For many of us this year, Spain means the country that won the World Cup. But for students from the Jean Jaurès secondary school in Saint-Ouen, it’s also a country of buildings that are half-mosque and half-cathedral, of the gardens of the sultans, and a land of cultural diversity. 57 students had a chance to experience all this first-hand at the end of May, during a trip supported by the BNP Paribas Foundation and the General Council of the Seine-Saint-Denis region as a part of the ”Odyssée Jeunes“ programme.
At this secondary school in Seine-Saint-Denis, learning Spanish isn’t just about grammar exercises and vocabulary – it’s a true cultural project, which is also a part to the curriculum in French and History class. The students learn about Muslim art, Spanish craftsmanship and the history of a country that has created, over centuries, a rich and unique cultural identity.
Approaching the subject from the angle of “Spain – Land of three religions”, the students prepared all year long for a trip that allowed them explore the cultural heritage of the country and the influences of Muslim, Christian and Jewish religious art. This fascinating subject led the students and their teachers to travel to Toledo, Granada and Cordoba, to observe in situ how these various influences blended and responded to each other.
By leaving a great deal of room for personal experience and cultural discovery, this project has turned these young secondary school students into true citizens of Europe.
We thank the students and teachers of the Jean Jaurès secondary school, and the RCF team for producing this documentary.