“Remembering the Past – Building the Future” is an eighteen-month ‘Europe for Citizens’ project which highlights the importance of remembrance and shows how the fragility of memory preserves the past and brings with it the hope of a better future. By reflecting on the aftermath of WWII and the causes of totalitarian regimes such as Nazism that led to the Holocaust through research work, workshops, study-visits, round-table discussions, conferences and art activities, different perspectives and points of view are examined and discussed.
By studying and discussing narratives that represent or “stand-for” what happened in the past we perceive the importance of the testimonies and life stories. By participating in commemorative ceremonies and visiting memorials and museums the project aims to show that a commemoration not only preserves the past by reminding us of deeds and events, but also that remembrance is an act that has implications for the future.
The gap between the present and the past, self and other, makes each of us responsible for how we remember our past and how we are responsible to others. The question of the subject of memory is a question of who responds to the obligation of remembering the past and of reviving hope for the future.
In this project, artists, researchers, historians, sociologists, social psychologists, film makers, musicians and project managers from the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Poland and the United Kingdom examine how remembering constitutes the identity of a people and community, and the ways that this very experience of remembering can challenge that very identity. A new process of investigating national history and European history is initiated in a broader perspective by using art and intercultural dialogue as means to learn about the past and connect it to the present situation.
The present crisis over the identity of the European Union and the rise of nationalist movements all over Europe urges us to re-examine certain values and principles of the EU since lately Europe undergoes a sociopolitical crisis. Since the most important role in the creation of European awareness plays the problem of dealing with the past, the question if a common historical memory exists, is studied and discussed throughout the “Remembering the Past – Building the Future” project
A deeper understanding of the European Union, its history and diversity is sought to be achieved; awareness of remembrance and the values of the European Union’s aim should be raised by using art as a comprehensive, inclusive and innovative approach to come to terms with the past.
The project strives to have an an impact on both the local societies of the partners’ countries and the people directly involved in its activities. The partners and participants of this project explore, study and discuss each other’s unique history and culture through art and cultural activities such as exhibitions, performances, documentary film screenings, study-visits, research, commemoration events, lectures, workshops and discussions.
The ultimate goal of the project “Remembering the Past – Building the Future”, is to reflect on the past and build a future based on strategies that promote global values such as democracy, equality, culture of peace and remembrance, understanding and cultural diversity.