Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

Just an idea (inspired by a few questions)

by Alexandra in WMass Tue Nov 21st, 2006 at 03:12:40 PM EST

Barbara asked some probing questions in her diary "Just a few questions" yesterday and reading the responses gave me an idea.  

Afew outlined some of the tools ET has tried or discussed using to develop a voice and concluded "The hard thing is to say what we can actually do with the time at our disposal. Try doing all these things at once? I don't think it's possible."

I agree with the time constraint issue - after all I'm writing today because I've had to stay at home to nurse my bad cold. However, maybe there is a way to combine, to use Afew's list, community exchanges with some monitoring and influencing of the EU, the development of an ET think tank personality, networking, and building site membership and new narratives. Maybe even somewhat increasing ET accessibility to those for whom English is not their first language....

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More Toulouse picnic pics

by Alexandra in WMass Thu Jun 22nd, 2006 at 07:17:06 AM EST

As Afew already reported the ET Toulouse picnic was a big succes both on the food and the discussion side. As for photography we did our best in Colman's absence and given the culinary, conversation and local distractions surounding us.

Here are a few pictures I took while thinking of all of you who could not join in and in hope of having another ET picnic one of these days...

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Part II: Bordeaux and the slave trade - The slow beginning***

by Alexandra in WMass Tue Jun 20th, 2006 at 07:24:10 AM EST

  • Part II: Bordeaux & the slave trade - The slow beginning (Link to Part I and Part III)
  • Bordeaux and the slow start of the local slave trade expeditions
  • The first slave ship sails from Bordeaux in 1672
  • The Code Noir and slave trade incentives

Bordeaux and the slow start of the local slave trade expeditions

The port of Bordeaux in 1804 painted by Lacour. Click on the image to enlarge.

Bordeaux's involvement in the slave trade started very slowly and reached its peak with 34 expeditions the year of the French revolution (1789). Thirteen years later, in 1802, Bordeaux had more slave trade expeditions than Nantes.

***Back from the front page ~ whataboutbob

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Bordeaux and the slave trade - Part I***

by Alexandra in WMass Mon Jun 19th, 2006 at 08:42:54 AM EST

On the occasion of France's first national day to remember the slave trade, slavery and its abolition I posted a short diary and promised a more detailed story on Bordeaux and its role in the slave trade. The result is a three part series on the topic:

Each diary is a combination of text, images and quotes from historians and historical texts. I'm including links (updated as I post the diaries) to the main sections since you may want to skip to those that seem most interesting to you. Let us know what you found most interesting, what additional stories you have and what you think students should learn in school.

Follow me below the fold for part I and links to each part as they are put online....

***Back from the front page ~ whataboutbob

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Part III: Bordeaux and the slave trade - The story and what we learn in school

by Alexandra in WMass Mon Jun 19th, 2006 at 03:41:47 AM EST

(links to Part I and Part II)

This diary includes: A slave ship's journey * Who sent the ships * The colony plantations * Blacks in 18th century Bordeaux * The end of the Trade * The contemporary curriculum * Food for thought

The slave ship’s journey

In a fascinating book which retraces the voyage of, the diligent, a French slave ship from Vannes, historian Robert Harms makes the compelling argument that

a voyage that spanned three continents was largely shaped by local events and local rivalries originating in widely scattered parts of the Atlantic world. […] In France it had transformed the economy of Nantes and turned the heads of the leading citizens of Vannes. In West Africa, it undergirded the rise of new militarized states such as Asante and Dahomey. In the Caribbean, the sugar islands became totally dependent on a constant influx of new slaves. What made the Atlantic slave trade so sinister was that it could appeal to widely divergent local interests in a wide variety of places 1.

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The cabbage stories - or how a science project blooms

by Alexandra in WMass Wed May 24th, 2006 at 06:06:46 PM EST

Of a wonder of life found at home (and the horror of what one spills down the throat every day) - promoted by DoDo

Now this is a half baked diary to be left simmering overnight and completed tomorrow. I'm following Izzy's lead and getting a head start on tomorrow given the time difference disadvantage we have.

Update [2006-5-20 8:18:28 by Alexandra in WMass]: After simmering overnight this diary is now blooming.

For starters let me introduce you to my cabbage.

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by Alexandra in WMass Wed May 24th, 2006 at 12:37:24 PM EST

Remember the weekend of May 20th? The gnomes in exile. The temporary coup by those of us left behind. The graphless front page full of peanut butter, pancakes and  trains! Under the influence of those images and the lack of wine I proposed that "We could add a little train on the ET logo going around the EU stars as if they were the rails."

So here is my tribute to ET dedicated to Dodo in appreciation for his early ET technical photo posting tips that helped me get started and feel welcome at ET and to ALL of you who make up this rather amazing community.

Keep the train moving!

P.S.: Don't change the logo and do keep the graphs or I'll feel like I logged into the wrong site.
P.P.S: For those of you who remember my long ago promise of a more serious diary rest assured it is still in the works and will probably be too long.

Comments >> (9 comments)

Slavery - France remembers

by Alexandra in WMass Fri May 12th, 2006 at 12:53:33 PM EST

"A people without memory is a people without future" Aimé Césaire

Today May 10, 2006 is the fifth anniversary of the adoption by the French senate of a law recognizing the slave trade and slavery as a crime against humanity and is an official day of remembrance. The ministry of education issued an official call, with accompanying texts and poems on slavery, for schools to engage students in discussions.

From the front page - whataboutbob

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Updated: Darfur - EU policy? (where's the outrage?)

by Alexandra in WMass Sun Apr 30th, 2006 at 05:46:00 AM EST

Human Rights Watch just released a new report on February 21st on the situation in Darfur focusing the violence now spilling over from Sudan into Chad. In a news interview on February 16th two U.S. senators, Republican Brownback and Democrat Obama, called for increased U.S.involvement in Darfur. They suggested the increased UN mobilization they support would probably take a year to become a reality on the ground and mentioned the possibility of using NATO troops in the interim. This week Darfur is also being discussed in some European media. Just today (Feb. 22st 2006) Reuter's has several articles I quote from and Next Saturday, February 25th, on Radio France International (RFI) Eric Chevalier, Director of the international work of Médecins du Monde (Doctors of the World) and recently returned from Darfour, will be interviewed. He is an expert in issues of international relief and the reconstruction of countries at war.

Editor Note: (4/30/06) Since today international blogs are trying to bring Darfur to the attention of more people, we will be promoting some former good Darfur pieces written by the ET Community.

Bumped back up by whataboutbob on 4-30-06, with minot format changes

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Basque Peace process update

by Alexandra in WMass Fri Apr 28th, 2006 at 03:31:25 AM EST

Some recent development related directly and indirectly to the Basque peace process in Spain.

Navarra reassured?:

Prime Minister, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero with Nafarroa-Bai, deputy, Uxue Barkos on Wednesday April 26 2006. [update] Important clarification: Nafarroa-Bai (Navarre-Yes) is actually a coalition of Basque Nationalist parties (PNV, EA, Aralar)

From the diaries ~ whataboutbob

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reminder:Toulouse meet up June 17

by Alexandra in WMass Thu Apr 27th, 2006 at 12:30:22 PM EST

The Paris Meet up is on May 20th but you can also go south and come join the Toulouse meet up June 17th. The city of RE-SIS-TANCE.

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French youth vote for Le Pen?

by Alexandra in WMass Sat Mar 18th, 2006 at 03:58:36 AM EST

Yesterday in Contrat Première Embûche Jérôme and Dodo raised concern about the specter of Le Pen continuing to loom on French politics:

The [CPE] movement is now becoming a major social moment, and the current government is unlikely to stay unscathed. In a sense, the question is whether Villepin will take Sarkozy and Chirac with him, or if he will be destroyed alone. His chances of surviving the crisis appear slim today, and there's a good chance that the right could be nastily tainted. The big worry is that this brings a full year of disorder, which could play into Le Pen's hands. The situation is very fluid and the stakes are getting steadily higher..

From the diaries, with minor format edits ~ whataboutbob

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June 17 - Toulouse ET meet up

by Alexandra in WMass Thu Mar 2nd, 2006 at 04:15:09 PM EST

Ok it's now official there will be a, probably small, Toulouse ET meet up on June 17th at lunch. We just need suggestions about where to meet and time preferances.

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User page experiment and wiki poll

by Alexandra in WMass Sat Feb 25th, 2006 at 11:54:08 AM EST

I just found out this morning that someone started a new experiment on the ET wiki: a space where ET users can create their own user pages. So far there is only one participant but check it out, maybe you have ideas on how to use this new user page space. Here's the direct link: http://www.eurotribwiki.com/pmwiki.php/Main/ETCommunityMembers

Also if you are looking for information on the European Union the EU politics section of the wiki was greatly improved by Migeru. Overall the European Tribune wiki is growing thanks to everyone's contributions! I have a list of diaries I've read I hope to add to the wiki next week. For tips on how to make your own additions to ET's wiki: http://www.eurotribwiki.com/pmwiki.php/Main/Wiki-ETTechnicalTips

I've added a short poll to find out how much people use the ET wiki.

Comments >> (27 comments)

ET Wiki - is it any good? (Getting a lot better!)

by Alexandra in WMass Sat Feb 11th, 2006 at 05:51:21 AM EST

I decided a few days ago, falsely emboldened by my newly acquired knowledge of HTML, that I would figure out what the ET Wiki was all about. There had been some hint that it might solve the troubled rational and orderly side of my mind, which kept coming back to a quote from a New York Times reporter talking about blogs in 2004: "Never have so many people written so much to be read by so few" and wondering how much good writing, analysis and investigation written for ET disappeared into the archives to never easily be retrieved.

So what is ET wiki and is it of any use? I looked and to my surprise I found ... Update [2006-2-8 15:46:5 by Alexandra in WMass]: see end of the diary for some updates

bumped back up ~ whataboutbob (2-11)

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On war and art -The poet of Prague

by Alexandra in WMass Sat Feb 4th, 2006 at 07:40:29 AM EST

Josef Sudek was known as the poet of Prague. His Poetry was not about words or rhymes. He was a photographer who combined light, shadows, film, paper and a philosophy of life that gave him the patience to capture fleeting glimmers of the sun to create enigmatic compositions, panoramic landscapes to ponder and delight in, and still lives captured out of the mundane leftovers of everyday life.

He was born in 1896 in the town of Kolín before Czechoslovakia existed. During World War I he lost his right arm to the realities of trench warfare. And, into the 1970s, he could be seen wandering the streets and hills of Prague squinting with one eye to find the next place and time when he would set up his heavy antique plate cameras.

Here are some of his photographs; photos others took of him and some word to accompany this exhibit.

Josef Sudek in 1964
photograph by Josef Prošek

Update [2006-2-1 22:40:13 by Alexandra in WMass]: - In response to a question I added a section in the comments on the realities of working with one arm.

Promoted by whataboutbob & bumped by DoDo

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Graphic statistics

by Alexandra in WMass Tue Jan 17th, 2006 at 11:04:40 PM EST

Tired of bar graphs that mislead by using different scales? Want to add some color to your life?
What about a little more on european employment statistics  and demographics to follow up on earlier diaries?

Ok here we go, take a look below the fold for my most recent favorite, beyond the blue & red divisions, way to present youth employment statistics....

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How to teach colonial history? More troubles in France

by Alexandra in WMass Thu Dec 8th, 2005 at 06:29:13 PM EST

At the last minute, France's interior minister, Nicolas Sarkozy, postponed his trip to the French Caribbean Antilles islands because of local protests about a new French law that request "school programs recognize, in particular, the positive character of the French overseas presence s, notably in North Africa" ("Les programmes scolaires reconnaissent en particulier le rôle positif de la présence française outre-mer, notamment en Afrique du Nord"). The minister's own inflammatory statements during the violence in the country's poor suburbs a few weeks ago (he promised to "get rid of the scum") were also on the minds of demonstrators.

Read more to hear from the demonstrators, find out how this law passed, what is taught in French schools today and voice your opinion on how to teach colonial history to 14 year olds and share what you learned in secondary school....

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