Kick Off meeting Brussels 2012

Group of participants in front of the meeting place De Zeyp, GanshorenFriday, 21st of October 2012
Location: GC De Zeyp – Brussels






LDC and GC De Zeyp; Brussels;
ivo Peeters - Maria Nicolas -
Anne Marie Kok - Bob Renwart - Ilse Diddens
CC La Villa;Brussels; Pierre Clerckx - Christine Roy
Centar za kulturu Trešnjevka; Zagreb;Liljana Perisic
The Voionmaa Institute, photography;Tampere;Hannu Sinisalo
Paroles par L’images;Theys;Gerald Assouline
cultural Centre;Pecs;Noémi Vàczi - Jolan Somlyay
Cesis Culture and Tourism center;Cesis;Ilona Asare
Gminny Ośrodek Kultury Oleśnica;Oleśnica;Piotr Michałowski - Krzysztof Skórzewski
Suedwind NOE Sued; Wr. Neustadt; Buchleitner Brigitte

In the kick-off meeting several partners met for the first time.  Therefor we started with a presentation of the partner organizations. 

Very important part of the meeting was the lecture of the application in detail, to be sure that all us were on the same track and goals

It was for several participants the first Grundtvig project they are involved. Unfortunately two partners didn’t succeed to get the funding because both didn’t fulfil the technical obligations in time (submitting the application digital or written): a Danish and an Irish partner. The partner in the Czech partner is still waiting for confirmation because in a first reaction they refused the funding due to a staff change in the organization.

2WARdS-Europe is still a large project with 10 partners from 9 countries. In Belgian we have even a special situation that two organizations are accepted: De Zeyp and La Villa, one Flemish and the other French speeking

The Voionmaa Institute, photography,
Tampere, represented by Hannu Sinisalo.
Hannu is professor at the Voionmaa Institute, a independent adult education institute on media.  The students are between 18 tot 27. He is also teaching at the “workers institute”. A special item in the Finish 2WARdS Europe approach could be the ‘Finish civil war”, a time in history where silence is the most common way to remember it; the story of the white-red groups... 

CC La Villa
Brussels, represented by Pierre Clerckx
CC stands for ‘Centre Cultural’. La Villa is located only a hundred meters from the meeting place De Zeyp and is working for the French speeking part of the population of this community. La Villa did in the past few years a project on the old cemetery of the community with it’s memorial for the world war. This investigation can be a good start for a new project in 2WardS Europe

Cesis Culture and Tourism center
Cesis, represented by Ilona Asare.
Ilona works in the Culture and Toursim center. The center is cooperating with many associations like youth groups, emigrants,.. For 2WARdS Europe several topics or groups could be partners: the Association of Deported Persons (Siberia), the emigrants t Germany and the USA and those who returned. Also the city memorial monument is interesting because it is for one part of the population on the 9th of May a victory remember and for the other part the start of a new occupation. Also new forms of upcoming fascism is a topic.

Cultural Centre Pécs
Represented by Noémi Vàczi and Jolan Somlyay
Both are staff members of the “Zsolnay Heritage Management” (ngo) of the city of Pécs. As special topic for the 2WARdS Europe project they are thinking on the great amount of population that was moving out of the city direction Germany. Their houses were taken over by Hongaryans.

Paroles par L’images
Theys, represented by Gerald Assouline.
Gerald is photographer and  professor at the University of Grenoble. (social sciences ( ). Gerald wants to address two topics:
- the Battle of Vercore, (the area where he is living), in the second world war. An area with a very strong resistance movement and a battle where a whole village was burn down. 
- The Algerian independence war (1954 – 1962) between France and Algeria.

Centar za kulturu Trešnjevka
Zagreb, represented by Liljana Perisic.
Lily is director of the TresnjevkaCulturalCenter. The centre did already several projects on the memories of the most recent war in Europe: the Yugoslav war(s) in the nineties. Probably Zagreb is the only partner where so recent war-trauma’s still exist, where ‘women’s suffering from war (mothers, grandmothers…)’ is more present then elsewhere.

GOK Oleśnica
Oleśnica, represented by Piotr Michałowski and Krzysztof Skórzewski.
Piotr is head of a cultural institute in the city of Olesnica. In the recent period the centre was focussed on the “witnesses of the borderlands memories”. People in regions of Ukraine and Germany that once belong to Poland. His centre also goes for more mobility’s in 2WARdS Europe with the aim to travel with senior citizens (learners).

NGO Suedwind NOE Sued
Wiener Neustadt, represented by Buchleitner Brigitte
Main topic for Brigitte would be to bring together school children with the community associations of the older generations.


Concept of the project.

We always have to be aware that we are dealing with a multiple aims project:

  • multi generational dialogue: senior citizens are the main group in the project (learners), but also other generation(s) have to be involved.
  • Local and international: each partner can develop a local project line with specific topics and approaches
  • Outcome: a kind of peace message to Europe, delivered on a multimedia way at the end of the project.

In the discussion on the aims and approaches several interesting sentences where:

  • It has to be a “participatory project”, giving the word to people, to senior citizens (This can be a way to achieve more European citizenship)
  • A European value can also be to address the political issue of decades without war’s. It’s an argument against the Euro-scepticism.
  • Europe as our common house where the pain from the past wars can learn us how to live
  • We have to be aware that the result of story telling can deliver the opposite

Common statement at the end of the project: How to build it?

  • collective memory?
  • Common questions? (F.e. women in conflicts)
  • “everybody has a story to tell and a message to bring”
  • Stories versus historical articles
  • Historical overview:
  • Exchange of articles
  • Interviews

During the project:

- Be your own observer…

  • How do we organize or create our dialogue (local/international) – relational process
  • How do we create ? (artistic process)

About finances and global costs

The group agreed on the following global rules: 

  • Those who travel have to pay for accommodation and travel costs
  • Those who receive are in charge of the local organizational costs (venue, logistics…)
  • Those who receive are asked to organize (propose) meals (own organization, restaurants,…) at a democratic price. The guests have to pay those costs

Costs of local project development

  • Each partner is responsible for the finances of the own local project development

Even when common partnership expenses are not yet clear, it was in the first meeting estimated to a maximum of 5 % of the received funding for the global project.

Ivo Peeters