With sorrow many people watch the rising right-wing extremist and populist sentiments and movements in Europe that come along with conservative nationalism and skepticism towards Europe. The European vision of unity and diversity comes under growing pressure and even starts to be forgotten. Europe is more than the European Union: it is about renouncing war and disintegration and striving for peace and understanding - something that can only be reached through commitment and participation.
This commitment to a Europe of diversity was the guiding theme of the project „Oppression and Opposition – Opportunities of civic movements in Europe’s past and present“ that ARSP realized with backing from the Europe for Citizens Programme of the EU.
The project addresses opposition and resistance against repressive regimes in the past and present. By considering biographies of people in opposition / resistance movements, similarities and differences of European experiences become apparent and it becomes possible to get to know democratic movements and civic commitment in different countries of Europe. The thematic spectrum contains the time of German NS-occupation as well as forms of protest of liberation movements, e.g. in Hungary 1956. The leading question is the one of how historic movements of resistance / opposition impact on the present and which part they play in remembrance work.
- Improvement of knowledge about different citizen movements and democratic efforts in the context of a common European history
- Strengthening the participants’ and local communities’ intercultural competence as well as a transfer of knowledge about different historical narratives through transnational collaboration between the participants
- Getting to know current forms of civic commitment and reflection of the individual role in social discourse of the country of origin, reflection about Europe-wide possibilities for participation
- Addressing the issue of mechanisms that threaten democracy and participation today as well as motivation to strengthen individual commitment in the civil society
Up to 500 EU-citizens in three project phases, ages 18-99, predominantly young adults in the summer camps.
- kick-off convention „Courage“ with 200 participants in May 25th and 26th, 2017 in Berlin
- International Summer camps in Greece, Italy, Lithuania and Hungary in August and September 2017; 25 participants each
- Closing conference and opening of the exhibition about opposition and resistance created by participants on November 9th, 2017 in Berlin with 80 participants
- Development and merging of a joint exhibition about people in opposition/resistance in repressive regimes in different European countries
- Exchange about similarities and differences of the historical experiences discussed in the different countries
- Networking of international partners from participating countries
- Participants reflecting on Europe, its opportunities and challenges
- Visualization of Europe in local communities and beyond
- A website about the project that documents the single activities continuously and furthermore serves as a source of information for the interested public
- Medium-term increase of EU-mobility of the participants