Our Flipboard magazine is ready!

Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 16.08.28Finally we got it! Follow our Flipboard magazine and be always updated about the themes we addressed during the DCW project.

You will find there the papers students presented during the Symposia, our keynote speakers’ contribution and always-updated food for your thoughts. Let’s keep on discussing!

 

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MOOC developed by one of our students has become viral!

12496382_472371966297457_1563993066918990637_oProud to hear that the MOOC developed by Givi Gigitashvili, a student that actively participated in our Dissent, Conscience, and the Wall Symposia, with Anna Beitane, has become viral!

The online course, entitled “EU-Russia Relations: Between the Vilnius and Riga Eastern Partnership Summits”
will officially start on February 29th. More than 450 students from every corner of the world have registered to attend the six-week course, along with a number of learners from University of Tartu.

Good luck with your e-classes guys!!

Preparing the DCW Final Event… debating!

DSC_7187 copieThe approaching of the DCW Final Event was also the chance for us to organise our last preparatory activity. Once selected for the final event, students were asked to vote through online polls their favourite statements among the ones proposed by the EucA staff.

Those who got more votes were the following ones:

1) This House believes that the Russian Federation should publicly ask for forgiveness for USSR’s crimes against humanity.

2) This House believes that anyone who denies the historical reality of totalitarian crimes against humanity should be sanctioned under national law.

3) This House believes that European Union should implement common educational programs about the three totalitarianisms of the 20th Century (Fascism, Nazism and Communism) in each of the Member States.

4) This House believes that memory is only an individual matter, and political institutions should not interfere in it

All the teams (two for each statement to be debated, government and opposition) worked hard before coming to Brussels, thus having the chance to also emeet in advance their fellows

What remains of the troubled Twentieth Century? What are the legacies of the Communist totalitarianism in East and Central Europe? Can we speak of a need of the same recognition, condemnation or remembrance and commemoration initiatives than of the victims and crimes of Nazism? Is it possible to build a European identity among EU citizens without teaching them history from a European point of view? These were just some
of the questions students had to address or provocatively asked to their opponents
.

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Preparing the debate was also the chance for them to deeply analyse EU policies on the subject. The European Union has indeed started in the past years a series of initiatives about the public remembrance of 1989 and of the totalitarian regimes in the Twentieth Century. Namely, the European Parliament drafted a resolution on European Conscience and Totalitarianism in 2009.

The document has been followed by the project of the House of European History, a museum about the ancient, modern and contemporary history of Europe as a continent. The museum, which is scheduled to open in September 2016, will also try to reconcile the different narratives of the Cold War in Europe.
Finally, the European Union is increasingly intervening in national educational programs of the member States, trying to harmonize history teaching practices and textbooks.  However, this European “politics of memory” has been criticized as it could lead to a single narrative of the past, with the consequences of impoverishing academic and public debates and to reduce critical thinking about Europe history and identity. Therefore, the debates discussed also the political actions taken “in the name” of the recent European past, and tried to assess whether public remembrance of the Twentieth Century is appropriate and beneficial for nowadays Europe.

To put it in other terms: was Pierre Nora, a famous French historian, right when he said that “Memory divides, history unifies”?

No better preparation for the DCW Final Event!

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DCW INSTAHUNT!

Diapositiva1

Since everyone is eager to add one more present under the Christmas tree, we have invited the students selected for the final Brussels event to take part in our InstaHunt!

Not sure what it is?

The InstaHunt is not a race, but a way for students to experience the final DCW event through the eyes of their fellow participants and have some nice memories at the end of this event.

 The rules are few and simple:

– Students attending the conference have to photograph the following 10 items before leaving Brussels after the final event:

  1. A representation/interpretation of the Berlin Wall or existing walls today in Europe #DCW89BerlinWall
  2. Something representing memory #DCW89Memory
  3. A tribute to pan European history #DCW89EuropeanHistory
  4. Something representing the fall of the Iron Curtain #DCW89IronCurtain
  5. A Brussels landmark #DCW89Brussels
  6. A landmark/symbol from the participant’s own culture #DCW89Europe
  7. East – West European integration #DCW89Integration
  8. Something that you learned #DCW89Learn
  9. Something/someone who made you laugh #DCW89Fun
  10. A new friend: #DCW89Discover;

– each photo can county only for one item and it must be a photo made by the participant (editing is allowed);

– students have to post their photos on Instagram with 2 hashtags: #DCW89 AND the category hashtag the picture represents;

– they need to tag in each photo EucA’s Instagram profile (@eucapics);

– the most creative will receive a 100 EUR Amazon/iTunes/Google Play gift card (the winner will be free to choose);

– the winner will be announced before Christmas 2015.

By taking part in our DCW InstaHunt students grant EucA a royalty-free, nonexclusive right during and after the IstaHunt, provided it is not detrimental to the rules of personal dignity and common decency:

– to use the pictures on the DCW blog and related publications of the project;

– to use the pictures on EucA website, social media and publications;

– to allow third-parties to share the photographs on the web and social media platforms;

Participants will retain all rights to any photograph they submit. EucA will credit the owner for the original creation.

Keep calm… and happy insta-hunting!

Mr Toomas Hiio, keynote speaker at our Final Event

It is with great sadness that we announce that Prof. Vytautas Landsbergis won’t be able to join us for the DCW Project Final Event due to health problems. We cannot but wish him a fast recovery, hoping there will be another chance to meet him and listen to his words.

 Anyway, we are at the same time very glad to announce that Mr Toomas Hiio, Board Member of Estonian Institute of Historical Memory, has accepted to replace him.

Mr Hiio, whose research focuses on World War Two and crimes against humanity, has also served as an executive secretary of the Estonian International Commission for the Investigation of Crimes Against Humanity (1998–2008), and as an adviser for the President of the Republic of Estonia, Mr. Lennart Meri (1998-2001).

In his speech “Towards a Common European Remembrance Policy” he will focus on the similarities and differences of the perception of mostly contemporary history in different countries.

Join us on December 10th at Cervantes Institute to meet him and our other distinguished speakers!

Hiio

Helmut Schmidt passed away on Nov. 10th

A key figure in the years of Cold War passed away on November 10th. Helmut Schmidt, Social Democrat chancellor of West Germany, died at 96.

Edward Lucas remembers him with the following words:

He was so clever, and so rude with it, that his listeners sometimes realised too late that they had been outwitted and insulted. Helmut Schmidt did not just find fools tiresome. He obliterated them. The facts were clear and the logic impeccable. So disagreement was a sign of idiocy.

Read the entire obituary here.

Round up of recent news stories on DCW themes

We had our last symposioum in London this May. It was a great day. We looked at issues about dissent and conscience in the modern world. These themes are constantly appearing in the news. So, here’s a few recent articles for you to read.

A New film called Hacksaw Ridge

The film tells the story of conscientious objector  Desmond Doss, who served as a medic alongside the Americans fighting the Japanese in the Pacific. The film focuses on the 1945 battle of Okinawa, where Doss single-handedly moved 75 injured men to safety under enemy fire. He was awarded the congressional medal of honour for his bravery by US President Harry Truman and was also awarded a Purple Heart three times and a Bronze star medal. The Amazing Spider-Man star, Garfield, will play Doss.

A conscientious objector to military service in Belarus has been threatened with conscription

As part of the regular spring call-up of conscripts, the 23-year old Chorba was ordered to report to his local Rechitsa Military Conscription Office on 21 May. On 14 April Chorba requested exemption from military service as it contradicts his religious beliefs. He also stated his willingness to do civilian alternative service, in a letter Forum 18 has seen.

South Korea should free conscientious objectors to military service

South Korea should immediately end the needless imprisonment of hundreds of young men who refuse to do compulsory military service for religious or philosophical reasons. More than 600 South Korean men are imprisoned each year for being conscientious objectors, often with devastating social and economic consequences.

From Putin to Mullah Omar, traces of cold war paranoia still shape our world

From Iraq and Afghanistan and their effects on those who tangle with them, to Russia, still under the thumb of the former KGB man watching “his” Germany fall apart, the traces of the old world shape the exhilarating, risky one we struggle with now.

How NSA and GCHQ spied on the Cold War world

American and British intelligence used a secret relationship with the founder of a Swiss encryption company to help them spy during the Cold War, newly released documents analysed by the BBC reveal.