Saturday, February 28, 2015

The Bondy Blog

Bondy is the sort of typically ugly suburb you can see out of the window as your Eurostar pulls out of Paris - tower blocks, criss-crossed with flyovers, auto-routes and the RER rail network. Not the sort of place you would choose to live, but some people have to.

Ten years a go two enterprising journalists spent a fortnight there studying suburban life and the result was the creation of the Bondy Blog - a club for young locals, built around the idea of creating a blog in which they write about their daily life or any other subject they choose, following discussions at one of the regular editorial meetings. For most of the youngsters this was their first attempt at writing - and getting read - and today the group is linked the European School of Journalism in Lille, and has been 'adopted' by the French daily newspaper LibĂ©ration. 

To celebrate their tenth anniversay the group had a 50 minute programme on French TV, in which the founders and members talk about their club, and what it has done for their lives. Several politicians have visited the club and faced fairly searching interviews by the young journalists - and even president Hollande paid a visit last week!

It is worth watching the video which may change your ideas about so-called 'problem estates' and the peole who live there. As one young writer says "Yes there is petty crime, vandalism, drug dealing. That is part of the story, but not all of it...."

See for info and to watch the recent video.