EL INDEPENDIENTE IEU STUDENT NEWSPAPER / APRIL 2014
WHAT HAPPENED WHILST YOU WERE PROCRASTINATING
INDIA GOES TO VOTE
INSIDE THE VENEZUELAN PROTESTS: IS DEMOCRACY AROUND THE CORNER? •••
814 million Indians are being called to the polls for the largest world’s elections. These will run until May 16th looking for a new Prime Minister. The nationalist Modi is one of the favourites. His opponent Raul Ghandi will try to flip polls. Yet smaller parties will also play a crucial role in how India’s next government will be ruled.
Maria Emilia Mancero This week protests in Venezuela add up to around two months of claims. What students started on the 12th of February, in the cities of Tachira and Merida, as a peaceful march against high levels of crime and violence in the country, has now become a concern for the whole Venezuelan people. Youths, adults and elderly citizens from all over the country, opposing Nicolás Maduro´s government, stand strong to end the political system that is alleged by more than 50% of Venezuelans to be a dictatorship.
HP'S WHITMAN: OUR 3D PRINTERS WILL BE FASTER, HIGHER QUALITY Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman dropped a small bomb on the 3D printer market and said that the company in June will outline enterprise systems that will create models and parts faster and with higher quality.
Carles Foguet and Ricardo González from Jotdown Magazine Interviewd by Maria page 4
The upheavals have been the strongest ones since Maduro took possession of the presidency, and also the strongest ones in a decade. As one of the richest countries in the South American continent, with vast resources of oil and gas, Venezuela is quickly becoming a country in which poverty increases. It is not only the lower classes that lack basic goods, but middle and upper class citizens also have to stand for hours in line in order to buy things like toilet paper, sugar or electronics (if there are any). continued on page 3
“Fail, debacle, disaster, etc…” are just a few of the terms Socialist Party members used to describe the French local elections. Antoine Jaubert’s critique of the French Elections from page 5
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FOOTBALL MATCH CHINA IN NEED OF TRANSPARENCY China’s communist Party's paranoid control of information about its leaders and their families is coupled with a massive state apparatus dedicated to repressing a free press that could otherwise be relied on to expose those ties. However, it is part and parcel of the transparency and accountability that maintains trust in an open society. The success of China’s increasingly global economy must be followed by open transparency trend to earn a global trust.
ENGAGE REVERSE GEAR. For the first time, a mammalian organ has been persuaded to renew itself. For years researches have been trying to find how medicine can avoid organ tissue from wearing out and thus, affecting the function of the different organs. Recently it was found, that in mice, it is possible to create and nurture pluripotent stem cells. These cells can be made out of body cells, such as that of our skin and they could possibly repair any organ damage without attracting attention to a person’s immune system.
SESAME STREET IS GETTING ITS OWN STREAMING SERVICE From $3.99 a month one can now stream both old and new episodes of the childhood favourite. This move follows the other favourite WWE wrestling, that has also taken to streaming its matches online.
Nicolás Krsnik Vázquez President of the IEU Psychology Club I don’t say good-Squeezing into Vegard’s now notorious Tyba Mobile, we immediately drove down from the aqueduct into the Via Roma and inadvertently made our way out of the city and into the hilly country that surrounds the suburb of La Lastrilla. Without a too clear an idea of where exactly the the exact location where the football pitch in question was positioned, miraculously we arrived rather quickly, having evaded and evading much internal conflict with regard in regards to the routes. As we managed to pour out of this spacious mobile, Linda, without further hesitation popped open a bottle of fine supermarket cider and with it, baptising the entire event. The warm-up session heated up as more students started arriving. Little by little small groups of people—parents, siblings, friends—strolled, toured and paraded into the pitch, where within minutes the match would start. The cider by now was gone, and thus, slightly marinated by it, we proceeded to greet and salute those who were already sitting and waiting for the match to start. Indeed it was pleasant sight to notice the diversity of groups attending: first year law students, BBA’s, members of the psychology club from all years, professors, the student life group, administrative members and of course, the cafeteria staff. Almost without notice, Ivan Wong whistled the initiation. With the kickoff, the crowd began cheering. It is true that, sitting down, the IE football team did not look too intimidating. However, watching a group of butch young adults run into each other changes one’s mind rather swiftly. Unfortunately due to casualties caused to the professor and staff team during the warm up, trades had to be made, among them the agile Peruvian, Felipe de Osma, who managed to score the first goal on behalf of the professors. This, I believe, raised the morale of the older team members who, albeit showing outstanding resistance, were already displaying signs of fatigue. Karan Kapour, in the heat of passion, drew blood, although unfortunately it was his own. He was not the only one. Quite outstandingly, and contrary to the crowd’s belief, the match concluded after almost an hour in two-all tie. Needless to say, there was much rejoicing on both sides. Not long after, the ladies began their match: the IEU Girls Soccer Club versus an amalgamation of teachers and students who had joined in to replace the few volunteers who that morning miraculously all reported to be suffering from the flu. The match endured for a long time—long enough to end up with myself posing as referee and Heinz Hartweger as a substitute whistle. Since we could not allow both matches to result in ties, we decided to make a penalty session at the end. In this event, our beloved María from the cafeteria showed some impressive leg strength and skill. Some insightful feedback about the outcome as a whole came from a quick interview with the Dean, Antonio de Castro, who was unfortunately injured during the warm up. He was surprisingly supportive of the event and pronounced that such things should be more commonly organised. Furthermore, he expressed his gratitude to the IEU Psychology Club for organising the match and gave a few tips on how to improve further attempts, including holding meetings with the teams and befriending the professors more. Taking into consideration certain limitations in the organisation, the event was a success overall. It raised enough money to cover necessary costs for the psychology conference, and it provided enormously profitable advice for the next time. On behalf of the IEU Psychology Club, I would like to thank the teachers and staff, both football teams and all of you who attended. We duly that those of you who managed to come along and see the conferences, had an equally good time as in the football match. 2
SHOEBOX FULL OF LETTERS •••
We are a part of the generation that has no need of writing letters. We have Facebook, WhatsApp and all the other technological means of letting others know what we think or feel. Most of us probably haven’t sent a single letter (or even a postcard) to anyone during the last month. Some of us haven’t sent one in the past year. And why should we? We can just drop our friends a Facebook message to convey our whereabouts and recent actions. Before I left to study abroad, my grandmother gave me paper, a pen, an envelope and a stamp, asking me to show her that I still knew how to do it. And that is how I sent my first letter, three years ago.
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Moreover, regardless of social status, thousands of Venezuelans’ private homes and businesses have been torn out of their hands, converting Venezuela into a country with low productivity, where people do not want to invest their money. A majority of the country’s lands, which were to become productive areas, now remain barren, half finished, or have been remodelled as homes for active supporters of the government.
state”. Moreover he claimed that the OAS´s silence is “complicit in the downward spiral of Venezuela´s political system, economy and society”. José Miguel Insulza, Secretary General of the Organisation of American States, in an interview with CNN´s Chief International Correspondent, Christine Amanpour, suggested that the Venezuelan government needs to be open to dialogue with its citizens and with the United States of America and
Now, after three years, I have a shoebox full of letters at home. I don’t say good-bye to a close friend without finding out their home address. And no matter how easy and convenient it is to update people with a message using technology, I have learned to enjoy writing with a real pen on a real paper. And there is a lot of joy in doing so. We all have people we left behind when we came here. We left our friends, parents, grandparents or little brothers and sisters that have just learned how to read. These are people we can write to. And it is not that expensive. A stamp costs from 75 to 90 cents, depending where the letter is going. And it is a great opportunity to tell people how special they are (and I know I sound really cheesy right now). My friend suggested that I look at the website www.moreloveletters.com. It is a site that encourages writing random letters to random strangers and leaving them at public spaces for someone to find. After that they can be either kept with whoever found it, or posted on the site with a short reply. These are small bits of surprise and happiness, left for whoever happens to see them. And this shows that there is no need to even know the person before writing them a love letter. We should show our grandparents that we are not just a part of some crazy generation that is pre-programmed to act like robots. Maybe we can show others that we are not fully dependent on our mobile phones, and that we also know how to be authentic and adorable. And I know for a fact that next time I fall in love, I will write the person a love letter. And one day with the deepest, joy I will show my grandchildren my letters, and perhaps teach them how to write letters on their own.
Staff Writers: Sai Agnithorm
Editor: Prof. Amanda Dennis
Carmo Braga De Costa
Deputy Editor: Tudor Etchells
Beate Anvecska Maria Valls Maria Emilia Mancero
A large percentage of the country and of the world is wondering whether it is possible for Venezuelans to recover their economy, democracy and dignity, which have not been fully respected since Hugo Chavéz became president of the country in 1997. Venezuelans and supporters around the world call for immediate mediation either from the USA or the United Nations. However, this task is difficult, they say, if there is no dialogue amongst Venezuelans. The Organization of American States was harshly criticised by Leopoldo López, National Coordinator of the political party Voluntad Popular. López is currently in prison for supporting the protests. He said that the OAS lacked “real leadership on the current crisis of human rights and the looming specter of a failed
also accept mediation in order for the OAS to be able to act as arbitrators and solve some of the internal issues. With an unstable economy, Venezuela is now the country with the highest inflation in the world. Its citizens have witnessed a 56.3% increase in the prices of goods. Since early February, nearly 40 Venezuelan citizens, including supporter and opponents, have died in these devastating but hopeful protests.
ENTREVISTANDO A JOT DOWN MAGAZINE •••
Maria Valls Si conseguir entrevistar a Carles Foguet y a Ricardo González, dos de los fundadores de una de las revistas culturales más influyente del país Jot Down Magazine, era ya de por sí surrealista, tener que hacerlo en medio de un spot publicitario entre maquillaje y gomina lo fue aún más. Sentados en las escaleras de una galería de arte les pregunté cómo surgió Jot Down y esto fue lo que me contestaron…
Por qué Jot Down
C - La historia es muy sencilla. Éramos un grupo de amigos, afortunadamente lo seguimos siendo después de esto, que teníamos la inquietud de que no encontrábamos la publicación que a nosotros nos gustaría leer. Nos propusimos la revista y tres años después estamos aquí.
En qué consiste Jot Down Magazine
R - Es una revista cultural
Pensáis que el periodismo, el bueno, el de calidad, volverá al de antes en el cual una minoría más cultivada y de una clase social media-alta podrá seguir leyendo
C - Intentamos evitar hablar sobre el periodismo en general. Es decir, nosotros eventualmente llevamos JD pero permanentemente somos lectores, ciudadanos, críticos, y todo lo que tú quieras llamar pero en todo este tiempo hemos evitado de manera consciente hacer predicciones sobre el periodismo. Al fin y al cabo ni somos periodistas ni somos advenedizos en el buen sentido de la palabra.
R - No somos periodistas; somos juntaletras más que otra cosa. Pero, no podemos hacer predicciones porque no conocemos cómo funciona. Lo que puedo decir es lo que espero que ocurra. Y lo que espero que ocurra es que no ocurra eso que dicen. Al contrario, nuestra intención es acercar a todo el mundo a la cultura. Porque una sociedad sin cultura es una sociedad bastante más pobre.
contemporánea muy generalista con varias premisas principales, aunque bueno, tiene muchas muy eclécticas porque es muy heterogénea. Principalmente lo que buscamos es que premie el tono literario sobre el periodístico, que presente la cultura de forma amena y no elitista, cercana a cualquier persona independientemente de su nivel sociocultural, que con su información sea capaz de leerse los artículos y de entenderlos.
Porque de la plantilla inicial de 10 que empezasteis ninguno sois periodistas…
R - Ninguno, luego se incorporaron periodistas que nos han aportado mucho a una pandilla de ignorantes como éramos nosotros. Nos han dado ideas y nos han orientado un poco.
Ahora alguno os llamaría más bien emprendedores
C - ¡No por favor! Procuro evitar que nos llamen esto. Mira, en una entrevista el entrevistado decía “Yo no soy empresario, tuve que hacer una empresa para hacer lo que quería hacer”. Creo que ninguno de nosotros tiene vocación de empresario sino que nos tuvimos que organizar de un modo que convencionalmente se le llama “empresa” para poder desarrollar nuestro proyecto al máximo de sus capacidades.
C - Los dos. Para nosotros no hay tal
Como habéis sacado
cultura. Lo que pasa es que a veces no sabemos si somos amplios de mira o faltos de criterio porque para nosotros casi cualquier cosa es susceptible de ser cultura.
adelante Jot Down en esta
había en la cultura popular, la cultura basura y la alta cultura elitista. Nosotros consideramos que tanto la cultura popular como la cultura académica son igualmente importantes
económica general pero no sabíamos todo esto que ahora se habla tanto de la muerte del periodismo etcétera. Nos enteramos después cuando empezamos. “Oye, ¡que hay una crisis en el periodismo!” y nosotros dijimos “¡hostia puta!”
¿Papel, pantalla o los dos?
C - Interés tenemos uno que es la
R - Romper con esa dicotomía que
R – Sabíamos que había una crisis
época de crisis?
dicotomía. JD es un único producto que se retroalimenta. Son dos patas de un banco que el día que una de las dos falle el banco se cae al suelo. La visibilidad que nos da la versión online no repercute en vender la versión offline, que en el fondo nos trae el ingreso que necesitamos para mantener la versión online.
C - A veces nos han preguntado “hacéis periodismo de crisis”. No. Hacemos periodismo en una crisis pero es circunstancial. Sería tan absurdo como para un marinero quejarse del estado del mar. Era el contexto, lo sabíamos antes de empezar y lo sabemos ahora. 4
¿Cómo os ayudan las RRSS a la hora de difundir vuestro contenido? R - Para empezar fue esencial. De hecho la única manera de darte a conocer cuando empiezas sin un trasfondo económico que te haga una campaña de marketing etcétera, son las redes sociales. C - Nosotros nos dimos a conocer a través de las redes, pero lo que nos dio a conocer fue el contenido. La red en realidad es un factor crítico pero no era el imprescindible. Sin el contenido ni redes ni marketing ni nada. Al final se te cae el chiringuito.
Si os digo la frase “La farándula es el opio del pueblo” qué me respondéis R - Mi opinión personal es que sí, porque es más barato de producir. C - Nosotros no lo hacemos porque no lo podríamos hacer tan bien como lo hacen otros. Pero no nos vas a oír una crítica sobre esto. Es probable que siga funcionando, que haya público, pues felicidades. No hemos nacido como contrapunto de nada, sino como alternativa.
Y cómo sigue el proyecto que teníais de sacar la revista en inglés (Risas nerviosas entre los dos) C - Ahí sigue, pero es que nuestra concepción de futuro abarca más o menos las próximas 12 horas. Lo queremos hacer, no sabemos cuándo pero hemos visto que con determinados contenidos podemos suscitar interés en otros mercados más allá del hispanohablante. Por ejemplo cuando entrevistado a determinados personajes, la gente ha traducido esa entrevista en filipinas en inglés, para que la leyera un mercado anglosajón.
Y ya para empaquetar, ¿por qué creéis que la gente necesita JD? R - No creemos que se necesite, no como se necesita comer y beber. Pero al fin y al cabo es una alternativa cultural y a la vez amena, y es una cosa que creemos que faltaba. Había una cierta ausencia en el mercado de algo que conjugara todo tipo de cultura y además de una manera que pudieras llegar a leértelo sin tener que estar fumando pipa y con monóculo. C -Para cerrar el círculo hablando de las necesidades de la gente, ten en cuenta que la única necesidad que pretendíamos cubrir era la nuestra. Lo que hemos descubierto con Jot Down es que había mucha más gente como nosotros pero seguimos haciendo la revista que querríamos leer. Afortunadamente hay mas gente que está igual de mal de la cabeza. http://www.jotdown.es
LOCAL ALERT FOR HOLLANDE AND HIS GOVERNMENT •••
Antoine Jaubert “Fail, debacle, disaster, etc…” are just a few of the terms Socialist Party members used to describe the French local elections. The elections, the results of which were tallied on on Sunday 30th of March. These elections were the first real test for François Hollande and his Prime Minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault. To put it in an academic vocabulary, we could say that they failed this first test. continued on page 6
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The centre right wing party the UMP (Union pour un Mouvement Populaire) and its different allies made massive progress and achieved extraordinary victories in some cities that have been controlled by left wing parties for a long time. One of the most cited example is the city of Limoges which had been governed only by left wing mayors since 1912. The leader of the UMP party, Jean-François Copé made a triumphant speech at the party headquarters describing a “blue wave” all over the country. Facts never lie. To illustrate this “blue wave”: the socialist party lost 150 towns with population higher than 9000 inhabitants to right wing candidates or coalitions. On the other hand, only three towns changed from right to left for the mayoral elections. The only satisfaction for the PS (Parti Socialiste) was the victory of Anne Hidalgo in Paris where the Socialist party had been in power since 13 years now. One remark we can make at that point is that Hidalgo was born in Spain next to the city of Cadix. Another worrying aspect of these elections is the progressive breakthrough of the far-right party the Front National, headed by Marine Le Pen. In the first round they already won two cities and their other candidates were leading in 10 other cities. After the second round they won control over a total of 14 cities. On Sunday night, Marine Le Pen and other members of her party claimed to be the third political force in the country. It is not a spectacular result of course, but this is starting point for gaining new votes and laying the foundations for their next objective: the next presidential elections in 2017. To conclude on this topic, this vote clearly shows a disapproval of Hollande’s government and of the new policies he is implementing. One result of this failure is the continuous growth of unemployment which rose above 30,000 in February. One of the latest consequence was Hollande reshuffling his government and naming a new Prime Minister, Manuel Valls (another politician born in Spain in Barcelona!). The results of these local elections are a positive sign for the right wing leaders concerning the next European elections in May.
A QUESTION OF HOW •••
Sai Angihotram If the printed word provided a vehicle for spreading ideas, how then was the product delivered to its eager literate market? After all, a book, no matter how eloquently written, achieves little collecting dust on a shelf in an old printers’ workshop. Despite the effect printing may have had in the development of enlightenment ideas and other cultural phenomena, certain historians suggest that advancing systems of transportation and the establishment of trade routes played a greater role in facilitating the exchange of ideas, not only between individuals but between geopolitical entities. Behringer perceived a wider early modern communications revolution that relied not only in innovations in marketing but on improvement in transport. One of the hallmarks of the early modern period was the improvement of roads, ships, canals and postal services, lessening travel time between towns and making it so that news could travel faster. In the space of three centuries, postal couriers travelling from Hamburg to Augsburg reduced their expeditions from thirty days to a mere five. Therefore the question arises as to whether the effects of what has been christened ‘the print revolution’ would have carried as much weight were it not for the efficiency of transport systems. Yet, a transport system, like a book that remains untouched, provides little use if it cannot facilitate the movement of a product or an idea. Unlike the content of a radical text, the waters of a canal cannot directly communicate a revolutionary or enlightening idea in quite the same way that the words on a page can. However, where a means of disseminating information appears, a means of distributing misinformation springs from the shadows. The printed word is a medium, and, like any other medium, it acts as a vessel in which messages, knowledge and ideas, regardless of their validity or intentions, travel from the hands of one person into the mind of another. Mass printing readily lent its services to mass marketing. Pamphlets and leaflets
were just two of the many ways in which commercial advertising, official propaganda and religious sentiment inundated cultural consciousness. Yet the democratisation of information as a result of the printing press created what one could call a capitalist market for ideas. In response to the publication of tithes and indulgences by the Catholic Church, Martin Luther had the opportunity to print a pamphlet of his own. A doctor, lawyer or teacher could acquire Luther’s latest pamphlet and then read it to crowds. None of this would have been possible has it not been for the printing press. Typically, the reproduction of texts was done by members of the clergy, therefore the creation of a ‘New Bible,’ like Luther’s German New Testament of 1522 and The German Bible of 1534, would have been unthinkable. H o w e v e r, t h e m a r k e d d e c r e a s e i n production costs and the speed with which one could produce texts decentralized the cultural agenda from the heart of the Catholic Church to the heads and hands of the people.
Zumba by IEU Dance Club Thursdays, Room 122, 19:30, €3 per week (that is, for 2 sessions), (extra session is now offered on Saturday from 11:00 to 12:30) Yoga Every Wednesday, 19:15 Student Hub Pilates Every Tuesday 19:30 Room 144
As with any perceived cultural developments, the search for an ‘equation’ that perfectly isolates the role of each variable is ultimately futile. In essence, a shift in communicative practices not only affects what one thinks, but how one thinks. Attempting to definitively capture such shifts or discern to what extent it is indicative of a change in conscious thought or attribute a paradigm shift to an alteration in a form of communication, results in as series of circular arguments that define little. What is left, as before, is simply a world and one’s head, spinning on their respective axes.
RECTIFICATION FROM ISSUE 6 We apologise for mistakes made in the last issue. María José Ferrari is the director of the Communications Bachelor, and is the Coordinator of Communication for first year students at the university. María José Ferrari is a permanent teacher at IE, and agrees with the attendance policy as it places a positive pressure on students, and encourages students to participate as much as possible and take part in class discussions. Also, ''it is a tool that we see every day as counterproductive'' makes reference to the tool available in the campus online, where both students and teachers can see how many classes students have failed to attend. This tool is seen as counterproductive, but not the policy itself. These mistakes will not happen again, sincere apologies to M.J.F and the Universities Authorities. 7
CROWD FUNDED MUSIC •••
Philippe Hurel Crowd funding is a way to collect financial support needed to achieve an initiative; the money comes from a large pool of backers (the crowd). Usually, donations are made online through web platforms. Crowd funding appeared in the music industry thanks mostly to a website named ''My Major Company'', a French company that made possible for anyone to give an artist money to help him or her to achieve his or her projects after hearing a few videos and songs. As a reward for the investment—or as a “thank you”— certain advantages are given. For donations of smaller amounts, one usually receives a copy of the album signed by the artist or by the band. But rewards for the most generous funders can even include being invited backstage during a concert. I was an early crowd-funder, since I contributed to the campaign of the artist Irma on “My Major Company.” Irma is a Cameroonian singer who became popular in France, and I chose to back her project mostly because I could just see a lot of talent in her. I gave her the ridiculous amount of 10 euros, but I am proud that I contributed to her first album, which led her to sign with Universal Republic, the label that manages or used to manage great artists such as Amy Winehouse, Florence + the Machine, James Black and many others. That investment meant
that I was kept up to date with her activities and projects on a very regular basis. Through crowd funding, depending on the project, the artists can either hope to make a profit from a first album, mix tapes, make tours and then grow independently. Or the artist might hope that this first album will motivate labels to sign with them.
Some people say that crowd funding is going to be the only way to finance artists in the future, since the music industry is so unstable. Personally, I do not believe that this is the case. With all the challenges in the music industry and new opportunities, there will be other ways to finance artists. Nevertheless, crowdfunding is definitely an alternative with a lot of potential that is continuously growing and expanding, just like many other fields and industries. Give it a try and visit one of these websites and who knows, maybe you are going to be an early supporter of the next modern Eminem or Michael Jackson.
Photo of the Week
The best selfie ever Valentina Taborda
If you are a student, member of staff, or a professor and would like to write for the El Independiente please send your pitch (around 200 words) or article (between 300 words and 500 words) to firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration. 8
Published on Apr 12, 2014