28 – 21 July 2018, Piteşti, Romania

The fourth edition of “Europe Lab” took place on 28–31 July 2018 in Romania in cooperation with the Pitești Prison Memorial as the hosting organisation.

The programme of “Europe Lab” 2018 included four 3-day intensive options workshops ­– each of those coordinated by an organisation and additional experts/speakers. Apart from working sessions, an additional programme took place including a discussion on current civil society in Romania, a concert, cultural and networking events as well as a tour of the new exhibition of the Pitești Prison Memorial Museum, dedicated to the memory of victims of the communist regime repression.

Follow-Up Projects: Winners will be announced by September 6th!


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

    Mikhail Kaluzhsky, author of documentary theatre projects, journalist (Russia/Israel).
    Maria Axinte, director of Pitești Prison Memorial (Romania).

    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 will discuss 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.

    Outcomes of the workshop might be common project initiatives, performances, exhibitions, media pieces and many more. Target group: Young Professionals with a background in working with historical memory, social movements, culture and (performing) arts, etc.

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

    Yuliya Erner,
    Anna Osypova, DRA/German-Russian Exchange (Germany).
    Oleksandra Romantsova, Center for Civil Liberties (Ukraine).

    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 are invited to reflect 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, we focus on the question: What forms of civic engagement are appropriate to overcome a social fragmentation across the conflict lines and to prevent an escalation of territorial conflicts?

    Civil society activists, journalists, social entrepreneurs, scholars and teachers, artists, etc. (Europe-wide, including EU, the Balkans, Russia, post-Soviet area, Turkey). Precondition for participation: Interest in discussing the issue on a practical level and to develop ideas for multilateral projects which can be implemented on a local (grass root) level.

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    Gender Blenders: gender and diversity

    Bianca Constantin, INLAR,
    Alina Aflecailor, Human Rights Educator (Romania).
    Patrick Braila, Trans Activist and film maker (Romania),
    Andreea Lupascu, legal counsel, National Center for Refugees & trainer,
    Anca Nica, Platform E-Romnja

    Have you ever thought how being socialized based on our biological sex can affect our lives? This workshop will underline the transversality of gender mainstreaming, addressing the way femininities and masculinities are constructed, and how it affects society in general. It is time to challenge the “normality” of predetermined gender roles and inequalities and start thinking outside the binary system!

    We blend in a mixer all social constructs, gender stereotypes and prejudices. We add some capacity building, sharing experiences and best practices, shake them well and we pour the mix into our 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.

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

    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, we will map out trends and tendencies, as well as best practices and examples of failing in different countries and cross-border initiatives. Most promising projects, practices and platforms will be discussed. We will create a space where we will discuss the most relevant issues, design solutions and develop joint initiatives.


For more information about the programme, the workshops and the venue of “Europe Lab” 2018, please visit the website.