On Transmission : #0 – Hallo

PastiiisHow to transmit a Passion ? How to give that process meaning ?

Hallo Mr. Blogpost. My name is Glënn Keon, proud french volunteer of the Human Rights Café for the IPC Spring Term 2019. By now you are probably well acquainted with my awesome colleague Gemma Oleart who co-runs the café alongside me. Indeed she has been posting more regularly. I’m just not that good with public creation and soul-bearing at all levels ; if anything I see myself more as a ferryman (or a smuggler) of the good stuff. Welcome to the flip side of the coin. The mediator.

What is a mediator ? Briefly he can be defined as the middle-man. A person whose sole purpose is to help two universes collide at one point in time. This so that they may get to learn, share and meld within each-other. It is also the odd position I have chosen to dedicate my life to. In my opinion, it is also the one thing that my responsabilities with the Human Rights Café empower me to do meaningfully. The issue being that said position of the mediator, in my case mainly theorized and defended by francophone culture professionals & academics, is a sprawling clusterduck of ideas, practices and ethics, defined by no clear job title, that are both wildly stimulating but also terribly impossible to get a solid grip on.

The last straw being that, to tell you the truth, it is also cruelly simple. As much as a feeling can be.

Back to reality then. It is so that I am slowly dedicating my future professionnal life towards this one path. And for this reason when I got the chance to work in the Human Rights Café I saw it as an opportunity to embody the role of the mediator more than ever before, within a place that would give me the autonomy and agency that I was looking for following my past experiences. It is then that I realized that, despite my background wich we’ll talk about later, now only do I truly begin to learn my trade…

Indeed since then a fair bit of time has passed since I began. I’ve already multiplied chance meetings with struggles, happy surprises, doubts as well as complete failures. Sometimes in the same project. And echoing these one word has haunted me more than any other since : Transmission. How do you transmit a passion ? A fire that roars inside you ; whose embers you know can bring happiness and might to a people. Sometimes to the expense of confort. And then how do you give meaning to this process of transmission ? Because in the absence of meaning my passion ; or your passion ; or our passion… is nothing but ego spreading wildly. This is something I keep thinking about here…

Thus, in the face of all these questions and in the midst of my learning process let it be know that I wish to use this blog as a space to reflect on my cultural actions in IPC in the HRC. Precisely on this question of transmission and passion as a young mediator. Said reflection will take the form of a series of posts where I’ll interrogate social dynamics in the school, past and future projects I led and will lead, as well as weird thoughts that come to mind following these experiences / experiments.

I’m always one to act first and think later. So now lets think properly and go to the end of this internal process of transformation that is learning.


Before the fun starts I would like just establish two things to make things clear.

1. What is my passion I keep bragging about ? The things that I aim to transmit and help people construct a new relationship with here at IPC is Music, Sound, Noise. Please view these three different concepts as one thing in my world : listening.

2. Because any old lad can say he likes Muzik, listening etc… here is a condensed version of my background related to said passion :

Grew up in less-than-middle-class artist family. On the road since I was a kid to help-out on exhibitions across Europe. Fell in love with sounds coming from the radio in the car at night. Been pirating music since I was 12 years old. Got into forums like SputnikMusic or RYM at age 15. Since then listening to music compulsively at least 4 hours a day. Become good at chosing music at parties. Do Bachelor in live arts & arts of the stage. Forces friends to see special gigs in the capital. Do Professional Master in cultural mediation. Volunteers for multiple concert halls. Joins a local association to organize weird or extreme concerts in town. Do intership to learn prodcution inside a concert hall dedicated to improvised jazz. Shares flat with freaks. Do a civic service inside a territorial concert hall in the cultural actions division. Joins an independant radio that just likes the sound of rocks in order to create a radio show centered around bad vibes. Listens to the heavy breathing from a dude lost inside a cavern. Becomes terrible at chosing music at parties. Happy.

There. Thank you for wanting to know more about me :].

Just to be clear : I’m not listing these to show off. If anything I’m telling you all of this to now put myself into an extremely vulnerable position. As I said before, none of these experiences could have prepared me for what I would come to do at IPC. Wich is becoming free, independant and, in a way, alone with my ideas and projects. Without further-ado let us now step into the void.

See you soon.

 

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#8 Day 85 of an EVS

gem

Hi all, it’s Gem once again, writing now on my 85thday of the EVS.

Time flies so fast, you can’t even imagine how much. But I’m happy to share with you what happened between these days, which is actually, quite a lot.

Let’s start from where we left it. After coming back from the On-arrival training, the café started running normally, with all events happening on a weekly basis. More and more people started coming to the Café and also attending even when no special program was planned, just starting to create this atmosphere of relax-chill time. In short, February until mid-March happened so quickly also because I have used my days off to travel here and there, discovering Berlin and Napoli for the first time. Life in the school/community can sometimes make you feel a bit pressured, so it is nice time to time to be away and then come back.

Right after the trips, we had to start planning the alternative weeks program. And that was to be fair, quite a challenge. The “Alternative weeks” are two weeks where the daily structure of the life in the school gets suspended to accommodate new activities, let’s say more fun and less academic, still not exactly true because some activities where still academic. The purpose is to have a break and bond more with the fellow students that stay. It is also the time where around half of the students leave IPC to attend different study trips (in this term, there was the Eurotrip – discovering Prague, Krakow and Berlin and the Colombia trip – of course, discovering the different faces of the country). And because of that, the school becomes a little spooky and extremely, extremely quiet (with in the other hand, it is also nice).

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#7 Day 40 of an EVS

Hello everyone, I’m glad to write this first entry part of the EVS program that will last until start of August.

gemma

Allow me to introduce myself briefly. I’m Gemma or Gem, for short. I’m 23 years old and I’m originally from Barcelona. Currently during this Spring term 2019, I’ll be running the Human Rights Café along with Glënn, both of us being volunteers within the EVS program.

How can you describe me? Mmm, I’m passionate about languages (speaking +5 languages) and cultures, with a strong wanderlust feeling that has brought me to all Western Europe and currently expanding to the East. I have an Economic background and I’m always willing to learn further. I practiced kickboxing for a while and constantly push myself to the next challenge. With a clear optimistic thinking, my motto is “feel the fear and do it anyway”.

As rare as it can seem,  this is not my first stay at IPC. I had been lucky to get a scholarship to attend the Danish Summer Course in Summer 2016 at the school. These 3 weeks made an inflection point in my life and ever since I wanted to experience once again the non-formal education provided at IPC. When I saw the opportunity to come back at the school as a volunteer, I didn’t doubt it for a second, and I applied directly. But I was not chosen on my first application, but I didn’t give up. I applied again on the next year offer and well, here I am in Helsingør writing these lines on my 40thday of my EVS experience.

So, 40 days already flew by. Some people might think that they aren’t too many, but actually, life at IPC feels different and most importantly, time is perceived differently.

Let me explain myself, the beginning of this experience feels really close on time, might be because so many things happened already, and on the other side, feels like I have been here for a lifetime, fact that I understand that it is due to a good adaptation in the new cultural environment.

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