The exhibition on overfishing the world's oceans of the francophone arts / philosophy / biology classes (6+7 sec) of the European School Brussels I in the occasion of the school party, 21 May 2011, was a great success. Thanks to the commitment and support from the teachers, Bettina Ghallale (art), François Jourde (philo) and Eric Piquet (bio), the young people had done some really interesting cross-fertilisation coming up with creative paintings and installations accompanied by selected texts.

It all started out in 2008, when the first twinning with the mid-level school in Cayar, the fishing village north of the Senegalese capital, caught the attention of the youngsters. It led to a joint exhibition at the celebrations in the occasion of the European School's 50th anniversary. Since then, other activities led to meeting of works, though not yet of the youngsters directly, such as in the case of the larger international exhibition in Amsterdam 'Sustainable seas through the eyes of art'. Meanwhile, those involved at the European School and in Cayar left with their bacalaureat or other certificate giving way to a new generation of pupils. In the occasion of this year's project of interdisciplinary work across three classes of arts, philosophy and biology respectively there were moments of continuity and innovation.

This year's project was conceived in preparatory discussions between the school teachers and Cornelia E. Nauen of Mundus maris end 2010 and approved by the school management for implementation in 2011. The official start was on 15 February 2011 with an extensive presentation by CE Nauen for all three classes on the global problem of overfishing menacing the functioning and productivity of marine ecosystems. It was followed by a question and answers session. The powerpoint presentation is available here (in French). Click here for the video of the talk (in French). The classes then went on to work individually and in combinations on the topics, each researching the issues and reflecting on them initially from their subject matter perspective, then together in relation to the artistic work coming specifically out of the arts class.


As an intermediary step, the philosophy class guided by François Jourde participated in a Pecha Kucha night on 24 March. Here, in one of the Crosstalk events organised by the Free University of Brussels, they managed to capture the public's attention.

The Pecha Kucha format involves telling a story in 20 slides each showing for 20 seconds. Naturally, this requires very good planning, lots of rehearsals and discipline in execution. The pupils transformed the inputs received from the Mundus maris talk on overfishing and their own research in a quite outstanding way.

With this boost to their confidence they approached the long run to the school party exhibition and close of the school year.

The pictures on this page can only provide a glimpse of the diverse paintings and installations, while the accompanying philosophy texts and biological comments leading up to the specific articulation can not be represented at all. Contributing youth at the European School are, among others, from Italy, France, Spain and Finland.

Unfortunately, some of the particularly interesting installations are too fragile or big to travel to the SeeArt youth exhibition in Hilden, but several will be shown together with artistic work of other youth from 10 countries.

A video sequence showed moments of the preparations, many of the individual pieces on display and the emotions at the exhibition itself.