16 May 2014

MA Publishing students create a bilingual catalogue about the Banlieue network

Alumnus to exhibit at the London National Theatre

Students and staff from Publishing, School of Arts have been working on a project to develop an exhibition catalogue in partnership with the Department of English and Modern Languages. Lea Abot, MA in International Publishing, explains the project.

"At the end of semester 1, one of our lecturers presented the cohort a project to develop an exhibition catalogue in partnership with the Modern Languages Department at Oxford Brookes. She needed a team of publishing students to help with the creation and production of an accompanying catalogue for an exhibition the following April about the Parisian Banlieue. The book would be bilingual in English and French. Having previous experiences in exhibition catalogue creation and being a native French speaker, I jumped at the opportunity! The benefit of this unusual work experience – I was not working for a publishing house! – was absolutely brilliant: Oxford-based, my own time management and a lot of responsibilities. I was not just assisting someone, but I was rather at the centre of the creation of the whole book.

As we were creating the book from scratch, I had the chance to complete a multiple set of tasks, from editorial, to marketing, via production and design. I was the principal designer for the project, using InDesign to design the entire book, its cover, the whole of the marketing material and the title board of the exhibition – all in less than two months. This experience has offered me the chance to cultivate my ideas and create a portfolio, which I will be able to present during future interviews.

The aim of the exhibition, opening in the Glass Tank on 3 April, is to question the negative clichés attached to the Banlieue of Paris by exploring it as a hub of creativity from where new types of voices, discourses and identities are emerging. Based on the outcomes of a Summer School organised in July 2013, the exhibition showcases examples of collaboration between international artists and scholars who immersed themselves for a week in the culturally diverse environment of Greater Paris. The catalogue is bilingual in English and French."