Meeting in athens
speaking about differences
Colleagues from six countries came in July 2022 together to exchange on the project’s progress, the emerging learning platform about transformations in the past in Europe, the events to multiply the cooperation and its results in autumn, and other questions.
An attempt was also made not only to look back into history, but also to look forward and to ask for European solutions to current transformations. The positions on the war in Ukraine, for example, could hardly be more different. A look at the history of one’s own country and thus the political socialisation of the assembled adult educators can help. It is a great advantage that the exchange is embedded in a group context that has developed after two years of joint work. This makes it easier not only to communicate what is perceived as “socially desirable”, but also to distinguish between person and position. And, of course, to dance through the streets at night….
Workshop in malaga
Bringing History to Life
These were hard topics that we addressed during our one-week workshop in Málaga / Spain at the end of March/beginning of April 2022: terrorism in Spain, the Thirty Years’ War, Nazi propaganda in occupied Poland, the “resettlement” of Greeks after the war in 1922. It was even easier to learn about the beginnings of women’s movement initiatives in Serbia or the integration of Somalis in Finland.
Nevertheless, through interactive methods, the topics came to life and were touched without being overwhelmed by them. An often exhilarating, moving and very stimulating form of learning, especially in European horizons.
Comments from participants: “Maybe I can be patient in my private life more easily now that I have seen how different we are and yet how well we can get along.” “Impressive how it was possible to address the personal level, the social level and the relationship to the present.“
Workshop in Lódz/Poland
Transformations in Europe
We are currently experiencing a time of fundamental change. History also offers many examples of this. Which ones have the different societies of Europe experienced? What interpretations are being discussed today? And how does this shape our understanding of the present? How can adult education promote to reflect upheavals in the past and present?
These questions guided the exchange during our five-day workshop in Lódz/Poland from 15th to 20th September 2021. They were applied to the topics of the wars in Yugoslavia after the end of the East-West conflict, the German-German unification process, the situation of women in Poland during the 1990s, 200 years of the Greek Revolution, the resettlement of Karelians in Finland after the end of the Second World War, the transition in Spain from Franco dictatorship to representative democracy. It was an intense learning about other societies and to think in broader, European horizons – and thereby to understand the own perspective better.
Simple methods - deep exchange
Drama And biography work
During the five-day workshop in Lódz/Poland the colleagues shared a broad repertoire of methods: sociometry, free theatre, biography work, creating collages, linking historical events and dates, associations and knowledge to images that illustrate history, and others. Often it was simple means that opened access to the topic – and stimulated intensive conversations. Some of the historical topics may have been perceived as “far away” at the beginning, but they became much “closer” when the colleagues thought about them.
What partners learned again: History must not only be told as a succession of rulers. If remembering takes into account overall situations and thus also the lives of ‘ordinary’ people, it is virtually a school of life. The participants of the workshop gained insights about other societies; they also learned to think in broader, European horizons – and thereby to understand their own perspective better. One participant concluded after a few days: “I’m still full of impressions from our meeting in Lódz, and I am very grateful that I had a chance to spend such a productive time with all of you.“
Hybrid project meeting
Memories which move
After so many virtual meetings, the colleagues from the 6 partner organisations met each other for a hybrid encounter in Belgrade / Serbia from 27th to 29th July 2021. Yes, we spoke about questions to organise, evaluate and disseminate the project’s activities. The exchange included, however, more: The content parts of our contributions to the learning platform (see “A Taste of History“). The partners’ focus lay on transformations in the past and how they are discussed today. This discoursive approach encompasses a view on hidden aspects of an issue. We enjoyed a very intense and rich of content meeting at our partner organisation, the DAH theatre in Belgrade.
Topics under discussion
One of several online exchanges about the contribution of each partner to the learning platform. Inspiration. Motivation. We exchanged about that different topics like the transition in Spain (during the 1980/90s), the 200th anniversary of the Greek revolution / state, women during the transformation period in Poland (1990s) and the German unification process. What do we know about the history of the partners’ country? What do we know about the various perceptions of historical experiences and the debates around? Being honest: not that much. It’s fruitful, it’s useful, such a project.
The presence of history
The Past in the present
To which event in the history of my country reminds me the current emergency state situation? Online exchange of the partners on just one question. A point which puts us to the heart of our project, times of change in the history of each partner’s country. Many points were mentioned. One insight was remarkable: Whilst the trust in the government is still quite high in Finland, it declines in the Southern states of Europe. Eastern Europeans took reference to the restrictions of the socialist times. The partners agreed that all in all, creativity is needed. In the past, today.
how to make online inspiring?
New paths to online learning
Transnational cooperations were always inspiring and exciting. Offline. In times of the COVID crisis, adult educators need to develop new ways of learning. The partners take advantage of their ICT skills and share as well as reflect them in the whole consortium. Which tool and method does really contribute to open minds and debating history in a democratic way?