We aim to show how people's enthusiasm and knowledge keeps the cultural heritage of the 'polyphonic' Balkans alive. Culture is the determing factor for an European Identity. Its material and immaterial heritage reflects the belonging and the living together of people, and let us consider our common values. Similar to the movies of the Manaki Brothers of the early 20th century, the project puts people and their cultural heritage in front of the camera. Speeches for a diverse, inclusive Europe.
Albania, Greece, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Turkey: Workplaces of the Manaki´s, Balkan filmpioneers
Europe lacks a debate on cultural values and is increasingly confronted with the political instrumentalizing of history. It is time to turn the citizens into advocates of their cultural heritage and to unite them into a polyphonic choir. It is also a highly political matter.
The powerful tools of knowledge, moving images and narration promotes the consciousness that active citizens keep traditions and values: Culture is an ongoing, polyperspective and open process. The project enables people to express cultural identity. An European movement from the bottom up.
We develop a narrative about multiculture in the Balkans based on films of the Manaki Brothers. Workshops are organized with institutional partners. Open events provide an introduction through art (insight into the early film) as well as elementary cinematic practice. In talks and site visits with people, narratives are collected, later developed to scenarios providing a frame for people's ideas. Followed by film shootings and final screenings. The project is a mutual learning process for all.
The conviction that one can learn from cultural heritage brings us to this idea. To experience cultural heritage through a speech or a performance, it means to feel belonging & to know about it. The process of getting there fascinates us. Focusing on local communities, we emphasise people's voices.
We want to reach participants of all ages and from different ethnic and social backgrounds; later a wide audience (cinema, social media). People share their enthusiasm for cultural heritage and open their minds for the culture of others. The project contributes to international understanding.
We hope for a fruitful debate on our idea which formulates different perspectives on cultural belonging. It needs the contradiction to understand things better. The diversity of the Advocate Europe Community is a great challenge and an inspiring chance.