“Never judge someone by the way he looks, or a book by the way it's covered;
for inside those tattered pages, there's a lot to be discovered”
― Stephen Cosgrove
Following the words of Cosgrove, the Babel Initiative has aimed since 2007 to discover new cultures throughout the Middle Eastern and Mediterranean Regions. Our goal as Sciences Po Menton students is to learn, research and understand the cultures of various countries in this region through projects.
Every year, the board of Babel selects a country or region as the focus of the projects that Sciences Po Menton students submit. These projects can be about anything: art, economics, politics, sports and beyond. There are no limits. After the projects are submitted, a jury composed of the professor sponsoring our association and a specialist of that year’s country select the best 8 projects. These get to attend the Babel Trip that is held in the February break. This weekly trip aims to give the projects the an opportunity to put more debt into their research on the ground by interviewing scholars, locals, politicians and artists. After the trip, the projects are finalized and presented in the “colloque”, a Babel-organized symposium for the people of Menton as well as Sciences Po students.
I am more than happy to announce that the region of choice of Babel Initiative for 2016-2017 is Andalusia. As a team we are looking forward to learn more about this Mediterranean region not only from a Western perspective but also through a Middle Eastern lens, as Andalusia had and still has an important role in the Arab world. As Babelians we are more than happy to have this opportunity to discover Andalusia and tackle sociological, economical, political questions on the ground.
However, as the Babel Team we not only want to go to Andalusia but also to bring it to us, to Menton. This will be achieved by hosting speakers, scholars on campus as well as organizing a cultural week in between 23rd -27th of January 2017. During the cultural week, we will have speakers, dancers, musicians, cooks, writers in our campus to fully deliver the Andalusian culture to the town of Menton.
Since September, the Babel team is working hard to achieve the goals we set. As students from all over the world, we are looking forward to discover the “tattered pages” of Andalusia. As the world gets more globalized but ironically individualized as a team we believe it is significant to see who we are cohabiting and coexisting with.