Member of the Month Benjamin Doll: Inspiration comes from everywhere!

You might have seen this smiling AEGEE-Mainz-Wiesbaden member during the Agora Rhein-Neckar where he was super busy with dealing with different problems, waking up participants early in the morning and partying with them at night. If not, you might notice him relaxed during the Agora in Zaragoza, where he was enjoying his delegate position and representing EurStory Project. Finally, you have to know this guy because he was that talented one who created the design of an amazing “Key to Europe” edition for the second time!

The AEGEEan: The first question is super easy to guess, tell us something about yourself and your activities in AEGEE!

Benjamin Doll: Ok, yes, that’s quite easy! So I’m Benjamin Doll, mostly called Benni or Benji. I study German Language and History. I’m in AEGEE since 2010. Since then I did a lot of stuff in my local (I’ve been president of my local for 2,5 years now). I organized several European events, one was last spring Agora. And well, I worked for AEGEE-Europe especially in designing stuff.

Yeah, lots of AEGEEans remember you from that great Agorа. Although it was half a year ago, what are the best memories from that time?

That’s hard to say…  So much has already happened since then, and due to the fact that I didn’t get much sleep there, it all got mixed up into one big joyful memory. But I think the one that touched me the most, was the European Night. I couldn’t goto the party for long, as we had our last meeting until the EN was already started, and after that I had to help at the buses. But I joined the people for the after party in the gym and everybody was so happy and they all thanked me for the work I did. That was really amazing, at that point I knew why I didn’t sleep for some weeks.


That EN was really amazing! And the location as well! And you also attended the Agora in Zaragoza, right?

Yes. I was there as delegate of my local. And also to promote EurStory.

So what do you think about it as an  organizer? You probably have a different point of view as you already have this experience.

Well, I think my point as an organizer didn’t change much. I cannot compare the vision as a delegate with the one as organizer. As organizer of one Agora of course I can see some stuff, which I would have done differently, but I don’t know if that would have been possible, as I don’t know the settings in Zaragoza. I think it was a good Agora. There where some small stones in the way during the event, but well they could get rid of them in the end.

That’s an extremely tactful answer.

It would not be fair to be like “they did that wrong and that and that”, they did a great job. It’s hard to make a good event as big as an Agora. Also I’m German, so I would complain about way more than there actually is to complain about

For you, the Agora was also special because of promotion of EurStory  – tell us about it.

Well, during the last year EurStory was started. It is one of the youngest projects in AEGEE, as it was signed during Zaragora. Our slogan is ‘One Europe, Many Stories’, which somehow already explains a lot about it. It’s about history. History is often told differently in different countries. We want to let people, especially high school students, to see these differences and be more open to other points of view.

Whose idea was it and how do you see the creation of this history?

The project was started in the Cultural Working Group, especially Kristóf Papp from AEGEE Budapest was and still is a driving force behind the project. The project is divided into several parts. First we want to research about different historical topics in different countries. We use only high school textbooks, because we want the history everybody knows and not only a historians point of view. After that we want to create materials with the results of our research and create workshops, which we then hold at high schools. There will be also a website which shows the results in a neat way!

Sounds great! For sure it will be successful! Another important thing you did – the design of new edition of Key 2 Europe which was represented in Zaragoza. I want to congratulate you with becoming the Member of the month for creating this amazing design!

Uuh, nice! Thank you!

The AEGEEan also would love to know more about how much time it took and how it was working with the team?

It took, of course, some time. Let me think, Kathrin asked me to do the design around May and we started working in June. But my part didn’t really start until August. I only sketched the design until then. The first layout pages were created on the train trip to my Summer University in Transylvania in August. And then it was a lot of work until the end of September/beginning of October. As a designer I have to wait, until I get the stuff I can put in (articles, statistics etc.) The team was really nice. I worked mostly with the editors in chief, Alma Mozgovaja and Hara Kogkou, and with Kathrin from CD. I knew Alma and Kathrin from earlier works and met all of them in AEGEE events, so there were positive vibes for the work already. It was really nice to work with all of them. It was fast and easy going. I only regret that I couldn’t cheer on our work together with them, as Alma and Hara couldn’t come to ZarAgora.

Someone from the team said that you are very easy to work with and you always knew how to visualize their ideas. Where do you usually get the inspiration from?

Anywhere! I work with design since seventh grade. Somehow I developed a design of  nightvision-goggles!  Every time I see something which I like I try to figure out, why I like it and how I can do something like that.

What are your future plans with AEGEE?

Not that much I guess. I will be finishing my studies in beginning of 2015. In my local I want to give the responsibilities to the new members and focus on giving my knowledge of AEGEE to the youngsters. Sounds old.  I will be working for EurStory of course and I will be SubCommissioner for Holger Schmitt for the locals in our area. Also we have some events in our locals which I will take part in organizing. But I have to write my master thesis so there will be not that much time for AEGEE as normally, I guess.

And what are your plans for Christmas and New Year’s Eve?

Right now I thought about staying in Mainz. It would be the first time, since I moved here four years ago. Since 2010/2011 I have spend my New Year’s abroad. But I think this year it will be some small party at my flat with classical New Year’s traditions and during Christmas I will be with my family.

Would you like to wish something tp our readers?

Before Christmas I would wish you all a great holiday season, nice presents. If somebody has the chance to get it, some tasteful Glühwein from Germany. Well and good luck for the next year.

Written by Annie Smailikova, AEGEE-Kyiv