European Year of Intercultural Dialogue 2008

Send in by Joyce van Genderen-Naar

Newsletter - Flagship Projects Special Edition

Dear readers,

Welcome
… to the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue 2008!
We want everyone to feel a part of EYID – as the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue 2008 is known. That’s why we are sending out this newsletter. It gives you a close-up view of the latest news and upcoming events as well as debates and projects related to intercultural dialogue.

Seven pan-European flagship projects have been underway as centre-pieces of the EYID. This special edition of the newsletter focuses on what they have done, what they are still doing, and what is still to come.

If you’d like to share the story of what you’re doing to make EYID a success, send an email to info@dialogue2008.eu.

Enjoy it. It’s your Year!
The EYID team
Overview

Iyouwe SHARE THE WORLD – A concert to discover Europe’s cultures
Meeting the Other – borders, identities and cultures in the European space
TATAPUME – “Radiotherapy” about the history of migration in Europe
StrangerFestival – a video competition and festival for young people
Diversidad! What if European hip-hop had its own festival?
Alter Ego – Imagine you were born in another European country, who would you be?
Cultures from around the block

Iyouwe SHARE THE WORLD – A concert to discover Europe’s cultures

One of the pan-European projects of the European Year, “iyouwe SHARE THE WORLD”, will come to a climax on 3 December with a concert at the Cirque Royal in Brussels, as the storytellers and musicians from various cultures who all share the ideals of the project gather on stage, including Iva Bittová, the Roma musicians Trio Loyko, Natacha Atlas and the Mazeeka Ensemble, Marlène Dorcéna, and Dani Klein, from “Vaya con Dios”. This concert will be presented in several languages. And it will end with an original interpretation of the melody created by Yehudi Menuhin for his Foundation – which allows each musician to improvise, as well as joining in a common chorus linking the whole group.

iyouwe SHARE THE WORLD is a project that explores learning about the Other through tales and arts. Launched in January 2008, and run by the International Yehudi Menuhin Foundation, it has involved 14 primary school classes in Hungary, Germany, France, Scotland, Belgium, Italy and Portugal.

Through an approach based on stories and art, and with the participation of the storyteller Hamadi, the children have been able to discover archetypes common to all cultures, and at the same time increase their awareness of cultural diversity. The project is also showing the value of promoting artistic teaching in primary schools as a way of increasing understanding of diversity.
To read more, please click here.

Meeting the Other – borders, identities and cultures in the European space

On 20-21 October, in Barcelona, the project “Meeting the Other…” celebrated their closing event with focus on cultural journalism. Artists, intellectuals and journalists active in the project were invited to present and discuss the main results of the initiative. The event, organised by IeMed (the European Institute of the Mediterranean) and Babelmed, also featured the presentation of the intercultural virtual festival at www.babelmedfestival.net, which offers a virtual space for artists with a creative and conceptual approach to immigration to share their content and get their voice heard.

The project “Meeting the Other…” was conceived in July 2007 by Babelmed and eight European partners, as an attempt to overcome negative prejudice about migrants and to deploy culture in asserting the valuable contribution of migration. The project covered several fields such as research, journalistic content and creation. Its main objective was to highlight cultural and artistic expression inspired by migration, and to offer migrant creativity the space necessary for it to make its full contribution.

Visit the virtual festival at www.babelmedfestival.net and feel free to spread the word to artists working on issues related to immigration to join! The platform will continue to exist after the end of the European Year, as one of its legacies.
To read more, please click here.

TATAPUME – “Radiotherapy” about the history of migration in Europe

Tatapume – “let’s talk!” in Greek – is what people say when they part. It is the same as the French “au revoir”, the English “see you”, the German “Auf Wiedersehen” or the Italian “arrivederci”. With one difference: instead of referring to seeing, as the others do, it refers to dialogue.

This is the perfect title to invite people to talk with the “Other”. It is not a matter of being politically correct, but because talking to a different person brings new opportunities. It may sometimes be difficult, but it will usually be rewarding. In the European year of intercultural dialogue, this project is trying to discover how far this readiness to talk to the Other is the true story of Europe. “Radiotherapy” against stereotypes!

Ten programmes about European history are being produced and broadcast by seven radio stations in seven European countries: Austria, France, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Slovenia and Spain. The programmes are also available for free as a Podcast on the website www.tatapume.org, accompanied by bibliographies and full interviews with personalities from each country. They can be used as educational materials, presenting the topic from an original point of view, yet with a solid scientific background.
To read more, please click here.

StrangerFestival – a video competition and festival for young people

The first edition of the StrangerFestival – Europe’s biggest event for young video-makers and fans – took place on 3–5 July at the Westergasfabriek in Amsterdam. Throughout the three days, more than 2.000 people from over 30 countries people joined the festival, which offered young video-makers a rich programme of workshops, debate sessions, master classes, exhibitions, parties and of course the spectacular StrangerAwards Show!

The StrangerFestival was open to everyone – fans, total amateurs and experienced video-makers. Leading up to the event, young people could share and submit their videos online for the StrangerFestival competition and also vote for their favourite works from the fellow competitors. On 5 July, the festival reached its climax when the winners of the Stranger competition – in four different categories, chosen by the public and professional juries – received their awards.

Just now, the best works are travelling with the StrangerExhibition and are shown in museums across Europe. All finalist films and the works created during the festival workshops can be seen on the StrangerFestival website at www.strangerfestival.com.

The StrangerFestival is a project initiated by the European Cultural Foundation (ECF), which helps the arts to contribute to a strong, united and diverse Europe built on shared cultural values. It will continue beyond 2008, so stay tuned!
Diversidad! What if European hip-hop had its own festival?

While the European Football Championship 2008 was in full swing in Austria in June, another big European event took place in Vienna, as part of the DIVERSIDAD project. It brought together some of the best hip-hop artists in Europe – rappers, graffiti artists, and DJs – for three days of festivities, exchanges and creation at the hip culture place, the WUK.

European artists performing included the EYID Ambassador Abd al Malik, and IAM and La Caution from France; Baloji from Belgium; Curse from Germany; Sam the Kid from Portugal, Noora Noor from Norway, Texta from Austria, Colle der Fomento from Italy, Looptroop Rockers from Sweden, 7 Notas 7 Colores and Porta from Spain, and DJ’s Waxolutionists and Cut Ex from Austria. The event also featured the first Euro DJ Battle, under the banner of DIVERSIDAD.

But DIVERSIDAD is more than a music festival. The DIVERSIDAD project was thought up by the European Music Office (EMO) and the Diversités association in order to provide the players of the European urban culture with a platform for getting to know one another, sharing, creating and together founding a lasting bridge of exchanges. In order to allow European artists to network by working together on a common song, artists associated to the project got together in March 2008 for the recording of a joint DIVERSIDAD hip-hop single, which was uploaded on www.myspace.com/diversidadexperience. Here, other musicians could remix it and upload it – the first pan-European hip-hop platform.

For more information and to listen to the single as well as to watch the video clip, please visit www.myspace.com/diversidadexperience.

Alter Ego – Imagine you were born in another European country, who would you be?

The 44 winners of the “Alter Ego” dual portrait competition for young people have now been announced! The challenge for competitors was for each of them to imagine who they would be if they had been born in another European country and to create a dual portrait – a picture of themselves with their “alter ego”, a person from another cultural heritage. By 15 September more than 750 of these portraits were submitted online at www.alterego-europe.eu, using film, photography, painting, music or mixed-media.

Two entries were chosen from each of the 22 participating European countries (Austria, Belgium, France, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Poland, Portugal, Romania, The Netherlands, Slovenia, Sweden and the UK). The winners will soon be heading off for the artistic workshop camp in Denmark at the end of November, where they will receive a week’s training by 14 renowned European artists. The selected work will also be part of an exhibition touring throughout Europe from January to March 2009.

Alter Ego project is organised by the European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC) in the framework of the European Year. To see the winning entries, please visit www.alterego-europe.eu.

Cultures from around the block

“Cultures from around the block” is a photo and video project for young people that aims to rediscover the character of local communities in large European cities. Its highpoint was an intercultural festival in Prague in October – the Dialogue of Cultures festival, where schoolchildren from across Europe showed the local media projects they had created in photography, sound, written word or film, and took part in debates, workshops, concerts and exhibitions.

Throughout the project, partners from Bratislava, Brussels, Bucharest, Coventry, Offenbach, Prague and Warsaw have shared their work, promoting interaction and communication that helps break down cultural stereotypes. In addition, a documentary film entitled “Your Street. My Street” and a website about local integration were created based on the media items from local workshops. Now, via the website www.europeancity.cz, it is possible to take a vivid “virtual stroll” through European cultural diversity in local neighbourhoods.

The project brought together young people from different ethnic groups living in the same city and, through media workshops that documented their surroundings, helped promote intercultural dialogue and build long-lasting ties.
To read more, please click here.

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