La Nuit de la Géographie / GeoNight
In 2017, the French National Geographical Committee (CNFG) initiated the first « Nuit de la Géographie (GeoNight) », which took place in Paris and in a dozen other French cities. In 2018 and with the support of EUGEO, the events reached a European scale. In 2019, with IGU, more countries around the world organized GeoNight events. Over the years, these events have become highly popular and successful, as demonstrated by the great public diversity, the thousands of people attending GeoNight around the world, the enthusiasm of the events’ organizers, and the recognition of the events’ quality by many international geography associations.
The GeoNight’s fifth edition will take place on Friday, April 9th 2021. As in previous years, we hope that the organized events will be successful around the world.
The main goals of GeoNight are relatively simple: one night (or evening) a year, events are organized simultaneously around the world. These events should aim to highlight geography and geographers, give the greater public a chance to familiarise themselves with geographical concepts and studies, and to make geographical research more accessible. The proposed events should, whenever possible, be free and open to the public.
A variety of events
The events should take place in the evening and, if possible, at night, welcoming different members of the public, not only academics. Organizers are encouraged to put forward unorthodox and possibly original aspects of the geographical sciences. Some of the events could take place indoors so as to foster exchanges through various workshops: from the more academic (conferences, exhibitions, round tables, etc.) to the more entertaining (buffets, multi-sensorial geographical games, performances, etc.). Organizers can present jobs linked to geographical education, GIS software or new technologies, and original geographical projects amongst others.
Other events could be held outside: for instance, small fieldtrips and urban walks can be organized for a variety of purposes: perception analysis, benchmarking, drawing and mapping, interviews, photography… at night, geography changes!
We are well aware that due to the Covid-19 pandemic, restrictions could make the organization of “face-to-face” events difficult (if not impossible). However, this does not mean that GeoNight events cannot be organised. Various online activities can be considered such as: lectures, virtual urban walks (using Google Street View, for instance), quizzes (using a video-conference platform), amongst others. We can count on your creativity!
The French National Geographical Committee has initiated and promoted the GeoNight with EUGEO at the European scale (HERE to see the Organizational Committee), but the spirit is that all events should be organized in a decentralized manner. The goal is to put forward the creativity of local initiatives and the variety of people, institutions and associations that feel interested and would like to organise GeoNight events.
There is no numerical goal to reach. Local organizers can set up a small geographical café or a short thematic walk through the city, or put together a larger event involving many scientific activities.
A small international organizing committee has been set up to coordinate actions, give advice, and communicate about the events; but the majority of the organisational tasks are achieved by the local organizers in order to keep things simple.
More info about GeoNight?
An article titled “The European Geonight: how to reconcile academic and popular geography” (Antoine le Blanc, Massimiliano Tabusi, Alexis Alamel), published by J-Reading Journal is here.