The International Youth Meeting Center is partner in Europeans Win Ostracism: From Remembrance to a Dialogue Society (E-WORDS), financed in the 2017 Call of the Programme Europe for Citizens.
The project is co-ordinated by the University of Siena and the partnership includes also:
Teatro Stabile Di Grosseto (IT)
Stichting Duitsland Instituut bij de Universiteit van Amsterdam (NL)
Bureau Europa (NL)
Universiteit Maastricht (NL)
Uniwersytet Jagiellonski (PL)
Unitatea Executiva Pentru Finantarea Invatamantului Superior (RO)
Asociatia Regionala De Dezvoltare Comunitara Transilvania (RO)
Universitatea Lucian Blaga Din Sibiu (RO)
for a total of 10 Partners from 4 European Countries.
The Activities in E-WORDS are based on the assumption that peer and informal education are the most effective means to develop a sound understanding of shared European history and enhance the awareness of democratic values. The activities will stimulate reflection and debate towards a critical approach to today’s societal challenges. E-WORDS mainly involves young citizens (university and school students), as well as academics, teachers and civil society representatives acting as facilitators of the learning process. Among these civil society representatives, a prominent role will be played by those who witnessed these historical moments. Listening to their personal stories will encourage young Europeans to understand in depth the experiences of these individuals.
The strategy of E-WORDS is to develop a two folded approach on the selected key words: (1) debates involving University students; (2) activities involving school students in the artistic elaboration of key words, such as genocide, concentration camps, identity, resistance, human rights, discrimination). The activities at university level will involve groups of students from diverse nationalities, who have different cultures and speak different languages. Reflection and debate on the key words, selected during the proposed activities (webinars), will create the foundation for mutual understanding of their meaning.
This process will promote the development of a European identity based on the recognition of common roots, diversity and shared values. This is the way to make young European citizens ready for a participatory democracy.
In each country the activities at school level will bring together students of different ages and social backgrounds to reflect on the same key words.
E-WORDS also addresses one of the specific aims of the programme to raise awareness of remembrance, explore our common history to promote peace, the well-being among EU citizens and avoid the danger represented by intolerance, ostracism and all ideologies based on the definition of “public enemy”.
Within this assumption E-WORDS carries a specific reference to ostracism and intolerance vis-à-vis the most discriminated sectors of our societies: migrants and refugees, Roma, homosexuals, disabled people. Not by chance these were the very same categories of people who were victims of past European totalitarian regimes.
Learning lessons from the past, young Europeans will first explore the historical meaning of the project’s key words: genocide, totalitarian regime, concentration camp, human rights, migration, discrimination, making reference to the specificity of each national experience. Then they will discuss the meaning of the same words in today’s multicultural Europe to keep the memories of the past alive as means to build the future.
After such activities students will be capable of critically analyzing the danger represented by current attitudes towards “diversity”, answering the two fundamental questions of any democratic society: Is difference a negative word? How can a democratic society ensure that differences do not lead to ostracism?
E-WORDS has started on October 1st 2017 and will run till March 31st 2019.
To be informed on the project activities, please visit:
YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZMJR_VFD2UcZFf8GcVtbAQ/videos