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Alice Sholto-Douglas ()  

Alice Sholto-Douglas
NYU Student

Hometown: Cape Town, South Africa 

Major : Global Liberal Studies

Class: 2015

Position at LPD: Videographer Intern

Interests: writing, travel, photography, film, theatre, music

 

What does dialogue mean to you?

Dialogue is an opportunity to share our perspectives with others and work through our reasoning to better understand why we think what we think. It is also a chance for us to be informed in a way that directly entertains our own questions. This type of discussion is important not only in creating an appreciation and awareness of other people´s perspectives while formulating our own, but also in re-examining our preconceived notions about topics upon which we can always deepen our knowledge and expand our way of thinking. Dialogues are a test of our humility and can dispel our ignorance, particularly about topics that may otherwise be difficult to talk about in other social situations for fear of judgment or because they are taboo.

 

What initially brought you to LPD?

Being that this is my second semester at NYU Florence, I was able to attend many of the dialogues in the Fall. I found that LPD offered a diverse range of dialogues that catered to my interests, from politics to astronomy to art, so I was keen on the idea of engaging a bit more behind the scenes. As a student in Global Liberal Studies, I was provided with an internship placement at the Middle East Now Film Festival, for which I found myself working as a liaison between Middle East Now and LPD, aiding in the formation of a student jury that awarded a prize for the festival´s best short film. In the spring, I volunteered my services as videographer, and then I became more involved once the idea for the poetry dialogue ripened into a reality.

 

What was your motivation behind organizing your own dialogue with LPD?

I spent my Freshman Year in Paris, where my friends and I often attended a weekly Spoken Word Night at a cafe down the street from where we lived called Au Chat Noir. While visiting one weekend in early March, one of my friends who has since become more involved in Paris´s poetry scene invited me to his apartment, where we were joined by a couple of his poet friends. They introduced to me The Belleville Park Pages - a literary magazine published in Paris and London that features the poetry of an array of international writers, and we got to talking about the place of poetry in contemporary global society and its power to impact and spark discussion while uniting people from all parts of the world. As I am passionate about the way creative production can serve as a dynamic platform for social change, I brought the concept for the dialogue back to Florence with me.

 

Why did you choose to major in Global Liberal Studies?

The short answer: an existential crisis and a bowl of oatmeal. The long answer: GLS is a program that does not divide learning into isolated subjects - it accepts that knowledge is fluid and subjects run into each other, and I agree. Further, it gave me the opportunity to cater my plan of study specifically to my personal interests, while at the same time, follow a structured academic plan under my concentration in Contemporary Culture and Creative Production. I grew up in South Africa and attended an international middle and high school, so I have always been drawn to travel and felt most comfortable when surrounded by people from many countries and backgrounds. GLS lets me combine all of my interests and explore who I am alongside the world of academia in a way that is relevant to our contemporary, globally connected society.

 

LPD in one sentence?

Enlightening discussion with phenomenal people in Tuscan villas.

 
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