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Brännpunkt Europa Celebrates 100 Events!

Brännpunkt Europa organized its inaugural event on Wednesday May 9, 2012, and its latest event on Monday March 2, 2020. In total 100 different events have been organized welcoming 7212 audience members, which means an incredible average of 72 per event! May 9, 2020 was the eighth anniversary of the student-run organization.

The first event on Wednesday, May 9, 2012 was organized in the lecture hall Dragonen from 12-13:00, with guest speaker Christopher Kullenberg, a philosopher at FLOV, who was also an activist in the international hacker network Telecomix. Christopher lectured on how Telecomix acted to provide protesters in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and other countries with alternative internet access when the regimes shut down the internet connections. He reflected that young people in the Arab Spring countries appeared much more diligent in computer coding than the average young person in Western countries. This reflection led to a discussion on digital literacy.

The most recent event was organized on Monday, March 2, 2020, also from 12-13:00, in Room B225 entitled "Kurds, Between War and Revolution" with guest speaker Thomas Schmidinger. Thomas is a political scientist and social anthropologist teaching at the University of Vienna and the University for Applied Sciences Upper Austria. He is secretary general of the Austrian Association for the Promotion of Kurdish Studies, Co-editor of the Vienna Kurdish Studies Yearbook and has written several books about Syria and other topics from the Middle East.

Information about the past Brännpunkt Europa events can be found on the website http://brannpunkteuropa.squarespace.com/

Besides offering students an excellent extra-curricular activity which fosters community, critical thinking, and hands-on organizational experiences, Brännpunkt provides a public space for discussing pressing issues. During the current situation with the Coronavirus, when public spaces are shut down in many countries, it is extra valuable to acknowledge Brännpunkt as a positive example of an open space.