29 January, 2010 09:51

Notes on the multi-learn visit to Paris 2010.

I was glad to participate in an interesting program. I took some pictures along the way which can be viewed at: http://picasaweb.google.com/home. Being to listen to the various presentations related to the Cadre européen de reference des langues and especially those presentations in our group was mostly interesting. So were many of the questions asked. We were lucky to visit the exhibition at the university as they celebrated 40 years of existence. De Vincennes à Saint-Denis. J’ai beaucoup aimé les affiches des années 68 et plus tard. Demandez-moi si vous voulez voir le catalogue de l’exposition. La remise en question est beaucoup valorisée. Professor Max mentioned at one point that the reason for visiting different countries was to see how knowledge is managed and the idea that the space used can be an integral part of the teaching element. The BNF, site François-Mitterrand is very imposing with 4 high towers; tour des Lois, des Lettres, des Temps et des Nombres. Getting access to certain librairies requires quite a procedure. It is however worth visiting the library with a guided tour. Another place where knowledge is stored is the CIEP, le centre international d’études pédagogiques in Sèvres, not far from the château de Verseilles. We were warmly (coffee, orange juice and croissants!) by Sol Inglada, documentaliste and the director. Have a look at their website, www.ciep.fr to view their catalogue http://www.ciep.fr/bdd/bdd.php , bibliographies de reference http://www.ciep.fr/bibliographie/index.php and interesting links to free scientific journals http://www.ciep.fr/sitographie/ries-51.php. On a much smaller scale, l’espace des femmes dans le quartier St Germain des Près has an interesting bookshop and women’s space. Some of us brought back their catalogue: depuis 30 ans des femmes éditent … 1974-2004. Our visit to the Musée nationale de l’histoire de l’immigration http://www.histoire-immigration.fr/ was a nice discovery of an aspect of french culture and was very enriching. It was quite amazing that the building was constructed on the occasion of the international colonial exhibition in 1931. It was meant to promote the French empire, it’s history, missions and territories. It really is worthwile going to spend all morning visiting the museum and why not the aquarium in the cellar. I loved the Maghreb music and humour. It is regrettable that it is not possible to view their videos or listen to the music online.

My last stop was the suggested Musée du Quai Branly, là où dialoguent les cultures. After spending most of the day there, I had a hard time understanding how the museum tries to get the cultures to speak to each other. Maybe through workshops and discussions. I was indeed lucky. When I started my visit with Africa, I noticed some noise. A storyteller, Gabriel, with his African dress and some hand instruments was taking a group of junior youth to the African part of the exhibition, by telling them a story. I was fascinated, got scared like the kids and also the 3 teachers that accompanied them. At the end of the tour, I had lunch with Gabriel and we exchanged some stories. His background is the belief in animism and I shared with him the bahai belief. We exchanged addresses and he would very much like to come to Luxembourg. I hope this will be possible. His website is www.gabrielkinsa.com He looks after a small school in Congo, where he himself went to school. It is also worth visiting their centre de documentation, which is beautiful, with a splendid view, close to the Tour Eifel.

I guess the topping on the cake was our very short notice improvised visit to the Opera de Paris to to see, hear and take in in an quasi meditative way Mozart’s Idomeneo. It was a really enjoyable moment that started our visit in Paris. The way we got the tickets is worth another story. Voilà, what remains for me to be done is to evaluate my presentation, by having another listen to the questions from Gudrun and Charles and coming with possible answers.

On a more reflect tone, it was quite difficult to understand how, in the icy cold of winter, human beings would sit and ly outside, begging for money, without hope and dignity.

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