Babel to print first issue in Nov.

By Federico Burlon

Come November, expect a new magazine to join existing campus publications. Babel, an international affairs-focused magazine, is an initiative of a group of ten Macalester students from around the world.The new magazine will focus on “different experiences and perspectives from all over the world,” according to the proposal the group of students sent to several Macalester departments seeking financial support. The publishers intend to have produced two issues by the end of the semester.

“The idea is to have an international magazine in which everybody can participate,” said Diego Ponce de Leon ’08, one of the magazine’s founders. “Some concepts are different for different people….

Peace is not the same for somebody in Sudan as for somebody in the U.S. We want to reflect these juxtapositions.”

Babel will feature articles written by students from different cultures, including both domestic and international students.

“This is an open initiative to everybody on campus,” Ponce de Leon said.

The committee organizing Babel is made up of students from different regions of the world. Each is the editor for articles about his region. Each issue will concentrate on a central theme—the first issue’s theme will be migration. Magazine articles will also address current events from every region.

“We would like to have one or two issues this semester, so that we can consider the feedback we receive from people on campus,” Ponce de Leon said.

The initiative has already received support from different academic departments and organizations on campus.

“We have received some money from the Institute for Global Citizenship and from the…Latin American Studies [program],” Ponce de Leon said. “The International Center, the Lealtad Suzuki Center, Macalester Investment Association and the African Studies [program] have already expressed support.”

Despite the support received, the editors still are looking for more contributions.

“We need around $1,000 and we have fundraised $800 so far,” Ponce de Leon said.

The largest contributions have come from the Institute for Global Citizenship and the Latin American Studies program.

“With $1,000 we could publish the magazine on recycled paper and also have a web page,” he said.

The idea of publishing a magazine about international issues is not a new one. Ponce de Leon was involved in publishing a premier issue of Fuego, which dealt with Latin American issues. The student organization Afrika has periodically published African Voices, which deals with African affairs. Ponce de Leon said that “Babel” is not intended to replace Fuego, which, despite being warmly received, lacked writers. Ponce de Leon said that “Babel” is an effort to make a publication appealing to all cultures on campus, including domestic students.

“We are very interested in domestic students writing about their own culture, about how they feel [about] having contact with different cultures, about their identity,” Ponce de Leon said.

Ponce de Leon said that editors expect that submissions be completed by Oct. 29.