CIVICA Cultural Event at Sciences Po


The CIVICA Cultural Event took place last 16-17 September in the framework of the 150th anniversary celebrations of Sciences Po in Paris. Workshops, roundtable discussions, live music and dance performances, along with refreshments and social activities were interspersed throughout the two-day event for CIVICA students, fellows and PhD researchers.

Around 80 students and researchers had the chance to join the full agenda of the 150th anniversary festival of Sciences Po and to connect with their counterparts from other CIVICA universities in Paris.

The CIVICA Cultural Event started off with an official welcome by Frank Stadelmaier, CIVICA Senior Manager at Sciences Po, who advised students to consider academic freedom and its relevance to their generation as they entered the roundtable titled “Academic Freedom: what do our university communities owe society?” The conference was panelled by Michael Ignatieff (former President of CEU), Sergei Guriev (Provost at Sciences Po), Silvia Giorguli (President of El Colegio de México), and Vanessa Scherrer (Vice President for International Affairs at Sciences Po) as moderator.

Sciences Po’s delegation including its director, Mathias Vicherat, and Vanessa Scherrer, welcomed presidents and vice presidents from over 15 countries around the world in the new campus of the CIVICA university in 1, place Saint-Thomas, Paris. 

Under the motto of the festival, “roots of the future”, Mathias Vicherat shared with the participants what the future holds for the university, “For the next decade, our new frontier will be to seek more intellectual, social and intercultural diversity, (..) to put environmental transformation at the centre of research projects, (..) to promote more respect and tolerance around our campus (..) and, last but not least, to protect academic freedom.” Addressing his speech directly to the presidents, Vicherat stressed that “all around the world academic freedom is declining. We need to speed up and scale up the right strategies to protect it collectively.”

An activity-filled cultural weekend in Paris

The first day of the event closed in style with live music and dance performances on stage. Musical bands from across CIVICA performed their own intricate takes on songs from different cultures and original songs. The Hertie School band “No Shakers” performed a set of four songs across five languages – Punjabi, Spanish, Hindi, Urdu, English, while the CEU duo “Zwickl” merged with musicians from Hertie School to perform a set of pop music covers. 

On day two of the event, three workshops ran in parallel, from photography with Loïc Bartolini (Actor and Photography Expert), to jazz music with Riccardo Del Fra (Jazz Maestro) and public speaking with Charles Haroche (Instructor of Public Speaking and Debating Skills, Master of Public Affairs, Policy Lab, Sciences Po) where academics from across CIVICA had the chance to develop these skills while collaborating with one another.

The activity-filled weekend ended with a guided historical visit of Paris to better understand the city's cultural layers. 

Written by Aariya Talcherkar.

More information

Photo credits: Matt Langthorne