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Babel Academy 2011: the Istanbul-Dubrovnik express

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The Orient Express Reporter project of, which set off less than a year ago in , Turkey, calling at several cities in the EU and Western Balkans, has arrived to its final stop in Dubrovnik, Croatia, on the first weekend of September. Babelians from all over the continent celebrated the accomplishments with the .

Istanbul6th Babel Academy

Similarly to previous academies, the Babelian atmosphere was created by the polyglot crowd of 33 participants arriving from 15 different countries. The venue was no coincidence either – the countries of the Western Balkans, including Croatia, were the focus of the project besides Turkey. Timing of Orient Express Reporter could not have been more perfect, since this year marked significant steps for both Croatia and Serbia in their EU-accession process. However, the volunteer journalist and photographers of Orient Express, in line with the best traditions of’s very own “Europe on the ground” reports, have fared much further than any EU diplomat would dare: speaking to Montenegrin journalists, Macedonian documentary-makers, Serbian PR-managers and so on, they strove to present the cities they visited in a unique Babelian perspective. The end-result, 8 photogalleries and 35 articles in six languages, is available in the of the magazine.

Orient Express Reporter section

Obviously, the local teams were geared up for the projects as well, organizing debates about the European integration of the Western Balkans and Turkey in five cities of the EU: Strasbourg, Athens, Sofia, Vienna and of course in Budapest too. Total number of all the debate participants was well above 500. Moreover, a photo exhibition has been organized in Paris from the pictures taken during Orient Express. Thanks to this project, two new local teams were founded, in and . Next year the project is expected to continue and Budapest will be on board for sure. Details will be posted on our blog in due course.


As you can see, the editors and volunteers of had a lot to discuss in Dubrovnik, but there was much rejoicing too, as evident from the video below!

Video by Lucille Caballero