The Closing meeting of the project on which Documenta – Center for Dealing with the Past is one of five partner organisations was held in Erfurt, Germany, from the 19th till the 21st of November. The event was hosted by the German organisation Culture Goes Europe, which is also the coordinator for the “Staring at Goats. Propaganda, Scapegoating and the Other 1918-2018” project. Other partner organisations are the Estonian Institute of Historical Memory from Estonia, the United Societies of Balkans youth-work organisation from Greece and the UMAR feminist organisation from Portugal.
All organisations involved in the project contributed to the analysis of historical sources like photographs, news texts, films and posters. Thus were compared the different mechanisms of social construstion and political instrumentalisation of the Other and Otherness in Croatia, Germany, Greece, Estonia and Portugal. The exchange of knowledge among participants showed that the image of the Other is subject of political instrumentalisation in all parts of Europe, but also that there is a civil awareness among at least some of the citizens about importance of opposing to the instrumentalisation of real or projected social differences for political proposes.
With that aim during the course of the “Staring at Goats” project different materials for an international online campaign were prepared. The main goal of the campaign, which Documenta will implement on its webpage in December, is to raise public awareness against discrimination. The aim of the project to provoke citizens to critically evaluate their own behavior and discriminatory practices in the every-day situations will be accomplished through the publication of the materials and their dissemination on social networks. Part of the materials for the online campaign includes comics created during the Spring School held in March in Muhlhausen, Germany, in which participants from Croatia also actively took part.
At the Closing meeting partners had the chance to evaluate the results of the project financed by the European Union program “Europe for Citizens”. The project was appraised as small but important step towards the raising of social awareness about the mechanisms of construction and political instrumentalisation of otherness.
After the Closing meeting a Final Conference was also held in Erfurt.. The challenges of history education which is often subject to political instrumentalisation were in the focus of the discussion. The discussion was followed by the talks about the possibilities of further actions in the frames of some future common project.
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