Workshops 2018

Stories of never-ending past: historical memory, local communities, performing arts

Coordinator: Mikhail Kaluzhsky, author of documentary theatre projects, journalist (Russia/Israel)

Historical memory has become one of the most important cultural and political issues of the several last decades. We witness continuing, often extreme, politicisation of the historical memory, but at the same time a growing interest to it allows us to enrich and widen historical narratives. An interest to historical memory doesn’t serve purely historical and/or memorial issues. It’s a powerful tool of individual and group self-identification and a way to question dominating historical discourses. Thus historical memory is important not only to nations and societies, but also to local communities.

Participants of the workshop discussed various aspects of historical memory and its connections to social practices: History vs. memory, or Limits of evidence; How to hear unheard voices; Our heroes, your perpetrators: competing narratives and reconciliation; Cemetery, street, library: visual traces of memory; Performing arts and museums: unlikely allies.

How can civil society help to overcome territorial conflicts in Europe?

Coordinator: Yuliya Erner, DRA/German-Russian Exchange (Germany)

The workshop refers to the issue of territorial conflicts as one of the characteristic features of European history and present. While being essential in the process of national and regional identity building, territorial conflicts can be peacefully resolved if the involved parties are able to perceive the way out of the conflict as a win-win situation, and the group leaders show political will for compromise solutions. Often, contesting interests of neighbouring social groups are subject to political instrumentalization and feed nationalist movements. In this case, the protracted and sometimes violent conflicts threaten peace and democracy in Europe.

Taking reference to the present cases of territorial conflicts in different parts of Europe – in the post-Soviet space, in the Balkans, Cyprus, Italy, Northern Ireland, etc., the workshop participants reflected on how claims for self-determination can become a bone of contention and be misused as a resource of power by political entrepreneurs. Building on the participants’ personal involvement and working experience in conflicting societies all over Europe, the main focus question of the workshop was: What forms of civic engagement are appropriate to overcome a social fragmentation across the conflict lines and to prevent an escalation of territorial conflicts?

Gender Blenders: gender and diversity

Coordinators: Bianca Constantin, INLAR & Alina Aflecailor, Human Rights Educator (Romania)

Have you ever thought how being socialized based on our biological sex can affect our lives? This workshop was aimed to underline the transversality of gender mainstreaming, addressing the way femininities and masculinities are constructed, and how it affects society in general. Participants have engaged in discussing the intersectionality of social constructs, gender stereotypes and prejudices as a way to enhance capacity building, share experiences and best practices, and pour the mix into the professional context.


The workshop addresses people working in NGOs and other organisations, youth workers, trainers and educators and not only, helping them to mainstream gender in their professional life through Human Rights Education and Non-Formal Education methodologies.

The Civic inspirers – how to organise Civic and Human Rights education in the era of democracy crisis

Coordinator: Marta Gawinek-Dagargulia, non-formal education trainer (Poland/Georgia), Claire Luzia Leifert, DGAP e.V., German Council on Foreign Relations (Germany)

The success of democracy depends on the formation of the social capital conducive to the maintenance of democratic patterns of behaviour and development of the civil society. Civic education is the most important instrument of the formation of such social capital and is, therefore, an essential responsibility of the state and other actors. Human rights are universal also in the sense that they are based on the concept of moral obligation which we all, as humans, share, and not on the legislation of a state. The recent developments and a genuine crisis of democracy and Human Rights in Europe and in the whole world show an even greater need to strengthen knowledge and competencies.

What civic competencies are crucial nowadays and what educational frameworks strengthen them most effectively? How to reach societal mainstream in out countries with raising awareness on human rights?  During the workshop, the participants answered all these questions and mapped out trends and tendencies, as well as best practices and examples of failing in different countries and cross-border initiatives.