Europa Bazaar, the voice of young europeans

Article published on Jan. 21, 2014
Article published on Jan. 21, 2014

In Eu­rope's grand bazaar, a young French­man, pas­sion­ate about radio, is taking his mi­cro­phone from Lon­don to Berlin, via Brus­sels, to make his voice heard as a Eu­ro­pean cit­i­zen and meet the Eras­mus gen­er­a­tion. In­ter­view.

‘The EU? Every­one’s tired of it!’ But not him. The penny dropped for An­toine Lheureux when he was in Lon­don host­ing a morn­ing show on French Radio Lon­don: The fu­ture of Eu­rope is de­cided by Eu­rope! So, he comes up with a pro­gramme aimed at 18 – 45 year olds, the ‘Eras­mus gen­er­a­tion’, whose pi­o­neers first crossed their bor­ders in 1987 and today have ac­cess to po­si­tions of re­spon­si­bil­ity. Con­se­quently, four ini­tial shows were broad­cast on the waves of French Radio Lon­don at the be­gin­ning of 2013. An­toine sub­se­quently de­cides to take his suit­cases and sound equip­ment to Berlin. With the sup­port of the RFI (Radio France In­ter­na­tionale) cor­re­spon­dent, he records two new edi­tions. Tak­ing ad­van­tage of this, he sets off to re­port from East­ern Eu­rope. His jour­ney has now led him to Brus­sels, where the next show is being put together. 

Cafébabel: Tell us about the con­cept of this show, ‘Eu­ropa Bazaar.’

An­toine Lheureux: The show is 45 min­utes long with re­ports, fea­tures, quizzes and a guest. At the mo­ment it is quite clas­sic, but I am re­fin­ing the ed­i­to­r­ial line and the ‘elec­tronic and bounc­ing’ sound iden­tity from show to show. I talk about the Eras­mus gen­er­a­tion, but there’s more to it than that. The Eu­ro­pean Union is a great cor­ner­stone, but it seems like every­one has had enough, es­pe­cially since the re­al­ity is far from per­fect. On the con­trary, I think that the EU is a real way to bring the cit­i­zens closer. The young peo­ple who have gone on Eras­mus keep in con­tact with the other Eu­ro­peans they meet, es­pe­cially nowa­days thanks to so­cial net­works. I'm also using these tools to carry this voice.

cafébabel : You also de­fine 'Eu­ropa Bazaar' as a par­tic­i­pa­tive and com­mu­nity-based plat­form. How does that work?

A.L. : I want to de­velop a com­mu­nity of in­ter­net users on the Face­book page and in­vite them to pro­pose top­ics and react to the re­ports we broad­cast.

cafébabel : What top­ics do you cover in your show?

A.L. : In the most re­cent show, the 6th edi­tion, I touch upon the im­pact of the NSA sur­veil­lance on Eu­rope with my guest Ul­rike Guérot, an es­say­ist and Eu­ro­pean an­a­lyst. In his fea­ture, Luke Tudge, a so­cial psy­chol­o­gist, analy­ses stereo­types of Eu­ro­peans. This time, he asks 'why do the French have a rep­u­ta­tion for being ar­ro­gant?' The main story con­cerns the prat­ice of Catholi­cism in Poland. There are also ‘his­tory’ and ‘tourism’ fea­tures, as well as quizzes on the cul­tural as­pects of each coun­try. Fi­nally, since I love elec­tro music, I want to help younger peo­ple dis­cover this kind of music with the help of a French blog­ger who lives in Berlin. I have also recorded a re­port on the Plötzlich am Meer fes­ti­val in Poland.

cafébabel : How did your par­tic­u­lar in­ter­est in Eu­rope come to be?

A.L.: Ini­tially it was not a con­cern for me. After my jour­nal­ism train­ing, I hosted news bul­letins on local sta­tions in the Lyon area, where I’m from. Then I left for Eng­land, be­cause I wanted to learn how to make ‘Eng­lish-style’ radio. In Lon­don I evolved in an in­ter­na­tional en­vi­ron­ment, and that’s where I be­came in­ter­ested in Eu­ro­pean iden­tity.

cafébabel : Who is sup­port­ing you in your ini­tia­tive? How is a pro­ject such as this fi­nanced?

A.L. : The sup­port comes from meet­ing peo­ple. French Radio Lon­don and Pas­cal Thibaud, RFI’s cor­re­spon­dent in Berlin, have helped me record the shows in a stu­dio. I have sev­eral re­porters and jour­nal­ists who en­rich the show with their vi­sion. For now, it’s more about get­ting things done on a shoe­string. I just bought a dig­i­tal record­ing de­vice at my own ex­pense. In the near fu­ture I will move to Brus­sels, pri­mar­ily in order to truly re­turn to the core of the sub­ject, by being at the heart of the in­sti­tu­tions, but also to find real spon­sors. 

cafébabel : What are your up­com­ing pro­jects?

A.L. :  Once I have moved to Brus­sels, I shall put the fin­ish­ing touches to the 7th edi­tion, due in Feb­ru­ary. I hope to make one show per month, be­fore re­turn­ing to France a few months from now, the last step of my jour­ney. The idea is to be in a po­si­tion to put my con­cept for­ward for the sum­mer­time radio sched­ules, which often make space for new shows. I would also like to suc­cess­fully cre­ate a mul­ti­lin­gual pro­gramme, that would be great and it would match the very spirit of the Eu­ro­pean grand bazaar!

TO LIS­TEN TO AN­TOINE LHEUREUX, GO TO THE  EU­ROPA BAZAAR SITE AND TAKE PART IN THE COM­MU­NITY OF LIS­TEN­ERS ON THE PRO­JECT’S FACE­BOOK PAGE.