Update from the Board
It’s been busy weeks at the Board. In the first weeks of September, we showed up at all sorts of Utrecht University courses to notify students of CS Ubuntu’s existence and how to get involved. The happy news: our presence paid off, as could be witnessed at the exciting International Food Evening. At this event, we had delicious dishes from all over the world as well as a presentation on our study association and a fun speeddate session, with questions such as ‘What does peace mean to you?’ and ‘Who is your favorite political leader?’ Your input during the brainstorm session will be discussed during our next Board meeting and
taken into account when starting the work with our Committees. Thanks so much!
In the last few weeks, we got in touch with staff from the Centre for Conflict Studies and our colleagues at various other Utrecht University study associations, to discuss the year ahead and potential ways of collaboration. We will keep you posted on this, including on a meeting in October with regard to the establishment of the Utrecht Centre for International Studies (UCIS – you might have heard of it).
We are happy to see our membership grow and are still aiming at making it to the ambitious number of a 100 members by December 1st. Feel free to help us out in this effort, by spreading the word and telling all your friends, both Dutch and international, about our organization and events.
Lastly, with the buzz-words of ‘increased visibility’ in mind, check out our fabulous CS Ubuntu board T-shirts and smile and wave when you see us cruising the University’s library in style.
News from our Committees
We got four teams ready to rock this new CS Ubuntu season as members of the Lectures, Activities, Study Trip and Social Activities Committees.Thanks so much for your enthusiasm, everyone! All people that signed up for a committee, will receive an invitation for the first committee meetings from your Board Focal Point shortly. Have a fruitful year ahead! We look forward to your activities.
Save the Date: upcoming CS Ubuntu events
17 October, 4.30 –7 PM: ‘Our future Europe’ with young people from Serbia, Kosovo and the Netherlands
‘Our Future Europe’ is an exchange programme for young people from Serbia, Kosovo and the Netherlands, with a focus on the present and recent history of conflicts in the Balkan, nationalism, European integration and youth participation. On October 17, the group will be in Utrecht and CS Ubuntu is invited to meet with them. During an interactive event, we will get to know the participants of the project as well as commonly discuss how to reinvent our future, potentially with Serbia and Kosovo as EU Member States. Check out the website here: http://www.linkingeurope.org/future-reinventing/.
Where? At the Pax office, Hoog Catharijne, Godebaldkwartier 74. For more info on Pax: http://www.paxforpeace.nl/
Registration? Yes, please – let us know that you’ll be attending at firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t miss out on this exciting opportunity: great input for your Conflict Analysis course and / or preparation for the Bosnia Study Trip.
29 October, 7.15 – 10 PM: Stories and Stuff
CS Ubuntu organizes an international stuff-swap this day! Bring books (preferably in English), clothes, or other stuff you want to exchange - and especially stuff you can miss - for someone else's stuff. Should be fun! More info follows soon.
Overview of upcoming events that might be of interest to CS Ubuntu members:
October: Buy Nothing New Month
Challenge to buy nothing new, but instead share, rent, repair and upcycle. For more info (in Dutch): http://www.buynothingnew.nl/
October: Pro-demos Activities
This month Pro-demos, the House for Democracy and Rule of Law, has planned a lot of interesting activities. Check their agenda for this month here: http://www.prodemos.nl/newsletter/archive/610eda487c2b2c12e26b9ccb587a4347
World Food Day, in honor of the founding of the Food and Agricultural Organization. 2014’s theme is ‘Feeding the world, caring for the earth’. This is whatWikisays: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Food_Day
17 October, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, The Hague, 1 – 6 PM
For Dutchies: open dag bij de Directie Veiligheidsbeleid, met als werkterreinen onder andere vredesoperaties, ontwapening, NAVO, anti-piraterij en terrorisme. Aanmelden kan via DVBemail@example.com o.v.v. ‘aanmelding open dag’, met je officiële naam (zoals in paspoort of ID), geboortedatum en studie. Deadline voor inschrijving is maandag 13 oktober.
18-19 October, Humanity House, The Hague
Fair Fashion Lab Festival. Discover the world of sustainable and fair fashion during the Fair Fashion Lab Festival on 18 and 19 October at the Humanity House. The festival has a very varied program, including movies, workshops, talk- and mode shows, and of course fair fashion. Check out the full festival program here: http://www.humanityhouse.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/HMH_fairfashion_festival_final2.pdf
1 November, Royal Tropical Institute, 10 AM to 6 PM, Amsterdam
Africa Day. With debates about democracy, Movies That Matter and our Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Minister Ploumen. Find the programme here: http://www.afrikadag.nl/english/programma
5 November, Rode Hoed Amsterdam,19:00 – 23:30 PM.
For Dutchies: Nacht van de VN. Ben je geïnteresseerd in de VN? Wil jij weten waar diplomaten en wereldleiders zich mee bezig houden? Droom jij ervan iets te doen met internationale samenwerking? Kom dan naar de Nacht van de VN en praat mee over vrede, veiligheid, mensenrechten en duurzame ontwikkeling. Ondere MinBuZa, OneWorld, UNICEF, ASN Bank, UNHCR enNVVN zullen aanwezig zijn. Naast een overvol programma met interviews, debatten, film en muziek, strijden vier kandidaten die avond om verkozen te worden tot Nederlandse jongerenvertegenwoordiger naar de Algemene Vergadering van de VN of als jongerenvertegenwoordiger Duurzame Ontwikkeling. Tijdens de Nacht van de VN wordt tussen de workshops, debatten en lezingen door de langverwachte uitslag bekendgemaakt. Entree is gratis. Voor meer info zie: www.nachtvandevn.nl
Member of the Month: Linda van de Rijt
Linda is the newest member of CS Ubuntu. She also happens to have returned from Uganda just a couple of weeks ago. We had the opportunity to interview her.
You just got back from Uganda. What have you been doing there?
As a part of my study programme, I decided to conduct an internship at the Refugee Law Project (RLP) in Uganda. I spent two months in the south, where I facilitated an exhibition to open up spaces for commemoration about atrocities committed in the Luwero Triangle,and engaged in an international conference on transitional justice with participants from all over Africa. After moving from the relatively well-organised southern districts to a Kitgum without roads, now surrounded by people from other tribes, I started to do event documentation. On a motorcycle, me and my colleague went into the bush to collect and analyse stories that had been untold, trying to facilitate the unveiling of a grand scale of conflict in northern-Uganda.
What are your plans for the rest of this year?
It was about one month ago that I returned to Schiphol in Amsterdam. Yet, even though my stay in the Netherlands has been so short since my arrival, I already know that I want to go back to the other continent. After finishing my study programme within a couple of weeks, I will follow some courses in Arabic and photography. Those were things that I have always wanted to do. Thereafter, I simply hope to see new things– wherever that may be. Opportunities to speak to people with lived experiences from Kenya, Somalia and South-Sudan in Uganda strengthened my interest in all of these countries. Thus, for now, my destination will depend on where the road will take me.
What advice would you give to CS Ubuntu members?
Go out as soon as possible to see the world out there, and to broaden your scope! Theoretical insights are nothing without empirical observation, and what you study becomes living when you truly perceive it only. The latter is what I already found during the CS Ubuntu fieldtrip to Bosnia-Herzegovina: we heard about how legacies of war transcended into the consciousness of young children who identify themselves until now as Serbs, Croats or Bosnians due to educational separation and narratives told, while older generations do not have the means to conduct a war similar to the one of which they became so tired anyway. Both the role of discourse and the relevance of social movement theory were immediately apparent.
Also, literature will never allow you to read situations to the fullest possible. Even academics head towards a dominant focus on LRA atrocities in Uganda, for example;many frequently neglect or degrade those cruelties committed by other forces. But who, then, will tell you the story of a middle-aged man who was tortured for five years by a force closely affiliated to the current government? Who makes you aware of the villagers forcibly stuck between options to participate either in the force of Alice Auma or the NRA? And what to do with those survivors in the south who lost their relatives too, but are beyond the scope of an academic focus on the conflict in northern-Uganda? The primary person who enables you to overcome selectivity, to move into new areas of distinct findings and truths told, whatever area this pertains to, is you.
Food for Thought
Naomi Klein on climate change
Here’s an interesting read written by Jelmer Mommers from De Correspondent on climate change and Naomi Klein’s book This Changes everything, including five strategies to deal with the matter (the article is in Dutch only, the book in English): https://decorrespondent.nl/1831/Klimaatverandering-vraagt-om-een-wereldwijde-volksbeweging/201792679-fbe54b1c
Emma Watson on feminism
If you are more up for a video, do check out Emma Watson’s speech for the UN Women’s HeforShe campaign: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hyg_QIYKv_g. Here’s a reflection on why Emma Watson might not be the best woman for the job: http://www.blackgirldangerous.org/2014/09/im-really-emma-watsons-feminism-speech-u-n/ And here’s an article on what the sexual threats against Emma Watson after her speech tell us: http://www.vox.com/2014/9/23/6832243/the-sexual-threats-against-emma-watson-are-an-attack-on-women
Mark Manson on life purpose
If you are stuck in a quarter-life crisis or not completely sure how to fit your interest in conflict studies into your career ambitions, here’s seven strange questions you could ask yourself: http://markmanson.net/life-purpose
Expect our Next CS Ubuntu Newsletter in your inbox in the first week of November. If you have any input, feedback or updates on interesting events, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We love to hear from you! :)