Over the past week, from Monday 27 February to Thursday 2 March, the EUROCLIO team and the APHG (French Association of History and Geography Teachers) team met in Marseille to prepare the 25th EUROCLIO Annual Conference, which will be in the Mediterranean city between 21 and 28 April 2018, around the theme “Mediterranean, Dialogues”.
The aim of this preparatory week was to meet with the main partners and supporters of the Annual Conference and to agree with the APHG team on a final program.
On the first day, the EUROCLIO and APHG teams were hosted by a Conference Development Manager in the Congress Centre to speak about the logistics of the conference, such as excursion days, restaurants and hotels; this first meeting was very promising for the organization of the conference. In the evening, the group had the opportunity to attend a Mediterranean tasting and try different specialties to find a caterer for the Annual Conference; Mediterranean dialogues can also focus on food and traditions.
In the following days, the preparatory team had meetings with the two main partners of the Annual Conference: The History Museum of Marseille and the MUCEM (Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations), which will host the plenary conference, round tables and workshops.
It was an opportunity to introduce the Annual Conference program but also to exchange and agree on the content of the workshops, since the two museums will be involved in the events. After the meeting, the French and Dutch teams had access to the MUCEM. They visited the Gallery of the Mediterranean, which displays a variety of objects and works of art from Mediterranean civilizations, and the exhibition “After Babel, Translate”, which explains and covers from a historical perspective the challenges of translation in our globalized world.
EUROCLIO and APHG also found support in the City Hall of Marseille, and met with a Mayor Deputy responsible for integration. This meeting was again very promising because the City Hall showed its interest in the Annual Conference and suggested to host the Inaugural Day in the Pharo Palace, a spectacular venue constructed under Napoleon III.
Finally, the team visited a high school, Marseilleveyre, where one of the APHG members teaches History and Geography. This high school is situated next to the hills of Marseille and contains a lot of open-air spaces with big classes; so it would be perfect to host the last day of workshops. Besides, since it has Arabic sections, the APHG member suggested that Moroccan and Tunisian teachers could intervene in the workshops and round tables.
This first preparatory week in Marseille was very nice and productive for the EUROCLIO and APHG teams. It seems that the local actors are very motivated to host the 25th EUROCLIO Annual Conference and to introduce their Mediterranean city.