that. But then I started working at an Indian restaurant, and they really taught me how to cook.” Ten Minutes Between Classes The four have a loose 15-hour contract with the Amex, and make their own schedule to decide which one chef will be in the kitchen at a given time. If one of them can’t make it, another one will stand in. “We’ve worked together, so we are a good team”, says Rebba, “We know how

So You Think You Know Sven van Mourik? By Karina Klindtworth Do you have a Facebook routine? Absolutely, early morning posts, fol lowed by one in the afternoon with picture or video to catch attention. Bowtie or tie Tie. Gave my first speech wearing a tie in Dutch Parliament. It’s my lucky thing. But open to a bowtie. Celebrity Crush? Rachel Weisz, definitely. Gotta love the Mummy. NSync or Backstreet Boys? I don’t know either of them… is that bad? Were you breastfed? Breastfed. I don’t remember it. Your view on euthanasia in 2 words Yes, if….

to run a kitchen.” “They seriously just hand me a list of things they need and then I go get it,” says Hernandez. “I have come to rely on those guys tremendously, and I trust that they’ll do whatever is best for the Amex.” The lunchtime rush hour is a challenge. “Sometimes there’ll be so many orders that it’s difficult to keep up - especially when there are people who say they only

Photo: Elizabeth Marshall

Photo: Elizabeth Marshall

The Amex’s New Mystery Chefs

Ashok Vepada in the kitchen have ten minutes in-between classes,” says Vepada, “So we have to be ready.” Preparing meals nonstop during busy hours, they rarely have time to think about how their food is being received before another order is coming in. “Sometimes people will come down and say that they liked the food, and that’s really good to hear,” Vepada says.

Number of books you’ve read? Over 500... No, over 1000. Number of countries you’ve visited? Haven’t counted.. Over 50 for sure. Zimbabwe has been my favorite. What is your favorite food? A good piece of chicken, like a really, really good piece. What is your secret obsession? It is actually Health Food. Why? Well I like to keep track of what food goes into my body. Favorite thing to do on a Wednesday? Get a beer after a day of hard SGA work. I head straight to the Amex. The wildest place you’ve kissed? On the roof on my chambre de bonne. It was dangerous, but had a view of the Eiffel Tower. What are you afraid of? The Egyptian god of mummification, Anubis. It’s not even funny. Nightmares.



When Barbies Use Barbells:

Lifting weights is now a part of many women’s fitness routine, especially for those preparing to compete. Cont. from Page 1 student Alexander McAnenny, “Some people may not like it, but I have no problem with it whatsoever.” Women for a long time steered clear of lifting weights because of worries that it would make them bulk up. That’s a myth that’s slowly being dispelled. Many women nonetheless still spend the majority of their time trying to burn fat on cardio machines, such as the elliptical, the treadmill, or in spinning classes. Tine Kildal is a 37-year-old assistant coach at the Reebok CrossFit Louvre gym. “Many women are now changing the way they think about fitness and are surprised at what they find.” She says CrossFit is “a lifestyle – the way you eat, the sport,

to train police officers. While working with them, he found that many workouts lacked combined, intense exercises, such as heavy lifting and sprinting, and he incorporated them into his program, CrossFit Box, which is still very popular on the West Coast. At present, there are over 3,000 official CrossFit gyms in the U.S., over 100 in the UK and only a handful in France. In other countries, like Denmark, CrossFit is far ahead and is a popular lifestyle. The Grenelle Group “CrossFit means well-being,” says Nasser Touati, a trainer at the Reebok gym near the Louvre, which is the only certified CrossFit gym in France so far. It optimizes

“Why shouldn’t a woman want to look and feel strong and physically capable; It is so sexy!” says Clement Olivier, gym enthusiast and trainer.” the community.” It helps her to be strong not only physically, but mentally: “I have more confidence in other things. I push myself further, I don’t give up as easily.” Sex Appeal Experienced athletes and sportsmen know that for many women, a sexy body is a product of hard work and regular training, including weight lifting, and they appreciate it. “Why shouldn’t a woman want to look and feel strong and physically capable; It is so sexy!” says Clement Olivier, gym enthusiast and part-time trainer. The reason why fit women at times gain such harsh disapproval may be due to the relative novelty of female fitness in general. Officially, fitness for women did not exist until the 20th century, when the first Fitness Competitions for women were established in the United States. Now in 2013, it is often more than just a sport. CrossFit is a good example of a sport that has become a lifestyle. It’s a fitness regimen developed by Coach Greg Glassman in 2000. Glassman, who began as a gymnastics coach at the age of 18, became a personal trainer in California, and in 1995 was hired

fitness with variety and high intensity. Crossfit also likes to portray itself as something more than just exercise. “It’s the community that spontaneously arises when people do these workouts together,” the official CrossFit website announces. At AUP, the community idea has taken off, too. A group of students – about 10 women and some men – meet three times a week in room G44 in the Grenelle building, to work out together. (As it happens, several Planet editors and writers participate). One of the male students who has participated is senior Craig Hill. “For a long time I wasn’t fit. I partied a lot, smoked, and didn’t have energy. I have weights at home and work out twice a week. Nothing too intense, just to stay fit.” But his priority is to do yoga, so he’s dropped the communal weight sessions. CrossFit trainees all keep healthy nutrition habits. Nasser Touati eats less carbs, while Romain, another gym goer, is on the “Paleo” diet. This means adhering to food that was available in the pre-agricultural era, where the fundamental ingredients are those that can be hunted or gathered. In other words, back to the cavemen. Sleeping habits, relationships, even

Photo: Courtesy of Reebok Crossfit Louvre, Paris

Female Weightlifting Craze Hits AUP

outlook on life can all change as a consequence of regular physical activity. Craig Hill says it has to do with “a shift in values in life – from parties to culture, health, sustainable lifestyle.” Romain admits that before he started working out, he used to sleep late, but now he has a good routine and he is less tired. “My behavior with others changed as well, with the people I met and with the connections I made,” he adds.

One thing all of these trainees have in common is the fact that fitness has changed their life, in one way or another. While for men, it may be just a matter of physical appearance, for women, it’s also a meaningful step in establishing their confidence and independence. Stefan Kaufmann, AUP senior and fitness devotee says, “I like women who can lift me up, carry me to bed like a small child and then treat me like a dumbbell.”

Women Lifting Weights: Seven Myths By Simon Kafie

Myth 4: All weightlifting exercises serve different purposes for women

Myth 1: Weightlifting will make muscles turn into fat

Muscle and fat are two different things. Losing muscle lowers the metabolism; hence the body begins to store more calories, which finally results in an increase in fat. The more muscle a person gains, the more calories your body will burn, even if you’re just sitting on the couch!

Myth 2: Weightlifting makes women bulky

This is the most common misunderstanding that women have when it comes to weightlifting. Bulking up the muscles requires a high level of testosterone. Luckily, women are not hormonally able to build as much muscle as men. Muscles take up less space than fat, so women will not notice a huge weight loss, but will lose centimeters when keeping a consistent weight lifting routine.

Myth 3: Weightlifting will get rid of cellulite on the legs and give women abs

Only aerobic exercises can burn fat by combining regular cardio activity with weightlifting. This will burn fat while increasing muscle mass and will keep calories burning all day. Strengthening muscle is key when trying to burn fat, since the two work achieve the toned look.

There are different types of exercises, such as sport specific exercises, strength training, power lifting, rehabilitative, and athletic training exercises. Each of these will have a different program design and use different techniques, but will all eventually lead to a loss of fat and muscle toning.

Myth 5: Women require different weightlifting exercises than men

Men and women have the same muscle structure and are therefore eligible to do the same exercises. Men at the gym might do different variations of weight lifting with heavier weights, but there is no exercise that is gender specific.

Myth 6: Women are sometimes too old for weightlifting

It is never too late to start weight lifting. Researchers have discovered that women start to lose about 3%-5% of muscle mass after the age of 40, therefore, it is important to keep a strength training regimen throughout ones life.

Myth 7: For women to tone their muscles and look slim, they should use lighter weights and do more reps.

Using lighter weights and more reps will help increase muscular endurance. However, that skinny defined look comes from losing body fat and strength training, which is achieved through cardiovascular workouts in combination with dumbbells, kettle bells, and other strength training exercises.


Photo: Courtesy of Michael Morales


AUP’s “Laundry Guy” Is Hoping to Clean Up Michael Morales Starts Student Services Venture By Francesca Cretella

That day of the week has arrived, when you have to put your priorities on hold to do one of the most excruciatingly tedious tasks, laundry. It’s time to lug a bag the size of yourself down the five-floor walk up to the très not-so-chic Laundromat. Now, imagine a world where this dreaded obligation vanished from your already hectic life. Michael Morales is trying to turn that happy thought into a reality. Morales, an AUP finance and entrepreneurship major, is planning to provide a paid laundry service for AUP students, as part of an SGA-sponsored venture whose mission, no less, is “to facilitate student life.” He created the idea while in his Entrepreneurship I class as a final project. After discussing with his professor, he has founded ASA - the AUP Student Agencies. It is expected to launch this fall, thanks

in part to a 3,500 euro subsidy from the SGA. The plan is to charge students a minimum of 308 euro per semester, which is the equivalent of about 20 euros per week. For that money, your clothes will be picked up and brought back, folded and cleaned, within 48 hours “The laundry service is run by a company that does pick-ups and deliveries in 48 hours, covering the whole Paris region,” Morales says. Initial reaction is good, especially among students without laundry machines. That’s about 1 in 7 students who get apartments or studios through AUP housing. “It’s a great idea that will save so much time,” says AUP freshman Scarlet Adler, one of those without a washing machine. Other AUP students, such as freshman Chloerose Breé D’Orazio, who have washing machines at home, aren’t going to “spend the extra money when they have it at home.” But she says she “understands why other students would want to.” The official launch of ASA is planned

for the fall semester. Morales has already put many of the pieces in place, talking to the school administration, lawyers and laundry companies. Kevin Fore, AUP’s Assistant Dean of Student Services, says Morales went about this plan in “an intelligent way based on a model at Harvard, and is applying it to the French legal system which is a big hurdle.” Fore adds: “the

at “IKEA prices,” Morales says. Also in the works is “ASA Market,” a sort of AUP eBay where students can sell “home appliances, text books, anything.” ASA already has a logo and website that is planned to launch before the end of the semester and Morales is working on a marketing campaign to make the company known around campus.

university would love to see ASA happen.” Morales has so far promoted his company mainly with laundry, but has some other ideas up his sleeve. If he can make it work, ASA will have two other services, or “agencies”, as he calls them. One is ASA “Room Essentials,” which will be a service that provides linens, towels and pillows at orientation, all from a hotel supplier

The flurry of activity has earned Morales the nickname among some of his peers of “the laundry guy.” Born in Paris and raised in Los Angeles, Morales says he came up with the idea a year ago, after discovering that Ivy League universities in the United States, such as Harvard, provided a range of services to make life easier for students.

General Education niche at AUP.” Other additions include two new minors – Environmental Science and Parisian Studies. The latter will give AUP Francophiles an opportunity to study in depth the culture of this magical city. The Environmental Science minor will also include some exciting classes for lovers of nature, such as astronomy and ocean study. The concentrations have been approved last fall by the Curricular Committee. Michael Dorsch, professor of Economics is now the Chairman of the Committee, while Fine Arts professor Ralph Petty, French professor Dominique Mougel and Math professor Alexandra Svoronou round it out. Professor Stephen Sawyer played a key role in designing the History, Law & Society major and his alma mater, the University of Chicago, served to inspire it.

Professor Kerstin Carlson will take charge of heading the major that also offers an Honor’s program, requiring a Senior Capstone: either completing a Senior Project HI, or an approved thesis in conjunction with a pre-approved 4000 level course in another discipline. While new majors may be exciting news, the procedure of adding them to the established curriculum is long and meticulous. First, the Committee sets a schedule for the faculty members to propose additions, removals and alterations to the curriculum, which happens at the end of each semester. Professors are encouraged to submit their ideas to the Committee’s Blackboard and input from all 11 departments is then considered. If the Committee decides to introduce one of the proposals, the author is

invited to explain their submission and its relevance to the department. The proposition is revised many times before approval, above all to ensure that the library has the necessary resources, that ARC and ITS can support the additions, and to make sure professors are available and there are no overlapping credits with an existing major. Once all these considerations are met, and the Committee approves, a new major is born. But it is not always strictly up to the faculty to propose new ideas. Sometimes student-designed majors are also considered as a possible curricular addition, offering students a possibility to customize their field of study. Christine Tomasek advises students to “watch for the Associate Dean’s memo” for more information.

Also in the works is “ASA Market,” a sort of AUP eBay where students can sell “home appliances, text books, anything,” says Morales.

AUP Lays Down the Law By Ana Alicia Santaella

Next semester, the American University of Paris will offer a new major: History, Law, & Society. It will be the closest specialty AUP’s curriculum has to pre-Law. AUP will also offer new Philosophy and Quantitative Environmental Sciences majors. Professor Oliver Feltham will head the Philosophy major that will include history and math classes, among others. Christine Tomasek, Associate Dean of Academic Administration, says the “Philosophy major is exciting since it hasn’t been offered in years.” She remarks that the Quantitative Environmental Sciences is “filling gaps” in the computer science, mathematics and science departments. Professors Ruth Corran and Claudio Piani will lead the major and assert that the Department is “thrilled and welcomes the possibility of reaching further beyond the



L O U V R E G E R M A N A RT E X H I B I T SPARKS E XP LO S I O N O F CRIT ICISM Does all German culture lead to war? By Chloe Dunderdale

Max Beckmann’s The Descent from the Cross, on display at the Louvre until the 24th of June, 2013. Nazi period. Out of Paradise Up until roughly the midpoint of the exhibition, the subject matter remains uncontroversial and aesthetically pleasing. It opens harmlessly enough with German Renaissance revival, where artists such as Johann Anton Ramboux turned to the Old Masters and recreated classic Christian imagery, such as the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Paradise. Each new section has an introduction on the style of the time and also gives a brief history on the political and social background of the German nation at that moment. The viewer is then gently pushed into

Photo: Chloe Dunderdale

De l’Allemagne: German Thought and Painting from 1800-1939, an exhibition currently on show at the Louvre, is a complex study of the different types of art, style and subject matter that appeared in Germany throughout the 19th century up until the beginning of Second World War. It was supposed to be one of the high points of this year’s 50th-anniversary celebrations of Franco-German friendship. Since it opened on March 28, 2013, however, the exhibit has been fiercely criticized in Germany for allegedly presenting a slanted rendering of history. The critics accuse the exhibition of painting a nightmarish picture of German art and culture as leading inexorably from Goethe and the Enlightenment to the Nazis and the Holocaust. The controversy has been so heated that the outgoing Director of the Louvre, Henri Loyrette, has written a letter in defense of the exhibition, saying that it is meant to display the diversity and inventiveness of German art. It has also been publicly defended by Germany’s ambassador to France. The exhibition contains over 200 works from artists such as Otto Dix and Adolph Menzel, and even includes some sketches by the writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Caspar David Friedrich and Max Beckmann are the two most notably featured. The exposition encompasses a strong variety of images, including depictions of the industrial revolution and the atrocities brought by WWI, in addition to the commonly depicted Christian scenes, landscapes, fairytales and plant life with which German art is commonly associated. Among the most controversial exhibits is some of the work of Hitler’s favorite propagandist filmmaker, Leni Riefenstahl. The last room is reminiscent of an explosion, showing the paintings of artist Otto Dix, known for his ruthless depictions of the First World War. The images of melting flesh and body parts dangling from ligaments are deliberately shocking. There are also several dispersed images of Nazi Youth soldiers, and other allusions to the

Art lovers line up to purchase their tickets for the controversial show.

the next room where the search for national identity begins. The synopsis on the wall explains the influence Austria had on Germany and how artists felt that the subject of the fairytale would help to raise morale, and create nostalgia for a simpler time. Along with images of glowing damsels and white horses galloping off into glinting horizon, viewers also come across a painting depicting the felis culpa, or happy fall, of two lovers wrapped in each other’s arms while plummeting to their doom. This exhibit not only covers different mythological and Christian subject matter but also gives the visitor a glimpse of 19th century German architecture, such as Carl Hasenpflug’s Ideal view of the Cologne Cathedral, a representation of what the grounds of the Cathedral might have looked like during the Middle Ages. The detail that is put into each person is exquisite; the use of size to display how large and grand the cathedral is compared to the tiny people is fantastic. It is an excellent depiction of what life could have looked like and allows the viewer into the artists’s imagination. But slowly, the subject matter starts to change as the exhibit transitions into the late 1800s, where the search for recognition and the natural form becomes increasingly introduced in drawings and watercolors. Organic life and landscapes bring to mind the appreciation of one’s country and the dichotomy of science versus nature detailed by Goethe in his art as well as his writing. Expect lots of pretty images of daintily pressed flowers. Comments from German visitors start to become louder and louder as we meet our first star of the show Caspar David Friedrich, who is known for his breath-taking landscapes and ability to bring what you saw in the dark to the light. His paintings

invite viewers to dream; they can look like the end to some dramatic love story where the hero rides off into the sunset as his lover gazes into the distance. Yet there is always a small hidden surprise that helps to depict daily life such as a man plowing his fields. Don’t Mention the War The exhibit nears its end with the introduction of the industrial revolution- still no apparent harm done. A magnificent picture by Menzel entitled The Iron Rolling Mill (Modern Cyclopes) represents the struggle that the country was facing, producing man-made objects, but for what cause? This picture also depicts just how hard life was. Max Beckmann dominates the last part of the exhibit. And boy does he make an entrance. Hanging on a metal wall is The Descent from the Cross, a non-idealized painting of the crucifixion. Beckmann doesn’t shy away from the pain and suffering – on the contrary. The people surrounding Christ are exhausted, wiping their foreheads to depict the weight of this body. Then it’s all over. Back out in the foyer, there’s a beautiful Anselm Kiefer work entitled De l’Allemagne. The war’s suddenly disappeared, without any let down. It leaves visitors with mixed feelings. The German critics point out that there are some crucial trends in German art missing from this show, including the Bauhaus, Kandinsky and his Blaue Reiter movement and the early Expressionist group, Die Brücke. Overall it is worth going to this exhibition, for those of you who are interested in German landscape and wartime imagery. However, the critics are right in that it seems too much of a one-track exhibit, with all German art leading to a disastrous end.



Connecting with Kinetic Art

The Centre Pompidou Welcomes Jesus Rafael Soto Nowadays, modern art attempts to be as obscure as it is inventive. To get a taste of that, head to an exhibit by Venezuelan artist Jesus Rafael Soto at the Pompidou Center. The artist creates original sculptures and paintings with meaning, where art is inseparable from the viewer. His works are tactile and optical illusions that you can only reallly appreciate when you experience them firsthand. Jesus Soto had his studio in Paris from 1950 to his death in 2005. His style was greatly influenced by Kinetic Sculpture and by De Stijl, the abstract style of Dutch artist Piet Mondrian, with the use of horizontal and vertical lines of white, gray, black, and primary colors. The influence is apparent in all his works. After leaving his home in rural Venezuela to conquer Paris, Soto proved himself as a true artist and a modern art master. He combines a new perspective on conventional structures and colors with motion, to depict the metamorphoses of time and space. The collection takes the spectator for a stroll through Jesus Rafael Soto’s four main developments of artistry. You begin this journey through time with Soto’s first works – Plexiglas paintings. In Spiral, ripples of shapes on Plexiglas are superimposed on wood, thrusting forward at the viewer. His vibrating lines and their shadows on the Plexiglas create virtual figures that appear to be molding into different shapes as the viewer moves around the work. This sort of optical illusion used by Soto, where the artistic effect depends on the viewer’s movement, is known as kinetic art. In the middle of the room is Extension. Blood red and pitch-black needles, about a foot tall, project upwards from a white board on the floor. As one moves around

Photo: Ana Alicia Santaella

By Ana Alicia Santaella

Soto’s works are on display at the Centre Pompidou until May 20th. the room, the color and appearance of the needles change. Unfortunately the effect of this piece cannot be captured with your iPhone camera – the movement through space and time changes the perception of colors, thickness, and materials only in reality. It is even more intriguing when one backs away to admire the creation. At the end of the first room is Suspend-

ed Volume. Soto invites his audience to walk through a forest of electric blue and charcoal black dangling ribbons, suspended from metal boards on the ceiling. Once on the other side, the audience reaches a half-black, half-white wall of a canvas that turns clear. Soto wanted viewers of his Penetrables to understand that they “are no longer observers but constituent parts of

the real, fully in the world, steeped in the trinity of space-time-and-material.” The tactile sensation embraces the viewer into the art, uniting them with the same “trinity” as the masterpiece. Approaching the second room, a new era for Soto is displayed: the Ambivalences. Highly influenced by Dutch artist Piet Mondrian’s Broadway Boogie Woogie, Soto’s explosion of pigment is also arranged in colorful squares of different sizes (and T-shaped metals), yet it is made to look three dimensional. Looking at Senegalés head-on, one sees the squares launching themselves. This time the optical illusion is not the movement of the viewer but the movement of the protruding squares that cast shadows on the canvas behind them. Finally, one comes upon la pièce de résistance, the Cube Pénétrable. Hundreds of lacquered rods of ash gray, cardinal red, and glossy black are suspended from a square grid. A nail-biting excitement grips you while you wait in line to be the “one person at a time” to walk through the interactive piece. Walking through the cube, you are brushed with the rods and you hear the clinks from behind them. The vertical and horizontal lines of color divide the space outside, while you are enclosed and alone in the cube. If you want to sneak a peek at one of the main protagonists in the development of kinetic art, the Soto exhibit will be on display until May 20, (past finals stress week) at the Musée National d’Art Moderne housed in The Centre Georges Pompidou, in the 4th arrondissement. It is open every day except Tuesday from 11h00 to 21h00. Take the panoramic escalators up to the fourth floor of the Pompidou Center and you will stumble right into the exhibit.

Paris, A Protagonist in the Art of Picasso Many influential artists have found their way in Paris and there is something to be said about the significant relationship one has with a city. Cities are responsible for molding who we are. When Pablo Picasso, initially moved to Paris, he was in an intense state of depression and poverty. This perhaps led to him painting life not as expected or demanded, but as he saw it: fragmented and chaotic. Picasso was born with a natural urge to destroy as he hailed from Spain. The only country where death is a national spectacle. Bullfighting is deeply engrained in Spanish culture and in Picasso’s work. Bullfighting was a constant theme throughout his diverse artistic evolution. Unlike what was depicted in his art, Picasso did not impale bulls, he impaled history by rejecting any rules placed upon him. At the turn of the 20th century, Picasso made his first venture to Paris at the age of nineteen, initially attracted by the fact that Paris was the art capital of the world. Paris was also the capital of sin, where he could shamelessly indulge in his vices, such as prostitution, countless affairs with women and drinking excessively. These vices would frequently take place at a tavern located at 22, Rue des Saules 75018. Between 1900 and 1904, Picasso would split his time between Barcelona, Madrid and Paris. He took his first studio apartment at the “Bateau-Lavoir” in Monmartre. Located at 13 Rue Ravi-

gnan at Place Emilie Goudeu, it is where Picasso spent his initial years in severe poverty with a communal turkish toilet that was not only intended for the people on his floor, but for his entire block. The artist experienced a harsh reality of poverty and depression. A tragic event took place at the L’Hippodrome Cafe at 2, route de La Ferme, 75012, where Picasso’s best friend, Carlos Casagemes, committed suicide. The tragedy gave birth to Picasso’s Blue Period. These Paintings that were driven by despair would ironically result in his first success as an artist. France not only represented the site of his artistic breakthroughs and the pinnacle of his artistic career, but also represented an escape. While seeking political refuge from the Fascist regime under Spanish dictator Francisco Franco that lasted between 1935-1975, Picasso managed to stay in Paris. Ironically, he maintained his residency in France under Nazi occupation and had the freedom to continue making his art, but under strict surveillance. Although Picasso’s art is now scattered across the world at various museums, Picasso’s execution of his most well known art pieces occurred in Paris. Guernica, arguably Picasso’s most important painting, was produced and first displayed here in Paris. The studio in which Guernica was created is located at 7 Quai des Grands Au-

Photo: Siobhan Muldoon

By Siobhan Muldoon

Au Lapin Agile, a favorite hangout of Picasso’s in the 18th arr. gustins in the 6th arrondissement. The Spanish Republican Government commissioned Picasso to create the painting in response to the devastating attack on the Basque village of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War. It was displayed at the 1937 World’s Fair in Paris. Picasso has many works housed at the Centre Georges Pompidou, including: Portrait de Jeune Fille, 1914, and Sketch of the Set for the Parade, 1917. A number of his pieces are located at the Picasso Museum which has unfortunately been closed

for over the estimated two years due to renovation. Fortunately the museum is expected to reopen at the end of 2013. Pablo Picasso completely revolutionized modern art by destroying any pre-established rule and expectation. He created world renowned art, but Paris seems partly responsible for inspiring him by simply surrounding him.


Editor’s Letter By Maritza M. Lacayo When I began my duties as Editor-inchief of The Planet, my primary goal was to see this newspaper become a platform for students to contribute and give back to their university. The Planet’s function was to be a source of information and entertainment for the AUP community, and more importantly, to do it right. Two years on, The Planet has improved in content and quality, and some hard lessons have been learned along the way. A personal highlight was the first issue of the 2012 fall semester when “Bye Bye Bosquet” hit the stands. It was the first time The Planet took a dive into investigative journalism, and informed the students of an administrative decision that would affect us all. It wasn’t 24 hours before the emails started flooding in, asking us how we knew, and why we decided to print the information that wasn’t meant to become public, at least not yet. The answer was simple, it is our responsibility. Until The Planet broke the news, we were simply a publication many students did not even know about. Today we are well on our way to becoming AUP’s most trusted news source. This last issue of the spring semester is a very personal one for me. On the front page is a story I have always wanted to see in the pages of The Planet: “When Barbies Use Barbells.” The perception of women within our society is changing, and the strength that a woman can have is now seen as an admirable trait, not an intimidating one. Also in this issue is an incredible art review of the Louvre’s exhibit, De l’Allemagne. Since I became editor, the Arts and Culture section has been one I have sought to develop. As students in

Paris, we should be aware of what is going on culturally. The Arts and Culture section was our way of motivating the AUP student body to go through the doors of Paris’ galleries and into the exhibits at the major museums. We hope some of you took our word for it and visited these wonderful exhibits. Campus News was a section that hardly existed. We barely had enough to fill one page. Since we decided we were going to change our ways, take on the challenge, and break news, Campus News has become our dominant section. We want nothing more than to let the student body know that we are there to inform the community about everything that could affect them. As a student leader, I feel it is my responsibility to empower those who want to pursue student leadership positions, those who are looking for a challenge. The Planet taught me the importance of positive encouragement and motivation when leading a team, especially a team of students who are here to learn. None of us are professional journalists, most of us will not turn out to be, but the lessons we have learned here together are applicable everywhere. I know that next year’s Editor-in-Chief will do a wonderful job, far surpassing my contributions to our small yet mighty publication. I wish her and the entire staff the best of luck. It has been an honor serving the AUP community, giving back to the school that has given me so much. I will be forever indebted to The Planet and to all of those who worked with me along the way. To all of you who have supported us, keep reading; there’s a lot more we hope to do for you.

Montana DeBor: keeping an eye on... Student Life


Paris Wildlife Guide By Siobhan Muldoon

Paris is an amazing city, but it can also be a miserable one for newly arrived AUP students looking to rent an apartment. The rules can defy basic logic and simplicity. Here are some helpful tips from a two-time student adviser who has suffered more than her fair share of rental ordeals. Tip # 1: Trust AUP Students are often disappointed with AUP’s housing process. Maybe you’ve been stuck in transit, and are at the FIAP. Once the appointment with AUP housing comes through, the cost and the limited options can be a shock. If you’re on a budget and you want to live in Paris without filing for bankruptcy, it is in your best interest to lower your standard of living. But trust the process. It’s the best one out there. Tip # 2: Avoid Craigslist Incoming AUP students often search Craigslist because they assume they can find better apartments than through AUP. They’re wrong. You will never find anything that coincides with your unrealistic expectations, no matter where you search. That “charming spacious apartment” can turn out to be a crack house or a brothel on an airshaft. Tip # 3: Finance Yourself The good news is that, if you’re strapped for cash, there’s no need to walk the streets or sell your organs on the black market. English teachers are always in demand – and not just for children. I generally recommend charging €20 to €30 an hour. This is way better than taking care of children while simultaneously teaching them English for the typical €7-11 an hour. Tip # 4: Watch for Red Flags When visiting apartments, ask specific questions and pay attention to how your prospective landlord treats you. If they are high maintenance and demanding during your initial encounters, it will only be amplified if you rent their place. Ask about the neighbors. If there’s a paranoid schizophrenic in the room next door, don’t count on your landlord telling you this. (This was the case with two students of AUP, whose neighbor expressed his political views by writing on the walls and the shared toilet seat in the hallway. He also had shouting fits between 2AM and 4 AM.)

Cartoons: Montana DeBor

Tip # 5: Don’t Give Up Hope If you’ve been through some of the hassles listed above, Paris might be that stage in your life that enables you to finally relate to 2 Pac’s 1995 album Me Against the World. To quote Frederick Douglas, without struggle there is no progress. If you’re able to make it in Paris, you can make it anywhere. I love Paris, despite my negative experiences. It kicks you in the ass so hard, that it just doesn’t hurt anymore. Thankfully you become desensitized and prepared for anything. As of right now, I can’t call anywhere but Paris home. Either that or I’m in an abusive relationship. Either way, it works.

theplanetaup May 2013

The American University of Paris 31 avenue Bosquet 75007 PARIS

Editor-in-Chief: Maritza M. Lacayo

Art Director: Maggie Centers Renée Caouett Editors: Karina Klindtworth Lucie Moore Togzhan Kumekbayeva Elizabeth Marshall Contributors: Chloe Dunderdale Karina Klindtworth Barbara Ramos Francesca Cretella Simon Kafie Valerie Weber Siobhan Muldoon Ana Alicia Santaella Rachel Nielsen Togzhan Kumekbayeva Illustrator Montana DeBor -----

AUP Student Media Executive Director: F. Ford Leland Treasurer: Jessica Lynch Archivist: Helina Belay -----

The Planet is committed to covering the news accurately and fairly. We welcome comments and suggestions, or complaints about errors that warrant correction. Feedback should be sent to

cityguide Photo: Elizabeth Marshall


Around Paris, there are many shops specializing in the sale of one single item; at Arhum, there is a selection of rum from all over the world.

Pass the Rum, Please. By Barbara Ramos

can Republic in the Caribbean to the island nation of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean. Indeed, Ahrum offers its customers the opportunity to experience exotic locales through a bottle of rum, drinking moderately, of course. Lucina has no favorites, though on a recent afternoon he found himself traveling to Puerto Rico. “Rum is just like wine,” Lucina says, preparing a liquid ticket to Havana. “Here we have the sweet, the old, the new and the bitter.” 34 Rue du Grenier Saint Lazare 75003 Paris, France

Mustard on the Madeleine

Maille has gourmet and royal mustard, that lets you eat like a king at 4,50 euros a pot. Housed on the place de la Madeleine, it’s one of the biggest and best-known mustard shops anywhere – and it comes with a long history. Maille has offered a different variety of flavored mustards and vinaigrettes since 1747, and was distribu-


tor to Louis XV as well as Catherine II. It draws a steady stream of customers looking for traditional mustards au vin blanc or dijon originale. But Maille also has a range of more exotic flavors, including framboise, thai, pistachio and coconut mustard. If you’re just plain curious, you can try them for yourself right in the store.

Depending on whom you believe, honey can cure cholesterol, asthma, allergies, and may even give you more energy. 24 Rue Vignon 75009 Paris, France

6 Place de la Madeleine 75008 Paris, France

Secret Honey on Rue Vignon

As bees feast around the Tuileries gardens, the Grand Palais, and the hives at Opera, they share some of their honey. La Maison du Miel shares it with us. A small blue shop hidden away near place de la Madeleine offers fresh honey not just from Paris, but from all around France. La Maison du Miel has been running since before World War I. Among the products on sale are honey candy, honey bread, soap made from honey, honeyrelated health products, and even a series of recipes.

Freddy Lucina, owner of Arhum

Photo: Elizabeth Marshall

For Parisians in search of the perfect mojito, there’s a boutique that sells the ultimate rum to mix in with the mint, lime and soda. It’s called Arhum, and it’s a boutique in Les Halles. Arhum owner Freddy Lucina, who hails from the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, has 600 varieties of rum from 45 different countries behind the counter. “Its about the aroma, the know-how of a specific culture and the mysterious flavor in each and every bottle,” he says. After moving to Paris in 2011, Lucina decided to celebrate his passion for rum. “Every Monday I try new rums,” he says. Paris is famous for its big department stores like Printemps, Galeries Lafayette and le Bon Marché, not to mention the luxury boutiques like the Louis Vuitton superstore on the Champs Elysées. But, there are also a number of highly specialized stores in Paris, like Arhum, whose sole focus is on one single product. Lucina has so many rums in store that it’s hard to know which rum to drink first. All of them are aromatic and blended to carry you everywhere from the Domini-

Toughest Sport at AUP: Finding Funds

Cartoons: Montana DeBor

By Rachel Nielsen

When it comes to sports at the American University of Paris, “show me the money” is the refrain most often heard around campus. Teams complain that they lack uniforms, practice fields and tickets to ride to away games. So where does all the cash go? The athletic budget comes out of AUP tuition, not out of the student government budget. Kevin Fore, AUP Assistant Dean of Student Services, says the athletic department this academic year operated on a budget of 15,000 euros. AUP sports director Ashkan Shalbaf insists that money isn’t the issue. “I wouldn’t call the financing weak,” is his verdict. “The main difficulty is that students have conflicting schedules, which change each semester. That makes it difficult to find the right time to slot practices.” “We have roughly 60 student athletes in six sports,” including soccer, basketball, volleyball, cheerleading, and equestrian. Shalbaf reckons that a big hurdle is finding places to practice in Paris. “Unavailable,” he said.

Also unavailable, AUP athletes say, are training facilities, warm up clothes and jerseys to wear on the field, which is a cause of embarrassment. Last season, the AUP basketball squad, in a gesture of sportsmanship, received a school flag when they played against Beirut. In return, all the AUP team could offer were rubber AUP bracelets. “This was shameful,” said Mathieu Banduwardena, a 20-year-old junior and power forward on the basketball team. “It was a cheap solution,” Shalbaf says. “I wasn’t happy with it.” “We need to find money outside of AUP,” Banduwardena added. “We’re filming a video to get sponsors.” Banduwardena said he’d like to see AUP sports teams return to competing internationally, as they did in Belgium at the end of the 2012 academic year. “We don’t have any international competition this year because we don’t have the money,” he lamented. Over on the sidelines, AUP cheerleader Lydia Abbas rues: “It would have been a

good idea to have a regular gym to practice in.” Shalbaf says that he is the one responsible for administering the athletic department budget, but it’s a difficult task. “I try to maintain all the teams. A lot depends on the interest of the incoming class. If there are not enough people to fill up the volleyball team they won’t get any funding for practice. It’s a juggling act.” The stand-alone nature of the athletic budget does not help. For other activities, says student Government Association Treasurer Anne-Myriam Adrien, all club budgets must pass the muster of the Student Senate. Yet the sports budget is oddly excluded from the process. “The sports budget isn’t specifically allocated through the SGA,” Adrien said. “No one has come to us to request funds for a sporting event because it has nothing to do with the student budget.” “Of course I’d like a bigger budget,” says Shalbaf. Not to mention, “We don’t have any space to stable a horse at AUP…”

The Planet May 2013  
The Planet May 2013  

The latest issue of the American University of Paris student newspaper, The Planet.