Isolation Inspiration #1
This is EPS’s isolation inspiration: Every edition we will share with you what we have been watching, listening to, reading and whom we are currently following – basically everything that kept us going in these (let’s face it) rather boring times. This edition’s theme is everything Europe: From three informative Instagram accounts on the EU and Europe to a series on the European parliament, from great European literature to a podcast with in-depth analysis of important EU issues, from a European magazine to a comedy featuring the Council of Europe – we have got you covered!
EPS is watching…
L’incredibile storia dell’Isola delle Rose (2020). In this Italian comedy, two engineers are building their own island off the Italian coast and declare themselves an independent nation, sparking the attention of the world and the Italian government. An incredible-but-true story, it features both Esperanto as a pan-European language and the Council of Europe, and makes us wish to travel to Italy’s beaches ever so soon. Available on Netflix.
Parlement (2020). Parlement is a truly European political satire. It is co-produced in France, Belgium and Germany and performed in the three main languages of the EU. In the series, we follow Samy, the new assistant to MEP Michel Speklin, on his first months in the European Parliament. Samy, who is very naïve and at times arguably incompetent (although less so than many actual parliamentarians in the series), is trying to pass an amendment on shark finning. However, he is faced with the opposition of German political advisor Ingeborg Becker. Favourite characters include a Brexit-MEP, the Secretary of Committee on Fisheries, and Torsten, the assistant to Becker. You might need a VPN (and some French or German) to watch this show, but it is definitely worth it. Available on france.tv (in French), Filmin (Spain), and on the ARD Mediathek (in French, with German subtitles).
EPS is listening to…
The Europeans. Two Brits are frustrated with the way Europe is reported in British news. Now living in Paris (Katy) and Amsterdam (Dominic), they share with us underreported, but important European stories: the MeToo-movement in the Balkans, a Dutch theatre play about Shell, how the French-Asian community is fighting for more representation and many more. A Corona and Brexit-free zone, it is optimistic, fun and celebrates European diversity. Available on wherever you listen to podcasts.
The Eurointelligence Podcast. Turn to The Eurointelligence Podcast for in-depth analysis of important EU and eurozone political, economic and financial issues. Wolfgang Münchau and his fellow podcasters don’t shy away from strong commentary and you will definitely emerge from that podcast experience feeling like you have something smart to say at dinner with your parents. We especially liked their coverage of the political crisis in Italy. On their website they also publish great, insightful columns. Available on wherever you listen to podcasts.
EPS is reading…
From a low and quiet sea by Donal Ryan (2018). In the fourth novel of Irish author Donal Ryan, the lives of Farouk, a doctor from Syria, Lampy, a twentysomething carer, and John, a former accountant and lobbyist, are curiously intertwined. It is a beautiful, quiet book, with great characters, and a very unexpected, and slightly heart-breaking ending.
The Good Immigrant (2016). This anthology compromises twenty-one essays by British writers who identify as BAME (Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic) exploring questions about race, immigration, belonging, identity and ‘otherness’. (One of them is Reni Eddo-Lounge, whose book Why I am no longer talking towhite people about race we would also strongly recommend). Although it is a bit older, it is still really topical and a great read. By now there is also a US and a Dutch version (written respectively by immigrants in the US and the Netherlands), so do read the one you find most interesting – or all three of them!
AreWeEurope. The magazine was founded by four friends in 2016, who were frustrated that most of the reporting on Europe is done from a national point of view. AreWeEurope is attempting a new form of reporting from and about Europe: borderless journalism. Available online (some content is free, other you have to become a member for) or as a paper version.
EPS is following…
Being addicted to Instagram is not all that bad if you are following these informative accounts:
@generationclimateeurope is the coalition of youth-led NGOs, pushing for stronger climate action at the EU level. Their main goal is to give young people a voice when it comes to decision making processes on climate and environmental issues. On their Instagram, they share infographics, educate about their work and share tips for example on how to celebrate Valentine’s Day more sustainable and reduce your digital carbon footprint while following online classes.