The Power of the Past and the Future of Europe

Connecting Memories. European Cooperation the Cultures of Remembrance

KA2 Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership 2017-2019

The reference to the history of a country or a region influences the self-perception as a citizen and the belongig to society. Thinking about (or neglecting) history goes along with the development of insights, values, attitudes, and motives for action for the present and the future. The ’stories‘ about the same event can be different. Not only about other people, also about history, people quickly tend to ‚draw‘ a picture in their mind. It might then help dfferentiating between history and the image of history in order to develop a sensitivity to the variety of narratives or perspectives.

The diversity of history/histories varies not only within societies, but also in different European countries. What is remembered? How is it remembered? What is more a taboo? What can we learn from this about the culture of a country?

In this project, employees of a museum in Finland, a university in Poland and educational associations in France, Spain and Berlin cooperate to acquire methods of historical, intercultural and democratic education in exchange for good practice. At the same time, it is about gaining a deeper understanding of the historical issues and their influence on the perception of culture and society in the project partner’s countries.

It is not intended to ‚create‘ a European history. The project’s objectives are: a) to address questions that are controversially debated and / or neglected in public memory; b) to counteract right-wing extremism and populism and the associated renationalisation of historical images by discussing reciprocal effects between European countries‘ histories, c) to apply educational methods that enable peaceful exchanges on sensitive issues; d) to promote the networking of actors in historical-political education in Europe.

«The future is decided in the dispute over the past. »(Wolf Biermann) The exchange about history and its influence today is also an exercise in democratic values: critical thinking and the distinction between history politics and culture of remembrance, desire to knowledge, ambiguity and frustration tolerance as well as a kind of reflection which does not avoid controversies but in a cultivated manner.

The project is aimed at adult educators (employed, volunteers) who work primarily with the so-called disadvantaged people and with those with migration background. As project’s result, the consortium produces teaching material to be applied in adult and citizenship education.

A ‚European spirit‘, an identification with the continent can only grow if the political Europe is accepted by its citizens. The power of history may be an eye-opener towards the future of Europe and the ideas that its citizens bring in.

Picture: Wikipedia, Russian and German soldiers celebrating the end of the war at the east front (1918)

Partners
weltgewandt. Institut für interkulturelle politische Bildung e.V., Berlin
Helinä Rautavaara Museum, Espoo/Finland
ASOCIACION MALAGUENA DE EDUCACION Y FORMACION EUROPEA , Málaga/Spain
Akademia Humanistyczno-Ekonomiczna w Lodzi, Lódz/Poland
Hors Pistes (Pistes Solidaires Méditerranée), Marseille/France