On June 23-26, journalists, civil society activists, cultural practitioners and activists from Russia, Germany, Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary, Italy, the United Kingdom and Denmark gathered in Arkhangelsk. On their agenda:

  • Discussion of the effects of the “year of change” of 1989 for Europe and the Civil Society today
  • Getting to know how the Arkhangelsk region developed ever since the 1990s
  • Design of multimedia projects in cooperation with each other.

On Day I, Arkhangelsk greeted the guests with its very own “wind of change”: After an introduction to our topic of 1989 by Anna Sevortian, Executive Director of the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum, and an intensive brainstorming, the group took off in rain and storm to explore the recent history of the city together with the historian German Ragosin.

The social Centre “Leda” became the venue for the second seminar‘s day. In the Centre, Tamara Statikova – director of “Arctic Open” festival and Anastasia Parfeneva from the International Festival of Street theatres presented their work. Sergey Karpov joint our group and introduced the organisation and multimedia projects of “Takie dela” portal, focusing on the importance of its content for large audience outreach and how to experiment with different genres and tools.

The third day – the sun came out again and a feeling of summer was in the air – was filled with elaborating, shaping and discussing the concepts of participants’ project ideas. In this process they got advice from Sergey Karpov and the project coordinators from Berlin – Barbara Anna Bernsmeier and Stas Linchevsky. They also got an insight into contemporary Civil Society in the Russian regions, presented by Marina Mikhaylova and Tatiana Burieva of the NGO “Garant”.

“For me, it was not the first trip to Arkhangelsk – this city,  its specific location and context inspired me to arrange the first “Reflecting Europe” workshop here. I am very glad that we got such a diverse group of participants from different regions of Russia and countries of Europe. We discussed our vision of Europe, how has it changed in the course of the last 30 years and in which kind of Europe we, as active citizens, want to live in the future. We got the unique chance to attend the festival of street theatres: It is a good example of how the cultural life has changed since 1989, how open this city is, and how it works with international partners. All of our participants were able to develop their ideas of multimedia projects and we will be effectively working with different teams to implement these projects” – said Barbara Anna Bernsmeier, “Reflecting Europe” project coordinator.

“At the end of our workshop, we received 11 project ideas from participants. They all are very different: some are classic and journalistic, others are cultural with poetry and video, maps and infographics which is very interesting. I believe this is quite a productive result of three-day’ work. Our participants successfully managed to find a common language – this will help them to further maintain their projects and support each other” – said Stas Linchevsky, “Reflecting Europe” project coordinator. The multimedia dossier “Reflecting Europe” will be publicly launched on 9th of November 2019. Stay tuned for more news to come soon!

  Read more about “Reflecting Europe”.

“Reflecting Europe” is organised by the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum in cooperation with the Arkhangelsk Center for Social Technologies “Garant” and funded by the Federal Foreign Office and the European Union.