The role of memorials
The memorials in Europe seem to be ideal locations to start the dialog and reflection in time of crisis. Nonetheless, the chapters of history and memories transmitted in these sites are today far from able to offer a possibility for a personal identification with the history to the heterogeneous scholar public that frequents them. Are the memorials still able to accomplish their mission? The answer to this question cannot come from an exclusively national reflexion. It is urgent to set up a European network of memorials, sites of remembrance, schools and other cultural institutions with the goal to analyse this sphere.
During the international exchange activities, young participants will experiment in their turn the pedagogical aspect of the memorial in the country they visit. This way, they will benefit from a fresh look, new questions and ideally initiate and produce new ideas. Thereby, our institutional partners will be able to rely on this evaluation and feedback in order to better adapt their offers. All of the memorial sites which we plan to visit will provide support and guidance for both the teachers and the pupils and will facilitate the preparation and organization of their work.
The role of teachers
Experimentation is particularly ambitious in the context of educational establishments. Indeed, they welcome an important number of economically, socially and culturally disadvantaged youth. Mentoring students towards this goal is becoming a critical and central issue of this pedagogical measure.
Thus, to prepare and better involve diversity and the abstract notion of memory in education, the main activity of the project is research - reflection on personal family memories to show and better understand the multiplicity of memories and value of their diversity - in terms of joy and suffering, constraints and liberties, repression and rebellion, survival strategies and failures.
The teachers will prepare their students to work both in and on different memorial sites through a range of activities and project meetings in accordance with each national school curriculum. One of the aims of this project is to produce a wide range of cross-border educational resources accessible and useful for all project partners. In addition, these resources will later be used as tools in order to assess the project itself in its final stages.
To confront remembrance, and historical knowledge of a memorial site with the pedagogical work and family memories, we will invite Roman Kroke. This artist from Berlin has a broad experience in conducting pedagogical workshops in relation with history, memory and art for very diverse public. Students of five partner establishments will be able to communicate the results of their investigations and learnings in a creative way. Art - and above all, the way Roman Kroke teaches youth to gain ownership over it - seems to be the ideal way and methodology which opens a large space for expression of emotions and creativity. This innovative approach using art for social inclusion and for overcoming differences is certainly one of the most interesting ways nowadays to transfer, accept and explain diverse memories.
Kroke’s drawings primarily originate from historical or literary sources (diaries, letters, poetry etc.) as well as biographies. Through visual metaphors he explores universal questions concerning the human nature, in particular with reference to history, philosophy and science. He is also a lecturer at the Berlin University of the Arts and has significant experience in cooperative projects with schools, universities, research institutes, prisons, museums, foundations and TV productions.