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“Stereotypes harm dignity, but the truth of the matter is that stereotypes sell”

What is your image of Africa? A poor, conflict-ridden, hot continent with beautiful sunsets and wild animals, or a hub for innovations and the second fastest growing economy?

By day Faten Aggad works as Africa programme manager at the European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM). By night she studies journalism and is a travel writer. In Every 60 seconds in Africa… from PechaKucha Night Maastricht Volume 29, she will challenge you to look at Western media headlines through a different lens.


“This picture has been taken 10 of 15 minutes after a vacuum bomb has been executed in the capital. This man is walking with his dog near the bomb and he says ‘I will live my life’.”

People can show extreme resilience under extraordinary situations. In A light in the Dark from PechaKucha Night Maastricht’s event at MSM, Speaker Mohammed Mahdi shows Yemeni people in their daily lives. He is impressed to see how they manage to progress under extreme situations which could be categorized as extremely hard life.


“We live in a global village but it turns out that all houses in the global village look the same, and I was kind of bothered with that.”

In An Affordable Alternative to Retail Chain Art from PechaKucha Night Maastricht’27th volume, presenter Tom Luyten discusses one of his biggest issues when it comes to home decoration. Bothered by the fact that we live in a world full of living rooms with the same picture hanging above the couch, he created an alternative. Watch as Tom tells us how to create art that is both unique and affordable, without settling for lesser quality and still provide the artist with a sufficient compensation.

The Fragrant City


“Smell gives us a sense of place. Our nose is our built in navigator and every city is filled with smell scapes.”

In The Fragrant City from PechaKucha Night Maastrict Volume 29, Speaker Tanja Schell shows how powerful one of our most ignored senses is. We live in a world of scents. And we are influenced by them 24/7. All those scents influence our mood and our wellbeing, all of them. Even those we are not aware of. Scent is a hidden but powerful dimension which adds a strong sense of place to the urban space, it makes cities more attractive and more safe. After ages of reducing and controlling odour emissions in the city, time has come to develop a positive policy to use this invisible power.

Keep The Heartbeat Going

“At the end, I want to stress… You, you can save someone’s life. You can save someone loved’s life ”

In Resuscitation A Basic Skill For All from PechaKucha Night Maastricht’s 27th Volume Jules Olsthoorn Discusses Keep the Heartbeat Going, an organization dedicated to educating the public about CPR. The first six minutes after a heart attack is a crucial time, and it is imperative that one knows how to resuscitate a loved one should they ever be put in such a situation. A medical student in Maastricht, Jules spends most of his time at Taskforce QRS Maastricht, an organisation that promotes and facilitates resuscitation education in the Netherlands.

 

No less than seven students, and for the first time, one member of MSM’s mentor program took the stage on Thursday 28 January for the annual New Year PechaKucha event, organized in collaboration with PechaKucha Maastricht.

 

For the third year, MBA students at MSM are invited to present their dreams, insights and visions to staff, friends, mentors, and MSM’s local business partners and stakeholders, by using the powerful PechaKucha presentation format.

The PechaKucha concept is simple yet effective. Devised by Klein Dytham Architecture in Tokyo in 2003 as a fast-paced presentation format to pitch new ideas, each speaker presents 20 slides, each for 20 seconds. PechaKucha events have grown into valued platforms for inspiration, creativity and networking and are now taking place in close to 900 cities across the world. It has existed in Maastricht since 2009.

Social Media Maastricht School of Management

After receiving a special introduction and coaching session by PechaKucha Maastricht co-organiser and MSM affiliate communications officer Sueli Brodin, seven MBA students from countries as varied as India, Lebanon, Yemen, Brazil, Zimbabwe and Trinidad and Tobago came forward and volunteered to take up the challenge. Upon hearing about the event, MBA program mentor Jan-Martin Ahrendt, from Maastricht’s expat center, enthusiastically decided to join them. They said they were motivated by the opportunity to share an inspiring story not only with the public at MSM but also later online with the rest of the world, through the PechaKucha Maastricht website.

 

The presenters were free to choose their own topics and own slides. Many of them fully embraced the chance to demonstrate their creativity. Mohammed Mahdi from Yemen said: “I wanted to talk about the ability of people to be resilient under extreme conditions, by taking the example of my own country. But I didn’t have enough pictures to illustrate my topic. So I asked my friends back home for help and they went on the streets to take photographs for me. One of them even designed the slides for me. I am very grateful for their help and want to credit them all.”

The presentations were as informative and as varied in topic and in style: MBA32 students Gireesh  Shrivastava spoke about the extraordinary variety of religions and outings that make up the Indian culture, Antoine Jeha highlighted the value of emotional intelligence as a factor of synergy in the workplace, Anwer Azzan looked at the future of university education, Julia Taddei shared the compelling and dramatic story of the Old Chico river in her home region of Brazil, Beverly Best described a little known yet impressively successful model of regional integration within  the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS). And last but not least, Ivy Musora inspired the audience with an insightful presentation on the priceless life lessons that can be learned from dogs.

The topic chosen by MBA mentor Jan-Martin Ahrendt could not have been more suitable topic for the international MSM audience: he spoke about the relentless efforts of the Maastricht expat center to establish a regional network of institutions and service providers with the goal to create an attractive climate for internationals in the Maastricht Region. Mr. Ahrendt said he enjoyed this first PechaKucha experience. “Due to the 20×20 time frame I was very nervous before the presentation, but at the same time I was very much looking forward to it. It is a great way to present, to send a message and to draw people’s attention to it. Despite the variety of the topics presented, I did not lose my attention for a minute. The response of the students to my presentation afterwards was very enthusiastic,” he said.


 

“Craft keeps alive a few million– a few billion people but it doesn't lift them out of poverty. You need something else; what you need is your brain and my brain, an attitude, and a change.”

In Pro-Poor Innovation, How to Hype it with Micro Industry from PechaKucha Night Maastrict’s 27th Volume, Reinder van Tijen, owner of the company Demotech discusses industry at the poverty level. In industry, one needs capital. In an environment with no capital, one needs Ingenuity. Loopholes can be found when one re-designs concepts, tools, methods, and ideas to make them accessible and affordable to everybody in the world. Tijen’s goal? To improve lives with tricks and techniques and create more joy per person.

 

Digging for History



"... an African proverb he taught me: 'If the lions don't survive to tell their stories, the hunters get all the credit.' He wanted to tell the story of 260 men in his unit. He was the only one still alive."

In Digging for History from PechaKucha Night Maastricht Vol. 27, Mieke Kirkels tells the story of the segregated US Army in Margraten, Netherlands, and specifically the cemetary where many of the fallen WWII soldiers bodies now rest. As she dug further into the story of the graves, she learned about the nearly 1 million African-American soldiers who depsite helping to liberate Europe from Nazi Germany, go unrecognized in most history books. One of these few remaining living soldiers shared his story with her. 

Kirkels believes that it is important to listen to people's stories, to listen with our ears and with our heart. Because history is about lives. Let's listen and read behind the lines...

How does it feel like to attend a PechaKucha Night for the first time?
 
Katrina Jacobsen Jensen gave a compelling presentation on "Redefining Identity" at PechaKucha Maastricht Vol. 27.
 
She wrote a blog post about her first PechaKucha experience.
 
 
Although it sounds a little bit like a strange sneeze….. if someone asks you to be a part of a PechaKucha night….say YES!
 
This year in Maastricht, I attended my first PechaKucha evening (Japanese for "chit chat") and now I'm hooked! 
 
I was requested to prepare a 6 minute and 40 second speech which would be accompanied by 20 slides shown in 20 second intervals. The standard PechaKucha format designed to keep speakers concise and on track. 
 
After finalizing the outline and selecting my 20 images, I began practising my presentation with a timer. Well….back to the drawing board! Who knew that fitting a speech into 6 minutes and 40 seconds would be such a challenge? 
 
For some it may seem like a very long time. For me however, it was not an easy task to get my story across in a relatively short time span while keeping it interesting and making sure the audience would be able to comfortably follow the content. 
 

 
Through many modifications and countless trial runs, I fine tuned my presentation and was ready for the event. As the final speaker of the evening, I had the unique opportunity to enjoy the entire night from the audience before my name was announced. 
 
My fellow presenters' topics ranged from art to business, travel, history, health, music and more. I liked that there was no specific theme and felt that the variety kept the night diverse and offered a full spectrum of knowledge. Something of interest for everyone present. 
 



 
The evening made me more aware of all kinds of events taking place in my neighbourhood and people around me that I previously knew nothing about. What an excellent networking tool!  
 
The response to my speech on "Redefining Identity" was very positive and seemed to inspire people, which of course in turn, inspired me. It gave me a chance to further connect with my intelligent, creative community while sharing some of my experiences. 
 
With more than 700 cities worldwide hosting PechaKucha evenings, there is a good chance that one is near you. So despite the name triggering an urge to sneeze, if you're ever given the opportunity, be sure to be in attendance! 
 


 
 




"Some [postcards] promoted colonial ideology and served to uphold the supposed hierarchy of the world, with white societies on top." 

The Golden Age of postcards (1907-1915) coincided with the popularization of anthropology and renewed interest in European colonies. Colonial postcards from this time illustrate some of the most prominent ideas of colonialism and beliefs regarding ethnic hierarchy. In Greetings from the Colonies: Postcards from a Painful Past from PechaKucha Night Maastricht Vol. 27, writer and scholar Inge Oosterhoff retraces these ideas, as well as the ways in which France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and other colonizing countries viewed and propagandized their “colonized peoples.”

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