Thought Catalog Europe was born this autumn and stands for the plane ride, the escape, the sabbatical we all dream of for 2017.
It’s an open platform for everyone to explore, expand and share their thoughts and connect with the stories that make the world go round on the old continent. From the libertine arty night life of Berlin, to the bourgeois romanticism of Paris, to the best cities to move in as a freelancer (you MUST try Tallin, they have the best Internet in the world!), from the controversies of Brexit, gentrification, Polish protests and Russian extremism to the highs and lows of travelling, living and breathing the young adult life in both Western and Eastern societies, with all their cultural and emotional baggage.
“We all have these very personal things we are fond of, and these figures in our lives that we admire, rely on, stay fond of. They can be family, friends, strangers we look up to, the postcards we keep on our fridge, the intimate moments we shared with a lover, the small victories that aliment our courage and strength. They’re things we ultimately don’t talk about, that have a life of their own, off social media. So when I landed at Thought Catalog Europe, I knew I’ll have the challenging mission to come up with something meaningful, something that unlocks people’s emotions and taps into territories we’re not constantly aware of. I started thinking about all the things and people we like on social media, and ultimately questioned how much do we truly know about them. As in – do we know the stories behind these avatars as much as we know and rejoice in the feel a familiar thing in our life gives us? Probably not. Facebook has given us all the privilege of showing emotion towards everything and everyone, but in some instances made us less involved, less engaged in our connections. Liking something is a vote of trust we pass further. So my goal was to unlock the stories behind the millions of things we like and bring them closer to the readers. To make that vote of trust as genuine and deliberate as possible”, muses Ioana Cristina Casapu, writer and producer, who joined Thought Catalog in October 2016.
With a focus on cultural diversity, emotion and vulnerability, Thought Catalog Europe aims to explore and deliver the powerful stories behind people and things we all like, love, get inspired by, get frightened at, that blow our minds or change our lives. It’s an index of multiculturalism focused on the big events that shake our world and the way they translate at a personal, individual level.
“Voicing thoughts into stories is how we make sense of the world”, Ioana explains.
“I love how technology has allowed everyone to become a photographer or a storyteller. In the past I used to differ on the power of internet to voice out the writing of different people or to make imagery travel the world in instants but recently I have come to terms with change and one of the most important things I’ve learned, is, I think, to let go of deniable connections and invest in reaching the unknown with the speed of light.”
With weekly video columns narrated by authors, artists, activists and creators all over Europe and cameos that display people’s most intimate thoughts towards issues that affect everyone, the page aims to express the collective consciousness of today’s generation.
Ioana Cristina Casapu, who has worked with other major magazines and art collectives and published a novel on the Y generation’s struggles, believes today’s storytelling has shifted from personal essay to personal live casting. “We can narrate ourselves at so many level through so many different channels – but in the end human connection is what brings relevance to any story. I am not looking for perfection and multi-processed footage, but for the raw, unedited self giving life to an idea in front of the world. In a way, this is why I love Snapchat – because it’s more simple than any app that encourages us to alter reality”.
Inspired by authors like Lena Dunham and Brene Brown, Casapu agrees that not everybody wants to be the voice of their generation, but everyone wants to be appreciated and accepted for their truths.
“The internet has dissolved the barriers of publishing and the difficulties of having one’s voice heard by audiences. It’s an enormous gift. What we have today is literature being born straight away on social media. There’s a great difference between wanting to say something and wanting to make yourself heard, thus I wish you all to speak as many things as you have to say in this life. You are all authentic, brave and important. Not because I said so, but because you said so.”
We take writing submissions on hot topics in your country and video submissions for our weekly #NarrateYourself column.
To submit your writing, use this form.
For video submissions, recording should be maximum 5 minutes, shot landscape and uploaded on Youtube or Vimeo. Introduce yourself and the topic you want to talk about. Send all videos here.