< SWITCH ME >
With Euroscepticism on the rise, what can be done to get Europeans to start debates around constructive criticism about Europe? E&M editor Nicoletta Enria met Paola Buonadonna, director of the Wake Up Europe! campaign run by the Wake Up Foundation for a chat about the challenges of creating a transnational discourse, Brexit and how to create a conversation about together building a Europe we want to see.
|Photo courtesy of Paola Buonadonna|
E&M: Hello Paola! To begin with can you let us know what the Wake Up Euope! campaign is?
Paola: The whole thrust of the Wake Up Foundation is educational and awareness-raising, the starting point is that there are trends that threaten our way of life that we don’t realize yet. The motion of these tectonic plates is something that we should be aware of now and be talking about now and you know Europe is one part of this.The idea behind Wake Up Europe! is to get people together to start thinking, talking and acting about Europe. It’s an interesting mix, we want to use the Great European Disaster Movie to promote this transnational conversation and this will happen for most of the time online on various channels such as social media. The interesting thing I think about it is that we don’t just want people to download the film and watch it, we want people to organise events so that they can meet face to face with other people and talk about these things. The idea is that it’s the face to face sort of activism of that kind that is slightly missing at the moment. Europe is what the media, politicians , think tanks say and they give you a version of what Europe is about and they interpret and percolate for us how we should look at Europe. Depending on where you live and depending on what’s in the news that can be a very highly skewed or narrow perspective or you’ve got, as my colleague James, calls it, click activism – various petitions websites that send you constant requests for very pointed, limited action. But you sit on your own in your house and you click a button, you are not really connecting in any meaningful way with anybody else. The idea behind this is to use the film to bring people together both physically, face to face, and with an online conversation that continues after they watch the film, we ask them to get back in touch with us, tell us what they thought and tweet throughout with the #WakeUpEurope.
Do you have a passion for photography and journalism? Do you like getting to know people and discovering their stories? Do you want to find out how people relate to "Europe"? Then why not become a reporter for Faces of Europe!
Faces of Europe is a photoblog launched by the Your Vision for EUrope project, a new project by our partners AEGEE-Europe. Inspired by the famous Humans of New York, the photoblog aims at making Europe more personal and exploring the human diversity of our continent. The organisers want to collect and spread the faces and voices of people from different social, cultural and national backgrounds and to find out what "Europe" means to them.
|Photo: Barbara Urruspil (Flickr); Licence: Public Domain Mark 1.0
What happened last night was, as President Hollande put it in an emotional address to the nation, "une horreur". Our sincerest condolences go out to all those affected.
As the facts become clearer and we try to comprehend the who, the what, the why and the how, it is important to try and remain calm.
Nationalist groups across Europe are already using these terrible attacks as a political tool to whip up support for their cause. In particular, the link has been made between the ongoing refugee situation and the atrocities in the French capital. This is dangerously false – these are quite clearly the kind of violent thugs that people are so desperate to escape from.
The values that E&M stands for – tolerance, multiculturalism, fun – are under threat from both the terrorists behind these attacks and those promoting divisive solutions that only take us backwards. We must stand firm and stick to our ideals.
On an evening which risks tearing Europe apart, E&M prefers to take solace in the magnificent show of solidarity across the continent and beyond. There is much more that we share than which divides us. Let's remember that.
|Photo: Peter Alfred Hess; Licence: CC BY 2.0|
In the face of increasing calls for limits to be placed on EU migrants in her home country, E&M's Frances Jackson, a Brit based in Germany, wonders if she too is a burden on the state.
For the last four years, I have been living in a country that is not my own. I wasn't born here. I didn't grow up speaking the language. And if you stopped me on the street, I probably wouldn't – apart from a provisional UK driving licence that expires in 2017* – even have any proper ID on me, as I worry about losing my passport, so prefer not to carry it around every day.
Don't tell anybody, but I am one of those EU migrants you've heard so much about. I came to Germany – in part, at least – for the cheap higher education and have stayed firmly put since then, going as far as to secure myself a PhD scholarship in the process.
As Europe witnesses the largest wave of mass migration since the end of the Second World War, and anti-foreigner rhetoric continues to rise around us, creeping steadily into the political mainstream, I have been giving a lot of thought to my own status as a sort of "economic migrant". Does my presence pose a threat to the German way of life? Am I putting unsustainable pressure on the country's infrastructure? And if not, why not?
Online magazine (early 30s, sharp mind, GSOH) seeks editorial types for fun and long-term collaboration.
E&M is an award-winning magazine that gives voice to a generation which thinks about Europe from unconventional perspectives.
It is an outstanding project and we are looking for outstanding people to join us and shape the future of the magazine. We don’t care what you’ve studied or what you do in life. We want talented people, passionate about Europe and motivated to make a difference.
We believe that modern, connected Europe deserves modern, connected media. With this as our guiding mission, we publish transnational writing across a broad range of topics, from politics and identity to travel and sex. In short, we aim to make Europe personal.
Being an editor of E&M means that you are an essential part of a high quality and innovative media platform. As an editorial team we determine the content direction and make the big decisions that influence the future of the magazine.
But E&M isn’t just a magazine, it is a first-rate network of passionate young people. Previous editors have gone on to work for leading press agencies and newspapers in Europe and further afield, blue-chip companies in the finance and communications sectors and high profile public sector organisations. Several have been accepted onto some of the most competitive PhD programmes in the world.
|Design: Pako Quijada|
To celebrate the publication of the 30th edition of E&M, co-founder Christopher Wratil reflects upon the journey the magazine has gone through to reach this milestone.
How it all began
It was in September 2007 that five young people met and created the idea of E&M. Europe felt as irrelevant as it felt paralysed at that time. Six years before, in 2001, heads of state and government had met in the Belgian city of Laeken, near Brussels, and seemingly agreed on an epochal move in European integration: the drafting and later adoption of a European Constitution. A fundamental text drafted by a representative convention that should envision and settle the interactions between states and citizens in Europe for generations to come. The new millennium had not started with yet another step of European integration but with the most significant initiative since the signing of the Treaties of Rome in 1957. From a European charter of fundamental rights to a common foreign policy with a European army – every federalist dream appeared just an arm's length away.
|Photo: Tobias Melzer|
As E&M prepares to launch its 30th edition, we asked ourselves what turning thirty means to us as individuals. From fear to excitement, editors past and present weigh in on this milestone of modern life.
Chris, editor of Heart / Legs (26 years old)
I remember in my teens watching an episode of Friends where one or other of the group (was it Ross... Rachel or Dave? It doesn't matter) was really stressing out about turning thirty. At that point, it seemed miles away and I couldn't see what all the fuss was about. Now it's much nearer and I still can't see what all the fuss is about. True, your twenties slip by pretty quick but then I look at 18 year olds today and I think, oh god, was I like that once? Thirty seems much more refined, like a glass of port. A time where you're confident enough to know what you do and don't like and not get phased by situations, and young enough to still legitimately be able to go a bit crazy every so often. Overall, I'm looking forward to it and hope that I'm still young at heart despite the extra responsibilities.
Fernando, editor of Brain / Heart (30 years old)
Turning thirty is a paradox. Beyond the clichés that surround this milestone age, what I really take from it is the inspiration of past lessons. For all the things that turned out wrong and I stubbornly did it again – and failed one more time – the time to learn has come! It is like the feeling of having an open book to be written with a pen whose ink has been tested several times already.
Cartoon by Alice Baruffato
This month Alice Baruffato continues her series of cartoons for E&M and focuses on the hot topic that is the Greek crisis. With the sweeping "no" in the Greek referendum regarding the EU austerity measures leading to the resignation of minister of finance Yanis Varoufakis and eventually also of prime minister Alexis Tsipras, Greece's instability was a concern for the whole of Europe. Greece's future seems wholly unpredictable; the first female prime minister for Greece, Vassiliki Thanou, will head the caretaker government until the elections, but will she help Greece cross the tight-rope and reach the financial and political stability it so longs for?