EuropeS. The Green Guide to the Perplexed

As an outcome of the first edition of the Castrum Peregrini Dialogue, a joint initiative of the European Cultural Foundation (ECF) and Castrum Peregrini, we are working on a publication that will take the form of a travel magazine. During the European Cultural Challenge – a two-day advocacy retreat to work on positive change through culture, organised by ECF, taking place in Amsterdam on 15 and 16 May – key contributors of the magazine, 2018 ECF Princess Margriet Award for Culture laureate Krzysztof Czyzewski and guest experts, critically discussed contributions for the Green Guide to the Perplexed, and literally – though in its widest sense – map “Europes” (mental) territories – with its borders, fault lines and promising lands.

Here are some impressions of our meetings:

Adeola Enigbokan, editor of the Green Guide, summarizing a days discussions.

Charl Landvreugd and Wendelien van Oldenborgh in conversation about their contribution to the Green Guide

Quinsy Gario working on a ballad of the perplexed.

Gloria Wekker and Diana Pinto in conversation about a life journey in style.

This work also has a second object in view: It seeks to explain certain obscure figures which occur in the Prophets, and are not distinctly characterized as being figures. Ignorant and superficial readers take them in a literal, not in a figurative sense. Even well informed persons are bewildered if they understand these passages in their literal signification, but they are entirely relieved of their perplexity when we explain the figure, or merely suggest that the terms are figurative. For this reason I have called this book Guide for the Perplexed 

Maimonides, ‘The Guide for the Perplexed’ circa 1190

‘The Negro Motorist Green Book’ was published between 1936 and 1966 to guide African-American car owner who, despite the harsh realities of segregation and racism, decided to travel in the United States of America during the era of Jim Crow laws. The Green Book pointed them to safe places to eat, sleep and refuel, an information that could save them endless trouble and, perhaps, their lives.

Taking inspiration in those 12th and 20th Century references, ‘Europes. The Green Guide to the Perplexed’ will be a one-off magazine, published by Castrum Peregrini and the European Cultural Foundation, designed to share with a broader audience the stimulating intellectual journey that we experienced together in our meetings in 2017.

Perplexity about the state of Europe is what brought us together last year, and we did not get rid of it; rather, we embraced it in our journey together, and we want it to be central to our Magazine. We are imagining this coming publication as a travel magazine which, as this kind of publications does, fulfills the double role of a guidebook –with tips pointing the readers towards interesting features of the shifting European mindscapes, highlights, safe roads, shelters and more – and of an appealing teaser that entices the reader to actually set off on a journey of discovery. The result is meant to be aesthetically appealing and intellectually stimulating in equal measure.