Report of our event in Oxford, August 2019

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The most recent JEB event happened in Oxford, on the weekend of the 31st of August to the 1st of September, with 14 people in attendance. With perhaps a biased view, being one of the organisers, I felt that the event went really well, and coming back from it I’m full of ideas and enthusiasm, and am feeling really positive about the near future of JEB.

The new committee, left to right, Ariel, Tyron, and Adam

The event started on Saturday, in a room we hired above a café in the centre of Oxford called Turl Street Kitchen. There was the usual hectic organising to start – no chairs, the room setup was wrong, the projector wasn’t working – but with the help of early arrivals, everything was up and running by the official start time of the event.

Ariel Bonkorpa (JEB President at the time of the event) led an introductory session, getting everyone to introduce themselves and outlining the programme for the weekend. She then took time to outline what JEB is, who we are, and all the different activities we have done over the last year, including but not limited to, an Esperanto theatre event, several sessions introducing Esperanto to non-Esperantists and an Esperanto course in Bristol. This then led into our Annual General Meeting, where we had some fruitful discussion, with the main points outlined below:

Felix’s talk, ‘Topology is cool’
  • Tyron Surmon ran to be President, and was elected unanimously
  • Ariel Bonkorpa ran to be Vice-President, and was elected unanimously
  • Adam Brooking ran to be a Committee member, and was elected unanimously
  • We discussed the possibility of doing more specific events, e.g. ones with a focus on fostering debate and discussion on specific themes, and on the feasibility of doing more courses
  • We raised the topic of the 2021 Universal Congress in Belfast, and how we can capitalise on it, perhaps through hosting the IJK or running a youth section within the Universal Congress

Afterwards, we had a series of ‘lightning talks’, short lectures on a wide variety of topics. Marteno discussed the translation of English songs into Czech. Felix talked about the life of Publius Clodius Pulcher, a fairly infamous Roman politician. I (Tyron Surmon) discussed methods to compare different language Wikipedias, and using these methods to find out which is best (as it turns out, Catalan and Serbian). Adam presented Fek Parolu!, an Esperanto board game he created to encourage beginners to speak, and finally Tim explained to us why we should never use the word quite in his talk Don’t Say Quite. A quite good series of talks, I must say.

During the tea and coffee break we enjoyed  the homemade Belgian Tiramisu Adam and Ariel brought, which we ate directly from the dish, for want of us bringing any plates…

At the White Rabbit

Following this were two interactive workshops. The first was by Felix, with ‘Terrific Topology’, showing us the joys of the mathematical field of topology through cutting, pasting, and scribbling on bits of paper. . Next Ariel Bonkorpa did a workshop on creating videogames through the programmes Twine and Bitsy, showing us some of her own (quite wicked) productions.

We ended for the night at the White Rabbit, a pub only a few minutes walk away. We all ate pizza and had some very welcome drinks, chatting and playing some board games that participants brought. Some people made it out to the club after, but not the organisers who opted for a well-earned early night!

The picnic in Christchurch Meadows

Sunday began with a guided tour of Oxford, led by me, Tyron. Definitely not hurriedly prepared the night before, it was done all in Esperanto, and showed the major sights of Oxford. Notable were the Blackwells bookshop (holding the world record for the largest single room selling books), the Bodleian library, and Corpus Christi College, my very own college.

Afterwards we went punting, an activity renowned not only for being a staple of the Oxford and Cambridge student experience, but also for its uncertain translation to Esperanto. Premboatumado, stangboatumado, or simply puntado? We are none the wiser, but it was a very relaxing hour on the water in the sunshine. We then went to Christchurch Meadows, to sit down, chat, relax, have a picnic, and just generally to have a really nice finish to the weekend.

I went home from the event feeling really positive. The weekend was the result of months of work planning and organisation on behalf of the committee, and I’m really glad it paid off. We have definitely learnt from our mistakes, gained new experience and really developed as an organisation during the last year, and I’m looking forward to seeing what the next year will bring for JEB! 

A photo album of the event can be found here

JEB Event in Oxford August 2019

Ariel Bonkorpa Events Leave a Comment


The Bridge of Sighs by Tom Murphy VII, used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Oxford is a historic city in southern England. It’s easy to reach by bus and train from London and the rest of the UK. World-famous for its university, it’s lined with beautiful buildings and full of lively and impressive museums. Not only this, but it also has an excellent chain of independent ice cream parlours, G&D’s, so it really has everything necessary for a great event!

The Saturday programme itself will take place in a room above Turl Street Kitchen, a high-end independent restaurant/cafe, very close to the city centre.


Cowley Road by Kamyar Adl, used under CC BY 2.0

The event is 31st August to 1st September. It starts at 1pm Saturday (the 31st) and finishes at 4pm Sunday (the 1st). However, you don’t have to take part in the whole event, and it may be that some people stick around longer to celebrate.

Where can we stay?

There is no specific official accommodation for the event. But if you would like recommendations, please send us an email at, and we will be very happy to help 🙂

Aside from lodging, food, and travel costs, there is no fee for the event.

What will we do?

Saturday 13:00

The room where we will have the program

In the room above the Turl Street Kitchen we will have the following program:

  • The Annual General Meeting of Young British Esperantists (JEB). To vote, become a member for free before the event.
  • “The Esperanto Youth movement for beginners” – lecture by Tyron Surmon
  • Lightning talks – 5 minute lectures on a variety of topics (we’re still open for suggestions!):
    • “The Quakers: a community of peace” and “Philosophy as a Friend” by Deak Kirkham
    • “The Life and Death of Publius Clodius Pulcher” by Felix Stokes
    • “Translating English songs in Czech” by Marteno Miniĥ
    • “Wikipedias” by Tyron Surmon
  • “Topology is Awesome” by Felix Stokes
  • “Everyone can make a videogame! Introduction to Twine and Bitsy” – workshop by Ariel Bonkorpa about making games. Bring your laptop if you can.
  • Board Games and Card Games provided by Tim Morley

Saturday 19:00

Saturday evening we’ll eat together in a restaurant, to be decided. Note your food preferences when you sign up, and we’ll prepare a few options and decide on the exact venue during the event.

Saturday 21:00

Afterwards, we will either go to a local Wetherspoons (as per tradition) or to G&D’s, the late-night independent Oxford ice cream parlour, or both!

Sunday 10:30

Punting on the River Cherwell, with Magdalen Tower in the background

A guided tour of Oxford, seeing all of the major sights (Radcliffe Camera, Bodleian Library, Bridge of Sighs, Oxford Castle, at least one college), all in Esperanto!

Sunday 12:00

Punting along the River Cherwell.

Sunday 13:30

Picnic in Christchurch Meadows. Note any preferences in the sign-up form, and we will provide the food 🙂

We welcome contributions to the program. Make a note in the sign-up form, or send an email to If you want to give a talk, we ask that it not be more than 30 minutes. We’re ideally looking for lightning talks (5-10 minutes). Workshops, games, and other activities can go on longer.

How to get there?

There’s a direct bus, the X90, from London to Oxford, which is usually the cheapest option, at £8 for adults. If you travel very early, the Megabus Oxford Tube could be cheaper, at around £5.

Oxford is easy to reach by train from London Paddington. There aren’t always direct trains from other parts of the UK, but you can go to Reading or Didcot Parkway and change there. Alternatively, alight at Didcot Parkway and take the X2 bus to Oxford. To buy train tickets we recommend National Rail, as there is no booking fee. If you book via The Train Line, you can use your tickets on your phone. NB: in the UK it’s strongly advised to buy tickets in advance, usually by several weeks, as otherwise it can be very expensive.

Oxford city centre is relatively small, and it’s easy to reach the meeting points by foot. Otherwise, there are three bus companies which serve the city.

I have a question!!

Great, we have answers! Message us at

Help! It’s my first Esperanto event

This event is not for complete beginners in Esperanto. However, even if you speak Esperanto well, going to your first Esperanto event can be nerve-wracking. We want to create as comfortable an environment as possible for newbies, but we can’t prepare for all possibilities. So, if you have particular questions or suggestions as a newbie, message us at or make a note in the sign-up form.

Accessibility details

Unfortunately, Oxford has many ancient cobbled streets, which can cause problems for wheelchair-users. You can find a full accessibility guide to the city in English here.

The average day temperature at that time of the year in Oxford is around 20 degrees. However, British weather is unpredictable, so it could be much warmer, around 25 degrees. If that’s warm to you, bring summer clothes, but also bring a jacket in case it gets cold. Also, in the UK it rains often, so check the forecast before hand, and pack an umbrella if needed!

Can I get a grant to attend the event?

Image result for norwich jubilee esperanto foundation

If you are under the age of 25, and currently live in Britain, you are eligible to apply for a grant to attend the event and have all your costs covered through NoJEF (Norwich Jubilee Esperanto Foundation). All you have to do is send the secretary of the organisation an email (, stating your likely costs, and promising to write a report about the event after you’ve attended. The organisers have often used this fund ourselves, so if you want any help with applying, please send us an email at 😊

Sign up

Sign-up for the event here

Link to the Facebook event

JEB is taking part in the Voilà! Europe Festival – come and join in!

Ariel Bonkorpa Uncategorised Leave a Comment

Voilà! Europe, a theatre festival celebrating Europe, is taking place in London in November, and JEB is taking part!

On the 7th, 8th and 10th of November, come to see Wesele / Wedding, an absurdist political comedy in English and Polish with a sprinkling of Esperanto, about the last Polish-English wedding before Brexit (Applecart Arts, 170 Harold

 Rd, E13 0SE, @7.15pm + 8.45pm, £10)

Ariel Bonkorpa

And on the 10th of November, come to Esperanto – what, where, and why? an interactive language lesson and storytelling session guided by Ariel Bonkorpa (Theatre Deli, 2 Finsbury Avenue, London, EC2M 2PA, @12:45pm to 1:45pm, £10). It’s part of the European Theatre Forum, and with your ticket you’ll be able to take part in all the events that weekend.

We are planning to get a group together for Saturday 10th November to attend the language lesson in the daytime and then the show at 8.45pm. Tickets are cheaper the more you book at once, so bring along all your friends!

Lots of fun, new faces, and a round of cows – report of our event in London 2018

Ariel Bonkorpa Reports Leave a Comment

I’m very happy to be writing this report. So much so, that I started it the day I got back from our weekend event, after getting home with a head full of fresh ideas and enthusiasm. Not only was it a lively and fun event for established Esperantists, there were also quite a few new faces, and during our annual general meeting we even had some new committee members join! The event took place in London, from the 25th to the 27th of May, with 17 people in attendance.

Slide from my talk

The event started on Friday at the London Esperanto Club. Sophie Horrocks gave a talk about various youth Espernato events taking place this year and then I, Ariel Bonkorpa, gave a talk about the various ways to become active in the Esperanto community, whether through art, arranging events, teaching, along with tips on how to effectively and sustainably do it.

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Next JEB event: London May 25th-27th!

Ariel Bonkorpa Events Leave a Comment

We are ecstatic to announce our summer Esperanto event in London! The event will take place from the 25th to the 27th May and will include a visit to the London Esperanto Club, a taster session for beginners with talks and games, a trip to the Natural History Museum, and meals out together. The taster session will take place on Saturday and is aimed at beginners, newbies, and people just curious about Esperanto, and will have sections in English and Esperanto.

Click here for full details and to sign up.