Activity 5: Public activities – presentations, exhibitions, site visits (August – December 2018)
Distribution of the project’s products and results through group visits of historical sites, lectures, and presentations – presenting the project’s results. Distributions of the results to the broad public through conducting exhibitions, meetings with historians, experts and between different generations, discussions about the historical past and its reflections today.
Activities and methods were: in Bulgaria – visits to historic places, completion for historic essay, seminars, exhibition, multimedia presentation. In Serbia – presentation of the platform, visit to concentration camp. Germany – presentation of the platform and 3-days historic tour in Berlin. Poland – presentation of the platform, discussions, visit of historic museum. Latvia – presentations, lectures, visit of the museum of European history and museum of Occupation. Rumania – meeting, and discussions with students, public presentation of the platform. Hungary – public presentation of the platform. The common number of direct participants is 259, and indirect participants – 790.
- 17 site visits, lectures, presentations;
- 2 exhibitions and presentations conducted;
- over 260 direct participants – young people, citizens, and scientists;
- over 790 indirect participants – passers-by, citizens, museum and centrum visitors, students, pupils, and tourists;
- over 11 000 indirect users – visitors of the virtual platform;
- increased the young people’s and the citizen’s interest towards the history/past and redefining the modern values and urban environment.
In the time period, September – November in Bulgaria were conducted a number of events presenting the project and distributing of the products and results.
On 15.09.2018 12 young people visited different historical places in Sofia and photographed sites connected with the historical past of Bulgaria. During the tour were held talks and lectures. For one month this group prepared a national exhibition with over 50 photographs connected to the investigated historical sites.
On 08.10.2018 we announced the winner of the national competition for a historical essay ‘The Period between the Two World Wars through My Eyes’. The competition lasted for two months. We received 13 essays. After consulting with a jury of literature and history teachers we published the winner’s essay.
On 9.10.2018 the project and its results were presented before 23 high-school students, teachers, and parents. The attendees had the opportunity to examine the photographs, to learn facts about the Bulgarian history, to compare the look of the historical buildings before and now. During the meeting, we organized a quiz with questions related to the Bulgarian history between the two world wars. As a result, the students had the opportunity to learn about new and interesting facts, events, and to rationalize history in the context of today’s events.
On 10.10.2018 a group of 18 high-school students visited the National History Museum. During the visit they had the opportunity to examine models of buildings, to learn about the historical events, connected to these buildings. A lecture was held on the topic ‘The Bulgarian Architecture between the Two World Wars’ by the museum associate.
From 10th to 25.11.2018 was held a photographic exhibition with photographs of the sites which were surveyed and presented in the online platform. The exhibition was visited by over 60 citizens. The exposition received media support and dissemination. During the exhibition were presented the sites as well as the platform, the results of the project and the program ‘Europe for the Citizens’.
The total count of the direct participants was about 30 university students, experts, and teachers and 230 indirect participants – citizens.
On 05.10.2018 in Berlin was held a youth meeting with the participation of 22 History students. During the meeting the participants had the opportunity to learn about the online platform, to discuss, to debate and to present the historical retrospection of the events between the two world wars and their reflection today.
On October 6th, 31 students began with a walking tour around Berlin’s most famous monuments, including the Brandenburg Gate, the Victory Column and the Reichstag building. The climbing up the (seemingly endless) stairs of the Victory Column was worthwhile because of its stunning mosaics, commemorating the unification of Germany in 1871, and the breathtaking view from the top. They also stopped for a period of reflection, visiting the ‘Memorial to the Sinti and Roma Victims of National Socialism’ and the ‘Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe’. Both memorials were highly symbolic, creatively and evocatively commemorating the millions killed during Nazi rule.
On October 7th, the students described the visit to the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp as a powerful and heartbreaking experience whilst deepening their understanding of their studies. They visited the 1936 Olympic Stadium, used as Nazi propaganda to promote Aryan racial superiority, and their guide’s retelling of how Jesse Owens destroyed the Olympics’ racial hierarchy by embracing his Aryan rival was fascinating. The German students rose for an early start at a German school to practice their language learning. Later, the History students indulged in a trip to the Museum Island before the whole party went to explore the Jewish Bavarian Quarter and the German Film Museum.
The final day (October 8th) of the trip was dedicated to Germany post–WW2. They had a tour of an USSR prison, the DDR Museum (which taught us a lot about living in East Berlin under the USSR) and walked along the former Berlin Wall. After learning about the restrictive overnight rise of the Berlin Wall in 1961, it was stunning to appreciate its expressive, imaginative and political street art.
The total count of the direct participants was 22 university students and 31 indirect participants.
On 26.09.2018 in front of 23 students was presented the online platform and were held several lectures and presentations on the topic ‘The most interesting moments in the history of Poland in the time period 1917-1939’ and ‘The history of Polish culture in the interwar period’. Mateusz Gorecki was a lecturer. The participants in the meeting had the opportunity to learn more interesting facts from the Polish history, to discuss and to analyze the historical events from a modern point of view – the reflection of the history and historical facts today.
On 10.10.2018 was held a meeting with 31 high-school students. The main topics were the presentation of the online platform, the comparison of the historical facts and their connection with the examined buildings. In the form of games (puzzles, new-old, etc.) they had the opportunity to arrange and compare the buildings and then to tell more about the historical event, connected with the current building. The goal of the meeting was also the wider engagement of the young people to the past and the urban environment that surrounds us today.
On 11.10.2018 in the Historical Museum was held an informative meeting in front of the local community for the presentation of the platform and the results of the project. At the event were present 31 citizens and media who had the opportunity to learn more about the project, the historical past of Poland, to debate, to reproduce the memories of their ancestors, and to look around the museum.
The total count of the participants in the different events was over 53 students, 31 citizens, scientists, museum associates – indirect participants.
On 25.09.2018 a youth meeting was held with the participation of 31 university students. During the meeting, they had the opportunity to learn about the results of the project, to debate and to express their own position on the nature of the historical events between the two world wars and their meaning today.
On 01.10.2018 was held a meeting for presenting the project in front of the public and the historians. At the meeting were present 33 citizens, experts, and teachers. Different historical events were discussed, presented by experts like prof. Victor Ciupină, Gheroge Petrus and others. The main accent of the event was related to the historical events in the time period 1917-1939, the places, connected with these events and the meaning of these events, places and persons now. In the talks of the participants there were recommendations for deeper studying of history in the schools and universities; about the inaccuracies during reconstructions of historical events and their truthfulness and time limitation respectively.
The total count of the direct participants was about 31 high-school students, experts, and 33 citizens and public figures – indirect participants.
On 28.09.2018 we had the opportunity to present the project and its results in front of 20 university students. During the meeting, the participants had the opportunity to learn more about the history and architecture of Latvia, to compare the look of the urban environment 100 years ago and now. A broad discussion was held about the reasons for the two world wars and the events in the time interval 1917-1939. The view of the young people and their position about the persecution of the Jews in Latvia were very interesting, as well that as about the following socialistic regime and the reflection of the totalitarian regimes on the contemporary ideologies of the young people.
On 26.10.2018 18 students visited the Museum ‘Jews in Latvia’, which is dedicated to the victims of the Holocaust. During the visit, the participants had the opportunity to learn about the history of the Latvian Jews and their fate before, during and after the WW2.
On 12.10.2018 12 students had the opportunity to visit the Museum of the Occupation. During the visit they had the opportunity to listen to a historical lecture that compared the two totalitarian regimes, their ideologies, their victims and at the same time to analyze the consequences of these regimes for the modern man – the meaning of freedom and choice, the lack of dictatorship and the free expression of will and opinion.
The total count of the direct participants was about 31 young people and 63 citizens – indirect participants.
On 10.09.2018 the project and its results were presented before 31 high-school students and teachers. On 11.10.2018 another meeting was held with 28 students. The participants in two meetings had the opportunity to examine pictures, learn facts about Hungarian history, compare the look of historic buildings before and now. During the meetings, we organized discussions on issues related to Hungarian history between the two world wars. As a result, students have the opportunity to get acquainted with new and interesting facts, events and rationalize history in the context of today’s events.
On 21.09.2018 in the city hall was held a presentation of the project ‘Urban recovery 17-17’ in front of over 24 citizens and public figures. During the meeting, the participants had the opportunity to learn about the achievements of the project – a virtual platform with 100 historical sites. The interest about the presentation was exceptionally big due to the fact that the participants had the opportunity to learn about the historical sites and places, located in other countries which provoked the interest toward not only the Hungarian history but also to that of the other European countries, engaged in the project. The participants were challenged to search for the common historical events that link these countries and unify them. As an addition, the participants had a discussion about what had Europe left for us as a legacy 100 years ago and how the modern man perceives the reflection of these events.
On 08.12.2018, 27 young people and citizens had the opportunity to visit historic sites and buildings. During the meeting were presented photographs of historical buildings and sites that are included in the virtual platform.
The total count of the direct participants was about 59 students, 51 citizens and public figures – indirect participants.
On 30.09.2018 in Niš, in front of 33 participants, was presented the online platform. Discussions were held on the topic of the Serbian historical heritage in the time period 1917-2017. The participants had the opportunity to discuss the main historical events and their reflection today. The different sites that are part of the online platform were examined, and the results and the products were presented.
On 10.09 and 02.10.2018 were visited different monuments connected with the Serbian historical past (Red Cross concentration camp, Niš, Serbia, and Bubanj Memorial Park, ‘The Three Fists’). 26 University students and citizens laid wreaths on the monuments, honoring the victims of the totalitarian regimes. During the tour they had the opportunity to debate, to present their understanding of the historical events and how these events reflect on modern times.
In the presentation of the platform and the visits of the historical sites participated 33 students (direct participants) and 26 citizens (indirect participants).
During the project were conducted a series of several ‘historical tours’ and over 250 citizens, tourist, and visitors of the city participated. We have the ambition to continue these historical tours and this way besides surveying more sites and including them to the virtual platform, we could popularize the history, events, and places connected to them.