Cafebabel

Ephemerals: No band is an island

Both as musicians and as people, Ephemerals defy convention. Their music is a bit of funk, a bit of jazz, a bit of soul, and they’re an eclectic mix of English, French and American. But they’re also, by their own admission, none of those things. Cafébabel caught up with them at the tail-end ...

2017-05-26 18:31 open_in_new
Farting: The big cheese of taboos

VO

Everybody has gas, but rare are those who speak of it. Even mentioning the mere existence of a fart is considered grotesque. This belief is apparent in all social conventions, and has become a widespread phenomenon, making it a long-lasting taboo. 

Who was it that suddenly ...

2017-05-24 18:07 open_in_new
Zbigniew Wodecki: Polish music icon dies at 67

Zbigniew Wodecki was many things: author of several hits in the 70's and 80's, but also famous amongst children for singing a popular cartoon theme song. His place in the history of music has been undisputed for years, but his recent encounters with the alternative scene make his loss even more ...

2017-05-24 11:31 open_in_new
Brexit means identity crisis for Britons

VO

They are young, they are beautiful, they love to travel, and they love discovering what Europe has to offer. The only problem is that they are British. As a consequence of Brexit, they may soon lose the privileges inherent in EU citizenship. Is this just a formality, or a real ...

2017-05-22 14:17 open_in_new
The story of a Belgian who ran 10 km in North Korea...

VO

Gathering friends, talking to them about the Pyongyang marathon, then going to North Korea and winning the 10km race. On 9 April, Olivier Dauw did something most people deemed crazy. The young Belgian delivers his experience between cold noodles and intimidation.

Olivier is what ...

2017-05-19 18:03 open_in_new
Emmanuel Macron's never-ending story

VO

Emmanuel Macron was elected President of the Republic by more than 20 million French citizens. While his journey to the Elysée makes a good story, it is one that must be viewed with caution, because neither the storyline nor the characters are yet known. The situation in France hasn't ...

2017-05-19 12:33 open_in_new
Eurovision 2017: "It's always political"

VO

Every year, Eurovision imports its share of colourful clothes and kitschy pop songs to each country in the Old Continent. This year, it's Ukraine’s turn to welcome the parade of flags and good feelings despite a complex political context. Welcome to Europe's fanzone!

"Above ...

2017-05-16 15:07 open_in_new
"Europe scares those who don’t know it"

VO

“Unity is power,” is the message that lies at the core of Yannis Mouhoun’s short film Voices for Europe. Softly touching upon new realities, uncertainties and concerns that the continent faces, the young French director depicts his version of Europe. 

cafébabel: Could you ...

2017-05-15 18:13 open_in_new
Rock music reuniting Bosnia and Herzegovina

VO

Mostar in Bosnia is known as a divided town. But contrary to the nationalist segregation that has defined the community since the war, The Mostar Rock School has been uniting its youth since 2012. The school has trained 500 people, producing some of the nation’s greatest talents and ...

2017-05-15 13:39 open_in_new
QUIZ: 80's song or Eurovision 2017 entry?

VO

For many years, Eurovision served as a symbol for modernity; a hip and flashy Europe that knows no borders. While today it may be a stale memory for some, for others it is a moment to revive their long-lost patriotism. We analysed the songs and made a quiz for you... can you tell the ...

2017-05-12 12:57 open_in_new
The EU opens its doors to Ukranians

VO

Last Thursday the European Parliament voted for allowing visa-free travel to EU for Ukrainians with 521 votes pro, 75 against and 36 abstaining. The agreement will enter into force in June after being accepted by the Council of the European Union and published in the Official Journal ...

2017-05-12 11:51 open_in_new
How should Europe deal with right-wing populists?

With the recent defeat of Marine Le Pen in the French presidential elections, one thing became clear: right-wing populists are on the rise in Europe. While some warn of the dangers this might bring to the Old Continent, others argue that it enriches the political spectrum. 

The ...

2017-05-09 16:31 open_in_new
Why are politicians such messy eaters?

VO

Politicians on the campaign trail are desperate to be seen like normal, everyday people - and what could be more everyday and normal than enjoying a bite to eat? Unfortunately, since eating is also rarely dignified, many politicians find themselves the subject of very unflattering ...

2017-05-09 16:31 open_in_new
Has France had enough of the Front National?

VO

Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron will go head-to-head in the polls this weekend. Faced with the prospect of the far-right Front National taking power, unions have sprung into action to block her. But unlike in 2002, when France mobilised against Le Pen's father, Monday's demonstration ...

2017-05-05 14:29 open_in_new
Fatma Aydemir: The young Berliner between two worlds

VO

Fatma Aydemir's angry yet tender debut novel, Elbows, tells the story of a young German-Turkish girl trying to find herself.

It's Thursday evening in the Berlin neighbourhood of Schöneberg. The small bookshop in the Kiez is crammed full of older men and women. They are all here ...

2017-05-05 12:17 open_in_new
Why are politicians such messy easters?

Politicians on the campaign trail are desperate to be seen like normal, everyday people - and what could be more everyday and normal than enjoying a bite to eat? Unfortunately, since eating is also rarely dignified, many politicians find themselves the subject of very unflattering ...

2017-05-04 18:41 open_in_new
Max Richter on words, vision and Virginia Woolf

VO

German-born Max Richter is a chameleon of post-minimal classic and electro music, and one of the most influential contemporary British composers. His work includes a re-interpretation of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons; soundtracks for Martin Scorsese and Black Mirror; a reading of Kafka with ...

2017-05-03 18:29 open_in_new
Europe's new wave of female filmmakers

VO

The film world is often considered ahead of the curve in terms of social change. But that reputation hides a different reality, brought to light over the past few years by several studies. As European cinema is concerned, the fight for gender equality is far from over. Could the arrival ...

2017-05-03 14:05 open_in_new
Sounds of childhood: ice cream chimes across Europe

VO

Just like Marcel Proust had his cakes and coffee, the sound of an approaching ice cream van can bring about waves of nostalgia for an entire generation. Our interactive map explores what that nostalgia sounds like across the continent.

Imagine a sunny August evening in the late ...

2017-04-28 18:33 open_in_new
A Tale of Two Frances

VO

Last weekend, the French people spoke: Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen will advance to the second round of the French presidential elections. Their victories are the result of a country that is deeply divided on Europe and the question of globalisation.

The pollsters got it ...

2017-04-26 18:05 open_in_new
France's presidential nominees go back to their roots

VO

A good French president has to know and appreciate the products of their native land, which is why between now and 7 May you’ll see the candidates proclaim their love of cheese, cows and Calvados.

Jean Lassalle pulls his baseball cap further down his forehead, while a drone ...

2017-04-26 16:59 open_in_new