New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

Sharing creativity throughout the NYU abroad experience: NYU Paris’s student-run magazine

À Partager is a newly founded zine providing a space for creative expression in a city all too unfamiliar.
(Courtesy of À Partager Zine)

Global Liberal Studies junior Elsy Bonilla-Aguilar saw students seeking a space to engage in their creative endeavors alongside their peers, and decided to bridge the gap herself with the creation of À Partagera zine made by and for the students studying abroad at the NYU Paris site

More often than not, the study abroad experience leaves students scrambling to get their footing and to regain a sense of themselves. At NYU Paris, it’s no different. Bonilla-Aguilar was inspired to create À Partager from a prior semester abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where she aided in the growth of De Adentro Hacia Afuera, a zine started by Steinhardt senior Stephanie Farmer in 2022 at the NYU Buenos Aires campus. 

“DAHA was a great incentive to encourage community building because members would engage in collective activities like photoshoots for the magazine,” Bonilla-Aguilar said. “We were all able to create together, in a shared space.”

She emphasized that compared to NYU Buenos Aires, NYU Paris lacked a collective space for artists, and she found there was a discrepancy between the volume of artists at NYU Paris and the amount of creative work consolidated in its scene.

“In Buenos Aires, there was more incentive to create friendships and bonds within the whole campus, and because of the size — NYU Paris has less of that,” Bonilla-Aguilar said. “It’s hard to feel like there’s a solid community that entices everyone, so the magazine is a small solution to that. Because of our submissions process, sometimes I don’t even know who submitted, so it’s like a small space for everyone to share a little piece of their art because of how big it is.”

À Partager came to fruition at the Paris campus’ spring 2024 activities fair, where the magazine gained traction and solidified itself as a project in demand. Initially, around 40 people signed up with interest in content submission and general participation. But, in the second round of sign ups, around 15 separately applied to be a part of À Partager’s design and editor team. 

Like DAHA, À Partager marries creative work from NYU students in the city’s culture and the NYU culture present in the city. The goal is to amplify student voices and provide opportunities to document cities abroad from the student perspective. From contributors to the editing team, the process of completing a single edition requires many hands. Bonilla-Aguilar implemented an abundance of roles intentionally, to maximize the amount of people who could participate and to encourage greater collective participation at NYU Paris. For each issue, there is a photoshoot that grounds the issue in its theme. Members of the À Partager team take on the roles as models and creative directors to engage in the Paris setting. 

The magazine embodies multiple interpretations of each issue’s theme. À Partager’s first issue had the theme of “Paris at First Glance,” with various representations of Parisian life and culture interacting with the students’ experiences. Key depictions include a Marie Antoniette-themed birthday party with the magazine’s contributors dressed to code, models on the runaway in striking outfits for Paris Fashion Week and written creative pieces submitted by other students, among other works. 

As one flips through the magazine, it’s possible to sense the differing aesthetics, purposeful with Bonilla-Aguilar’s emphasis on recognizing each individual’s creativity in the collective. The magazine lends itself to a segmented finish that teeters away from a blend of cohesion and becomes a celebration of all the contributors’ unique visions. Two formats of the magazine are available to students, emphasizing how accessible their ideas can be. 

“The physical and digital versions give space for people who want to build a portfolio and go the digital route because there are a lot of Computer Science majors in NYU Paris who want to expand into a creative realm. We have the double formats, not only for the medium, but for the people involved,” Bonilla-Aguilar said.

While finalizing the details for the zine, Bonilla-Aguilar landed on À Partager, or “to share” in French as the name. In the Editor’s Note of the first issue, Bonilla-Aguilar writes, “À Partager zine: a place for NYU creatives to create & share: a simple concept with magnificent results.” 

Still in its early stages, À Partager released its first edition, “Paris at First Glance,” on March 29, with digital and physical copies for all of the NYU community to delight in. They commemorated their commitment to À Partager with a release party to showcase their first edition at the NYU Paris building in collaboration with NYU Sounds. With a panoramic view of Paris in the backdrop, the release party attendees consisted of members of the editing team, their friends and talented NYU musicians. The second issue release and party was this Tuesday in the same location. 

For the future of À Partager, Bonilla-Aguilar hopes to continue to expand outside of NYU Paris and take the zine back with her to New York City. 

“Design concepts should stay alive in NYU Paris,” Bonilla-Aguilar said. “We are welcoming more people, more creatives or anyone who has been needing something to help them create or a platform. We’re open doors for all work. If you want to start a project with us, please reach out — let’s break the ice at NYU Paris.”

Contact Makayla Brown at [email protected].

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