30 October 2015
Category : Opinion
The engine room of the EUROsociAL annual conference
Every EUROsociAL annual conference has had its engine room. In Lima, it was Room 212; in Brussels, the office of the FIIAPP “antenna”; in Antigua, we lost ourselves in the corridors and cloisters of the Training Centre; and lastly, in Madrid, it was the Octavio Paz room.Sala de máquinas del encuentro
Each place has its share of anecdotes. In Lima we would gather after dinner until the wee hours in an atmosphere that resembled a newsroom more than a hotel room. There, the phone stopped ringing at two in the morning… but at five it was ringing again. Your humble chronicler was the “guest”. In Brussels, the FIIAPP office was overtaken by nerves two hours before the start of the “EUROsociAL Meeting” with the European Commission. 120 minutes to go and still putting together bags. The Made-in-EUROsociAL knack for improvisation and a multifaceted movie producer who packed his Fiat Panda to the gills with materials, came to our rescue just before the “bell”. In Antigua, we were so suffused with the beauty and elegance of the colonial city and the solemnity of the cloisters of the former Jesuit School (today the Training Centre) that all our preparation and the meeting itself flowed without a hitch.
And that brings us to Casa de América, right in the middle of downtown Madrid. On Monday, 19th October 2015, the latest EUROsociAL conference got underway, and, very early on, the Octavio Paz room, our portable office, became the scene of nerves, laughter, tears, and desperation in an authentic roller coaster of emotions. Eva, Dani, Federica, Clara, Darío, Matteo, Sergio, Laura, David, Danae, and many other people crisscrossed in time and space from sun-up to sundown, coexisting with the legends of Palacio de Linares. There, almost without realising it, we were all playing on the same team.
This place will remain etched on EUROsociAL’s memory. And as the poet the room was named for wrote, “Love is born at the strike of an arrow; friendship from frequent exchanges over time”. We don’t know if love was born, but it’s clear that friendship found a place in the Sala Octavio Paz.
Until we meet again,
Enrique Martínez, EUROsociAL communication manager
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