Culture has a new advocate in AEGEE: The Culture Interest Group (CIG). This new body, which wants to continue the work of the deceased Culture Working Group, does not only invite you to join and organise events. It also created a blog, which went online today. Founder Sergio Genovesi told the Golden times readers, why they should become active in the CIG.

Sergio Genovesi2
Sergio Genovesi

GT: Congratulations to your initiative. How did you get the idea of creating the CIG?
Sergio Genovesi: When I found out that the Culture Working Group was closing, I thought that an association like AEGEE should not remain without an cultural interest group: in fact European identity and europositivism are possible only on the basis of a solid shared culture. Since I was President of AEGEE-Torino and recently moved to Bonn, a city without AEGEE local, I founded the CIG together with Alessandro Montefameglio from AEGEE-Pisa, who really wanted to give his contribute too to the cultural cause.

GT: How many members do you have now?
Sergio Genovesi: By now we are ten people, but the group is growing and I hope that in the future we will be always more and more!

GT: Do you have a task division in the board?
Sergio Genovesi: We do have a task division: I am taking care of PR, HR and administrative tasks in general, Alessandro looks after IT and graphics. However, we are managing contents and the creative part together.

Alessandro Montefameglio
Alessandro Montefameglio

GT: Are you continuing the work of the Culture Working Group or are you completely new people?
Sergio Genovesi: We are completely new people and we are developing fresh ideas. However, we don’t want to break with the past. The former CWG produced a lot of material and we will consider the results of their hard work.

GT: What kind of activities are you planning for the CIG?
Sergio Genovesi: We want to spread culture in any form, from folkloristic concepts to the international sphere. Moreover, we envisage organizing other cultural activities such as debates, exhibitions, contests, group meetings and thematic events. Our first CIG project is editing a multicultural and multilinguistic blog.

Momus cover
Momus, the new CIG blog

GT: Is the blog already online?
Sergio Genovesi: It went online today! It’s called “Momus”, the webaddress is: www.aegeemomus.eu.

GT: Why did you choose the name Momus? What does it mean?
Sergio Genovesi: We find Momus a very fascinating name. Originally the name refers to the peculiar personality of a very unusual Greek god: the god of satire and mockery. However, our most consistent heritage concerning Momus comes from Humanism and Renaissance, by authors like Alberti, Bruno and Erasmus. In this period Momus was not only seen in the perspective of a scoundrel struggling with the weapons of irony and art against a superior establishment, but also as a champion of criticism and a representation of the battle against tyrants. To fight this kind of negative power, humanists thought that there was no better solution than building an authentic, genuine, real singular culture. This is what Momus means to us: a re-establishment of a vision, a restore of a spirit.

CWG Logo
The CIG continues the work of the CWG, which was deleted last year.

GT: Interesting. What kind of articles will be published?
Sergio Genovesi: On one hand, most articles will aim at spreading knowledge about what is going on in the contemporary cultural scene of the different European countries. They will talk about local literature, music, art, as well as customs and traditions. On the other hand, some articles will try to trace the cultural elements that brought to the idea of European unity in the authors of the past. Furthermore, Momus will be multilingual. Don’t worry, the main language will be English and we will avoid to erect a Babel tower! However, we think that the wide variety of languages in Europe should be respected and preserved. As Umberto Eco once said: “The language of Europe is translation”.

GT: How can people contribute to it?
Sergio Genovesi: Everyone who wants can send us an article or join the CIG as an active member. Momus will be divided in many sections, such as literature, music, visual arts, cinema and folklore. Each section will have a thematic supervisor. Any kind of feedback from the readers will be warmly welcome and we encourage writing critical comments and starting discussions about the content of the articles. And, of course, sharing helps us to spread our cause!

Marieke Kuijers (Tilburg) was next to Thijs Arlman (Enschede) one of the main organisers.
The original Culture Working Group was founded in 1996 during the first Working Group Congress in Enschede.

GT: Action days are the big fashion in AEGEE. There is a HR Day, a Day of Languages, soon even an AEGEE Day. Are you also panning a Culture Day?
Sergio Genovesi: Yes, it seems to be a really good idea. As I said, thematic events will be an important part of our work.

GT: Are you cooperating with local Culture Working Groups in AEGEE?
Sergio Genovesi: Not yet, but we already informed some locals. We are definitively open for cooperation.

GT: How can interested people contact you or find out more about you?
Sergio Genovesi: Our favourite communication channel is Facebook. Check the CIG page: www.facebook.com/CIG.AEGEE. If you write us a message, we will answer in a few hours. However, we will use a mailing list too. You can also reach us by e-mail: aegeecig@gmail.com.

The Culture WG existed for 19 years, before it was deleted.

GT: Can you tell us more about you and your co-founder?
Sergio Genovesi: We are both enthusiastic AEGEE members and really good friends. We are both philosophy students with a strong interest in culture. I am 24 years old and doing a PhD in Bonn. I have a big passion for music and art and I really enjoy writing about that. I likes that AEGEE is offering the possibility to travel, to discover new places and cultures and to speak many languages. Alessandro Montefameglio is 23 years old, he lives in Tuscany and just graduated. He is active in AEGEE-Pisa, adores literature and writes prose and poetry. His last work is a postmodern novel called “La Città” – The City. He is addicted to anything that belongs to humanities and arts.

GT: Anything else you would like to add?
Sergio Genovesi: We warmly invite everyone who is interested in culture and who wants to deepen his or her involvement in international projects to join us. We truly believe that what we are doing is important for young Europeans’ identity. However, the creation of a shared cultural identity can be achieved only through everyone’s contribution and motivated people!