Campaign Week 2020CampusHomepageNewsStudent Life

An Interview With the BDA Records

Interview by Juliette Laffont and Ava Luquet

This interview and the other campaign list interviews were conducted on Zoom by writers of the Sundial Press. To ensure uniformity across list interviews, interviewees were given the same amount of time to answer questions, and lists for the same permanent bureau (ex. the two BDA lists) received the same questions. The interviewees had not seen the questions they would be asked, and a member of the campaign committee also assisted and supervised the interview. Although the interviews have been edited for clarity and concision, everything written was said by the list members. 

 

List members:

Executive Pole

Sacha Coquerel: co-president (EURAM), French

Elisabeth Lorton: co-presidente (EURAF), French

Runnie Exuma: secretary (EURAM), American and Haitian

Jules-Antoine Hazard: secretary (EURAF), Franco-Belgian

Marine Geoffray: treasurer (EURAM), French

Hermès Chandes: partnerships (EURAF), French

Communications Pole

Octavia Chandler: head of communication (EURAM), Australian

Clément Guermeur: visibility on campus (EURAM), French

Christophe Poulin: ambassador of BDA (EURAM), Canadian

Gabrielle Vauterin: general communication (EURAM), French

Events Pole

Isis Blanchez: co-head of events (EURAM), French

Faye Lamrani: co-head of events (EURAM), American and Moroccan 

Runpei He: BDA’s Classics (EURAM), Chinese

Student Participation

Ilo Rakotonavahy: records (EURAF), Malgache

Caroline Levin: campus life (EURAM), American

Clarisse Gozard: democratization of culture (EURAF), French

 

Q: Why is your list running?

 

Octavia Chandler: Our list is running because we, from both our experience of some of us being in the bureau before and then the freshness of others coming on to the bureau for the first time, is that we  really saw some structural changes that needed to be made, so that the BDA could deliver everything that it has always promised. We have always had promises of great student inclusion, wanting to have dedicated projects for artists, but we haven’t always had a structure in place that allows us to do that. So the reason that our list is running is because BDA Records is representing that structural change that makes it the most “students-driven” that it has ever been. 

Elisabeth Lorton (Lili): Pour nous, l’art est une fête. “Art is a party” est vraiment tout un pan de nos promesses. C’est vraiment cette idée que l’art devrait être partout et qu’il devrait y avoir un fourmillement artistique et intellectuel sur le campus, qu’on ne voit pas suffisamment cette année. C’est cette l’idée d’apporter l’art comme une forme de joie, comme une chose essentielle à la vie en collectivité.

(For us, art is is a party. “Art is a party” is really a whole section of our promises. It’s really the idea that art should be everywhere, and that there should be an artistic continuous activity on campus, that we don’t see enough this year. It’s the idea of bringing art as a sort of joy, as an essential element of life as a community.)

Octavia: In a nutshell, it’s back to a bureau that promotes access and inclusivity for both artists and audiences, but most importantly we not only promise that, but we have reframed our whole bureau to serve this goal. We hope that we will never lose vision, and always deliver for students and art.

 

Q: How will you make the visual and performing arts more accessible to students at Sciences Po who aren´t engaged in the arts?

 

Jules-Antoine Hazard: People often talk about the fact that art is something that they want everyone on campus to feel, and be involved in. The big difference for us is that we really want to concretize this, and have created poles that respond to this desire, not only on our part, but this desire that seems to clearly be something important on the campus.

Lili: Par exemple, on a différents projets, pour les non-artistes, comme une “pinte littéraire” au Saint Maurice, où l’on ferait venir des auteurs qui viendraient parler de leur art, ou faire des workshops ouverts à tout le monde; des masterclass sur le théâtre, sur la musique, des concerts également… Vraiment des choses qui ne soient pas ciblées uniquement sur la petite communauté d’élèves qui sont artistes, mais vraiment sur n’importe qui. On compte notamment faire une semaine du cinéma, avec plusieurs projections par jour, avec l’idée que le cinéma est universel et pas seulement réservé aux artistes. On a énormément de promesses de campagne qui vont dans le sens de l’art et de la culture comme quelque chose de central dans la vie de chacun.

(For example, we have different projects for non-artists, such as a “literary pint” at Saint Maurice, where we would invite authors to come and talk about their art, or organize workshops open to everyone; we would host masterclasses about drama, music, or concerts—things that would not be aimed only at the very small community of students who are artists on campus, but to virtually everyone. We also plan on organizing a cinema week, with several screenings each day, because we believe that cinema is universal and not only limited to artists. We have many campaign promises that go in the direction of art and culture as central elements in everybody’s life.)

Marine Geoffray: Une promesse de campagne qui s’apparenterait à cela serait de créer un hebdomadaire culturel. Ça serait un petit journal dans lequel on pourrait donner des recommandations de films, des recommandations d’expositions, afin de participer à une vaste démocratisation de l’art et de la culture sur le campus. On sait que ça doit concerner les artistes, mais ça doit  concerner aussi ceux qui se sentent concerné par l’art mais n’ont pas forcément l’occasion d’avoir l’art dans leur quotidien, de se renseigner énormément sur l’art.

(A campaign promise that would be connected to this would be to create a weekly cultural review. It would be a small publication in which we could give film recommendations, and exhibition recommendations in order to contribute to a broad democratization of art and culture. We know that it has to be relevant to artists, but also to those who are interested in art, but for whom it’s not central to their lives, and want to find out more about it.)

Lili: Non seulement on s’adresse aux élèves qui n’ont pas une vocation créatrice artistique, mais aussi, on s’adresse à ceux qui auraient pu avoir une vocation, qui auraient pû faire de l’art plus jeune mais qui n’en ont pas vraiment eu l’occasion, que ce soit pour des raisons matérielles, intellectuelles, juste l’idée: on veut leur dire que c’est toujours possible, qu’on a 18 ans, que c’est ça qui est fantastique avec l’art et qu’on peut commencer à n’importe quel moment de la vie. On veut aussi ouvrir des ateliers pour les débutants, pour le théâtre par exemple, des open-mics… des choses qui permettent la participation de tout le monde, et pas seulement de ceux qui sont déjà initiés.

(Not only do we call upon students who do not have an artistic vocation, but also to those who could have already produced art, but didn’t really have the opportunity, may it be equipment-related, intellectual, or even the idea: we want to tell them that it is always possible, that we are 18-years old, that this is what is so fantastic about art, that we can start start at any moment in life. We also want to open artistic workshops aimed at beginners, for drama for instance, open mics… things allowing for everyone’s participation, and not only for the participation of initiated students.)

Ilo: Pour tout ce qui est du “label”, c’est aussi pour les personnes qui ne sont pas dans le milieu des arts, ce serait de connecter la demande artistique avec l’offre artistique, pour montrer que tout le monde a besoin de l’art, que ce soit les associations ou les artistes eux-mêmes. Il y a beaucoup d’artistes qui ont des projets mais qui ne savent pas où les réaliser et dans quel cadre les réaliser, et il y a aussi beaucoup d’associations qui ont besoin d’artistes. Le rôle du BDA serait de fournir par exemple des illustrateurs dont pourrait avoir besoin le Sundial Press, grâce à une banque de données.

(Regarding the “label”, it is also for people who are not from the arts, it would be to connect artistic demand with artistic offers, to show that everyone needs art, be it associations or artists themselves. A lot of artists have projects but do not know where to achieve them, or how to achieve them, and there are also a lot of associations that need artists. The role of the BDA would be, for instance, to provide the Sundial Press with illustrators thanks to a data bank.)

 

Q: How do you plan to make our campus an even more “artistically” lively place?

 

Octavia: A huge focus that we have is to make sure that people can integrate art in their daily life both if they are already artistic or if they maybe haven’t explored yet what it is that they love about art yet, we want to give them the allies to do that. This means having great partnerships that allow people to afford and access things like art tours, maybe theatre projects… but it also means being people on campus that others can come and talk to about art on a daily basis. I think it’s really cool that pretty much everyone on our team is in some way an artist and we are making that very clear in the way that we present our list, so that you know exactly who you can talk to if you’re interested in cinema, exactly who you can talk to if you are interested in music. You have got Sacha on cinema, Ilo, Jules, Caroline, Runnie, and Clément on visual arts…  

Lili: Et aussi, cette idée que l’art est partout! C’est assez optimiste et joyeux comme message de se dire qu’on va juste permettre à l’art d’exister sous toutes ses formes (ça peut être le petit pas de danse qu’on fait dans l’ascenseur pour aller en amphi, ou même n’importe quoi d’autre). C’est au coeur de notre philosophie et c’est ça qui est hyper chouette avec ce projet: on veut montrer à tout le monde que l’art fait déjà partie de leur vie, mais simplement, il faut réussir à avoir le bon prisme pour s’en rendre compte.

(And also, this idea is that art is everywhere! It is quite an optimistic and happy message to tell ourselves that we are just going to make sure that art exists in every shape and form (it might be the little two-step one does in the elevator on the way to the amphi, but many other things too). It is at the heart of our philosophy, and that is what is nice with this project: we can show everyone that art is already part of their life, but simply, it is necessary to have the good lens to apprehend it.) 

Jules-Antoine: I think a lot of it is about taking this idea that art is something kind of happening up there and to turn it into something that is actually happening around us, within us, and something that we are able to do. And the idea behind this record label is that those people that are really willing to get a professional career going are able to do so, but for those who do it recreationally can do so as well; we want to make sure that this is an audience that we are responding to.

Octavia: I really think that every time one of us says something like we want to take things that are considered “higher” and bring it to everyone, as Jules was saying, it’s not just that we’re promising these things, and talking about these things, it’s that we’ve thought so hard about how to build a bureau that allows that!

 

Q: Apart from “promoting the arts on campus”, what would you say is the BDA´s most important role?

 

Marine: Je pense que l’idée du nom de la liste “BDA Records” était qu’il ne faut pas pûrement promouvoir l’art sur le campus (de seulement afficher des œuvres d’art par exemple), mais aussi avoir un accompagnement et une discussion, et un dialogue avec les élèves. Tout le but du record, c’est d’écouter les requêtes et les demandes des autres, peu importe si c’est des artistes accomplis ou non, et de pouvoir écouter ce que les élèves ont à dire du BDA ou de leur vision de l’art en général.

(I think that the idea of the name “BDA Records” for our list was that we should not only promote art on campus (to exhibit artworks for instance), but also provide guidance and an exchange, to create a dialogue with students. The aim of the record is to listen to the requests and demands of the others, whether they are accomplished artists or not, and to listen to what students have to say about the BDA or about their vision of art in general.)

Runnie Exuma: Just to add on, I think the central ideas within our list, and also on our campus, are inclusivity and transparency, making sure that all the procedures or what is going on in the BDA is easily seen and accessible to the people on campus, and making sure that people understand what exactly it is that we are providing, or what ways we are trying to accommodate them. 

Lili: L’idée c’est: il y a un artiste en vous, et nous on vous donne les outils pour le réaliser!

(The idea is: there is an artist inside you, and we are giving you the tools for you to make it happen!)

 

Q: Is there one last thing you would like to add?

 

Lili: La campagne, c’est super sympa et on est un peu déçus de ne pas pouvoir la faire, bien qu’on soit contents quand même de faire une campagne numérique. Malgré ça, c’est pas vraiment ce qui nous importe. Nous, ce qui nous importe, c’est d’arriver au BDA, de pouvoir prendre en main les outils dont on a besoin pour pouvoir faire de l’art une fête et une fête pour tout le monde. Et les outils pour ça, c’est le BDA qui les a! Il a la légitimité et la force monétaire et institutionnelle. C’est pour ça qu’on est tous, dans notre diversité, super motivés pour être au BDA l’année prochaine!

(The campaign is really great, and we are disappointed not to be able to do it, even though we are happy to do a digital campaign. However, that’s not what matters most to us. What does, is to become the BDA, and to be able to use the tools that we need to make art a party, and a party for everyone. The bureau that has those tools is the BDA! It has the legitimacy and monetary and institutional strength. This is why we are all, in our diversity, super motivated to be in the BDA next year!)

Octavia:  If anyone reading the article has questions, don’t hesitate to message anyone on the list!

 

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