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Jun 20, 2016 2:50 PM ET

Archived: Europe’s first participatory online magazine – Six languages, 20 local teams and more than 1,500 contributors a year: Cafébabel launches its first ever book, X Y Z, a viewpoint showcasing how the Euro-Generation sees Europe “in real life”

iCrowdNewswire - Jun 20, 2016


Cafébabel launches its first ever book


Six languages, 20 local teams and more than 1,500 contributors a year – it’s clear that cafébabel has come a long way since it was founded in 2001 by a handful of Erasmus students in Strasbourg. AsEurope’s first participatory online magazine, our work has so far been exclusively published digitally. For our 15th anniversary, we wanted to shake things up a bit by giving ourselves an unprecedented challenge: we’re writing a book. A real one! With paper and ink and everything. You’ve got to admit that’s pretty cool.

Once everyone in the newsroom had agreed on the idea, we set to work. After hundreds of suggestions, dozens of post-it notes tacked to our blackboard, uncountable hours spent brainstorming and a couple of passionate shouting matches – we finally settled on our killer concept:XYZ.

XYZ is a compilation of 15 reports emblematic of 15 cities that make up our portrait of European society. XYZ is a viewpoint showcasing how the Euro-Generation sees Europe “in real life”.

XYZ is a conversation between text and photography, where contemporary photojournalists reinterpret articles that have been published by our writers over several years of hard reporting across the Old Continent.

XYZ is a reflection on European identity addressed to three generations: X, Y and Z. It’s a bridge between those who knew Europe as it was yesterday, those who inhabit it today, and those who might define what it will become tomorrow.

The book came out of a desire to present readers with an alternative format to compliment our online content, which has been our sole way of working for our 15-year existence. We wanted to produce a beautiful, lasting object – in contrast to our usual interactive, online media. The publication of such a work is equally a way of extending the life of our content, celebrating the hard work of our contributors. In this way, we also hope to prove that the kind of participatory online journalism that cafébabel produces is synonymous with journalistic quality. Finally, in order that the book better mirrors the multilingual nature of our magazine, the English translation of each report will be published alongside its original language version.

* All of the visuals presented on this page are prototypes and are thus open to modification over the course of the book’s production.


What are the funds for?

The €8000, raised thanks to your generous donations, will go towards financing the production of the book. Of this:

  • €2500 will be spent on printing
  • €1400 will go into the production process (including the manufacturing of a prototype by a specialist, proofreading of the texts and graphic design costs)
  • €2260 will be spent on communication and donor rewards (including the organisation of the launch party, making the video, and other rewards)
  • €1200 will be used to finance the distribution of the book all over Europe
  • €640 will go to Ulule.

 An enormous thank you!


The totebag


The book 


A photo from the book in the form of a postcard


A photo from the book in the form of an A3 poster


About the project owner

Cafébabel is Europe’s first participatory magazine written by and for the youth of Europe. It’s published in six languages – English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Polish – and relies on a network of 1,500 volunteer authors, translators, photographers and filmmakers across Europe.

At cafébabel, we talk about Europe “in real life”. A dynamic and offbeat editorial line – at the same time informal and serious – that covers topics of society, politics, culture and lifestyle that today’s youth experience in their daily lives.

Cafébabel is an innovative media project born in 2001, emerging from the inquiring minds of a group of Erasmus students from 12 different European countries. Their idea? To create the first media to give voice to all European citizens, no matter their language. The first edition of cafébabel went online in 4 languages on the 1st of February 2001. Since then, the Babelian network hasn’t stopped growing, now consisting of 20 local teams based all over Europe. Today, it also includes a full-time team of 10 to 12 people coordinating a community of over 1,500 volunteers from the head office in Paris.

Thanks to a constantly expanding team of authors and a dynamic network of volunteer translators, the site now publishes insix languages.

Launched originally as a mad student project, cafébabel is now recognised as one of the premiere solely online media to have been created in Europe: a participatory magazine that offers readers original and offbeat content about what’s going on in Europe.


Alexandre is the boss. This French 36-year-old is one of cafébabel’s co-founders and has thus known the project right from the beginning! He coordinates our beautiful team to bring the book project to life, and makes sure that we keep to our deadlines.





Alice is our development officer. This French 27-year-old arrived at cafébabel in 2014. She takes care of the numbers, organising the budget for our crowdfunding project.






Anthony is in charge of communications and partnerships at cafébabel. This 25-year-old came to Paris from Belgium in October 2015. He organises the whole of the project’s crowdfunding campaign, and makes sure we all communicate effectively on social networks.





Katharina is our editorial coordinator. This 35-year-old German started her cafébabel adventure way back in 2007. She was the one who had the idea for a book, and makes sure that the editorial content is up to scratch, ensuring you will be as happy as possible with the finished result!





Lorenzo is a 26-year-old Italian who came to us from Prato in 2015. He was our Italian editor for 10 months, organising, along with Katharina, the books editorial content.






Pierre has been our graphic designer since February 2015. From Nantes, this 24-year-old likes to express himself through illustration. He’s the books engineer, the person who created and formatted it, and who designed the cover. In short, he’s the one who makes it beautiful!




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