Zukunftsakademie NRW e.V.
Embracing our cosmopolitan heritage as regional assets towards a European utopia of diversities: Many regions in Europe were forged by migration and transcultural interaction. Exploring this unique heritage can form an educational empowerment strategy advocating a future Europe of diversities.
Bochum, Germany, Lecce, Italy, Ruse, Bulgaria
As various regions across Europe undergo drastic changes and crises, many young people lose their perspective on common values and the beauty of sharing. Nationalistic and populist narratives sometimes narrow down the field of vision of the most important and valuable generation Europe has: its youth. The idea of Europe, that is as much a utopia as it is a set of institutional bodies, is more often than not questioned for the wrong reasons. Yet most young people feel that xenophobia and isolation are not viable perspectives for their regions. Together we can learn that diversity and cosmopolitanism are not new developments but have shaped the history of our regions to an extent that turns heritage into a ressource.
Working with schools, we want students to re-discover, understand, cherish and share the cosmopolitan heritage that has made our regions what they are and has endowed them with an untapped potential for the future. Using performance, music, visual anthropology and writing in a collective process of Urban Learning, students can explore what is 'other' in their own, how their 'own' came to constitute itself from diverse component parts and why it is valuable and enjoyable. They will communicate a sense of mixed heritage and inclusive identity to others through artistic means, thus creating a Soul for Europe. They can develop connections beyond one-dimensional national narratives and understand how global cultures work for them, and how their regional heritage already is a part of the global.
Our team of cultural managers from the 3 regions will involve young people in the planning and realization of the project from the outset. They can have a say in what kinds of cultural education they want to enjoy and which parts of the diverse heritage of their region they want to explore.
We will work with experienced musicians, performance artists, visual and video artists and paedagogues to offer various forms of guidance to students in mapping their own regions and translating the mapping into artistic presentations.
The groups will visit each other to experience the other environments and come together to present their workshop results.
The ideal aim is to instigate long-term relationships between the institutions and schools in the regions.
Does your region also have a cosmopolitan heritage? Would you like to connect with our project? Do you think our submission has enough flesh to its bones?