About This Project
Remembering the Past – Building the Future
03.2016 – 03.2017
Seven decades after the end of WWII and the bombing of Dresden in 1945, Remembering the Past – Building the Future explored and reflected on the impact WWII had had on Europe and on the causes that led to totalitarian regimes such as Nazism, Fascism, Stalinism and further totalitarian communist states. In addition, the project commemorated the victims of crimes committed during WWII, the Holocaust and totalitarian regimes by visiting commemorative places and monuments.
The project examined the present EU identity crisis and the rise of nationalist movements throughout Europe that threaten EU values and principles. It highlighted how these movements undermined respect for ‘otherness’, acceptance, cultural diversity and understanding and consequently, caused instability in Europe.
Remembering the Past – Building the Future recognised that one must deal with and process our shared past in order to create a collective future and thus focussed on forging a common European understanding of our history. The question of whether a common historical memory was possible, was at the heart of the project. Remembering the Past – Building the Future sought to answer this through intercultural dialogue, oral history, art activities and sociological research.
The project aimed at implementing a new method of investigating national history and European history. It enabled participants to view history from a broader perspective, by using art and intercultural dialogue to learn about the past and connect it to the present situation. Remembering the Past – Building the Future achieved this by reviewing historical images through documentary projections, through the photo exhibition ‘Life Portraits’, and through the visual art exhibitions ‘Memory Boxes’, which were based on personal experiences of the aftermath of WWII and totalitarian regimes. Theatre and music performances accompanied discussions on the national memories of historical events and on finding common references for a coherent, international culture of memory.
The kick-off-meeting took place in Dresden in December 2015. All partners, coming from six different European countries, gathered to discuss with us the implementation of this two-year long project.
The main aim of the project was to achieve a mutual cultural understanding and to promote EU values such as democracy, equality, peace, unity, understanding and cultural diversity.
This project was organised in cooperation with IG 13. Februar e.V. and was funded by the European programme Europe for Citizens.
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