Unione Europea - European Union

The project

To read a brief explanation
of the project, click here.

This project was coordinated by Natascia Mattucci –  associate professor in Political Philosophy at the University of Macerata –  and was funded by the European programme  “Europe for Citizens”.  It originated from the need to fill the memory lapse which for decades, in Italy and in Europe, has characterised the history of the persecutions and exterminations committed in the Soviet Gulag concentration camps. This was the aim of all the different educational and scientific activities which, starting from December 2013 and continuing for the following 18 months, were carried out along with the exhibition “Gulag” by photographer Tomas Kizny in the cities of Macerata, Loreto, Monteprandone, San Benedetto del Tronto, Ascoli Piceno, Bolzano, Bressanone, Merano. The final event was in Vilnius, Lithuania, and dissemination was made in United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Estonia.

Activities and target groups

More specifically: seminars in secondary schools, guided tours of the exhibition and public conferences were organised with the assistance of experts. The closing day was dedicated to a discussion about the outcomes of the project with a debate between Italian and Lithuanian scholars.

Such activities were addressed in particular to high-school and university students, teachers, researchers and simple citizens, with the purpose of contributing to the diffusion of a shared memory, as the pre-requisite for a fruitful process of construction of a solid European citizenship.

The project was divided into four events:

– Event 1: The reasons behind Gulag amnesia: remembrance education in Macerata’s territory

Event 2: Active Citizenship and analytic memory: the exhibition “Gulag” in Ascoli Piceno’s territory

Event 3: Memory of Gulags and interculturalism in Trentino’s territory

– Event 4: Amnesia and memory of East/West Gulags and creation of a shared European identity

 

European dimension of the project

The European dimension of the project was the result of it spreading among three different countries: Italy, Lithuania and Great Britain. Italy was the country which hosted the photographic exhibition in different locations. Lithuania intervened with its experts as part of the events organized around the exhibition, and the final day of evaluation and debate on the project was held in Vilnius. Finally,  the content and activities of the project were visible to citizens of the United Kingdom.

Impact

The expected impact of the “Amnesia Gulag in Europe” project was a wake-up call on the issue of memory of the Gulag, which could be able to undermine the memory-suppression process that has been affecting many European countries. All this in order to allow Europeans, especially the younger generations, to look at the present and the future with a “moral compass “, able to recognize and respect differences, particularly in the face of the rising of new phenomena of discrimination and racism.

In the whole, more than 3 thousand citizens were directly involved in education and exhibition activities and more than 5 thousands were reached by social networks.

Selection of the project

AGE was selected among 425 European projects, placing itself in the fourth position for:
– Relevance of the aims and priorities of the programme
– Quality of the project and of the proposed methodologies
– Impact
– Visibility and follow up
– Geographical impact
– Reference group

 

Diagram representing the projects presented to the European commission and the funded projects.

 

Grafico dei progetti presentati alla Commissione Europea e dei progetti finanziati.

 

More information on Action 4 of the “Europe for Citizens” program are available on the  dedicated page of the European Committee.