Apply here until 6.12.2020


Open Call for cultural and creative projects

Decolonial encounters: Historical and contemporary narratives in Europe

How we perceive the world around us is interwoven with narrated stories of colonisation which has deeply inscribed itself into European society. Dealing with the consequences of our colonial past is nowadays present on many levels: In the Netherlands, a debate on the figure of Black Pete (Zwarte Piet), Saint Nicholas’ companion, is going on for many years. In summer 2020, following the protest movements in the USA, monuments of colonial lords were destroyed and removed in several European countries. Initiatives research how the colonial past is still noticeable in urban environments and are committed to making these traces visible. Names of streets and institutions are critically questioned and re-named.

The platform for young civil society leaders “Europe Lab” has been highlighting historical memory in Europe for the past five years. We are now launching a new Open Call and invite young activists, cultural practitioners, researchers, NGO and media representatives to hand in their concept notes on the topic of Decolonial encounters. Under the heading of decolonial encounters, we understand reflections in art, science and (civil) society on colonial entanglement in the present and past. We are searching for creative solutions to overcome eurocentrism, racism and foster spaces for dialogue and equal rights.

The granted projects will be presented during the 7th edition of Europe Lab in the Netherlands in July 2021.

What we are looking for

  • Ideas for creative and cultural projects from international teams: at least two people from two different European countries (including Russia, EaP countries, council of Europe countries). Applicants should be born after 1980 and can apply as individuals or as a non-profit organisation.
  • Projects can represent and include multiple disciplines: Documentary film, photography, (field) research, activism, performing and participatory arts, literature and many more.
  • Results of the projects can be exhibitions, artistic projects, performances, multimedia products, event series. They should be presented and exhibited in the framework of Europe Lab in July 2021 in the Netherlands.
  • Applicants can be alumni of Europe Lab or members of the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum, but proposals from new teams are also welcome.

What do we offer

  • Funding of up to 3 projects with a maximum sum of 6.000 € each.
  • Travel to the Netherlands in July 2021 for at least two members of each project team if the situation with COVID-19 pandemic allows. Otherwise online formats and exhibitions will be planned.
  • Consultation and guidance by experienced Europe Lab team in Berlin and the Netherlands.


19.11.2020, 16.00 – 17.30:  Online Q & A for interested applicants. Sign up here  

6.12.2020, midnight CET: Deadline for project sketches

13.12.2020 Announcement of short-listed projects. Preparation of detailed application documents

1.1.2021 – 1.7.2021 Project implementation phase

14.-18.7.2021 Presentation and exhibition of projects at Europe Lab in Amsterdam and Assen, Netherlands

Please submit your application using the online form. Bear in mind that you also have to upload a short video pitch of your project idea together with the form.

Any questions? Please get in touch with us:

  22 – 24 July 2020, Online

Happy Birthday, Europe Lab! 5 years of shaping Europe together 

In July 2015 almost 100 young people from 18 countries in Europe gathered in the small town of Raseiniai, Lithuania. It was the continuation of what started in Perm during the legendary “Pilorama Lab” and still a new beginning. Since the opening edition, a “Europe Lab” has been organised  every year in different locations in Europe, all connected to the topic of Historical Memory.

One of the main pillars of Europe Lab was and is the understanding of the past in order to take responsibility for the present: In the last 5 years we discussed wars, conflicts and peacebuilding in Europe, dived into the Solidarność movement, political imprisonment during Socialism and examined where historical memory leaves its traces in the urban landscape. But we also reacted to current challenges for the civil society and gave them space within our workshop programmes: Climate change and sustainability, the role of media, migration and the refugee crisis, corruption, the European agenda. 

Now, Europe Lab has grown up and is much more than just an annual summer school in changing European regions: It has become a platform for knowledge exchange, for cross-sector cooperation and the initial point of numerous cross-border projects and initiatives all over Europe. Europe Lab stays active and grows because of its community. More than 327 young people from 32 countries have participated and engaged in our activities since 2015. Within the programme of events dedicated to 5 years of Europe Lab, we therefore check in with our community and discuss topics that are important for us and the society all over Europe in the summer of 2020: The power of communities, post-colonialism and racism and Europe 75 years after the end of World War II.

Please note, all workshops are in English!


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    5 years of Europe Lab! Online celebration with the community

    22.7.2020, 18.00 – 19.30 CET:

    We cordially invite alumni, coordinators, partners, organisers, volunteers, guests and friends of Europe Lab on an interactive journey from the very beginnings up until now. Where did the Lab take us to, what happened to the people, their initiatives and the places we visited? 

    We will premiere a video gathering voices, pictures, sounds and memories from alumni and team members. Of course, there will also be time for individual greetings, toasts and a virtual glass of champagne! 


    To celebrate with us, please register here.

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    Activate your neighborhood: Creative approaches from all over Europe

    23.7.2020, 16.00 – 17.30 CET

    Online workshop with Europe Lab alumni and activists from Kaliningrad, Cologne, Pécs, Lecce and Bucharest.

    Local communities and neighborhoods all over Europe are using creative ideas to tackle challenges and  improve the areas people love and live in. With interactive projects, public actions, participatory art events and educational opportunities, neighborhoods bring people together and create positive change. We will give the word to young civil society activists and researchers from rural regions, smaller cities and capitals. They will share best practices and talk about common learnings and visions. 


    Vera Goshkoderia, urban and ecological activist, Kaliningrad, Russia 

    Giuseppe Scandone, Environmental Specialist, QG Enviro, Lecce, Italy

    Olya Bazarova, University of Cologne, Germany 

    Andreea Toma, community and human rights activist, Bucharest, Romania 

    Anna Szilágyi-Nagy, landscape architect, Pécs, Hungary 


    Register here for the workshop.

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    The Uprising. A musical journey on resistance against racism in Europe

    23.7.2020, 18.30 – 20.30 CET

    Film Screening and discussion 

    Musician and activist Pravini Baboeram presents “The Uprising”, a music documentary that tells the story of resistance against racism in Europe. With commentary and experiences from academics and activists, the Dutch-Indian singer/songwriter offers a decolonial perspective on the anti-racism movement in the Netherlands, UK and France. She not only provides an analysis of the history and legacy of colonialism, but also a vision on strategy for the future of the movement.

    This documentary zooms in on collective challenges of communities of color. In 9 self-written songs Pravini connects the fight against Blackface, the struggle for the recognition of colonial crimes that the Netherlands has committed in Indonesia, the fight for the liberation of Palestine and the struggle in the political field for an inclusive society. “The Uprising” offers a unique view of the resistance against racism in Europe through the eyes of people of color.


    Pravini, activist, film maker and artist, The Hague


    Ralph du Long, lawyer, activist, member of the regional parliament of Drenthe, Assen, the Netherlands 


    Register here for the screening and discussion. 

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    Clash of memories: 75 years after the end of World War II

    24.7.2020, 16.00 – 17.30 CET

    Video screening and discussion

    WWII remains one of the most painful and conflicting episodes of the European nations’ memories. Present time conflicts are embedded in history and in the use of history as a political tool. In order to understand the roots of present conflicts, to overcome prejudices and stereotypes, we need to deal with history.   

    We will screen the short film “Clash of Memories: 75 years after the end of WWII in Europe” and talk about the different perceptions of remembrance in the present and past in different European regions. 


    Kristina Smolijaninovaitė, deputy director of EU-Russia Civil Society Forum, author and initiator of the exhibition Different Wars, Germany/Lithuania 

    Štefan Čok, historian, author of educational and historical projects, Italy/Slovenia 


    Christoph Meißner, research associate, German-Russian Museum Karlshorst, Berlin


    Register here for the discussion. 

For more information about the programme, the workshops and the venue of “Europe Lab” 2020, please visit the website.