For the two days preceding a First World War Centenary conference in Vienna, EuroClio director Jonathan Even-Zohar and trainee Martin George were already in the Austrian capital holding meetings with potential stakeholders to discuss the future of the ‘History that Connects’ programme. After the current project, ‘Teaching Sensitive History in the Countries of the Former Yugoslavia’, concludes in December 2014 following the final national launches and teaching trainings connected with the release of the new collaborative textbook ‘Once Upon a Time…We lived Together’, the long-running programme will once again require new direction and impetus. With this in mind, promising meetings were held on the 20th of March with the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) and Centropa to discuss how best to build upon previous achievements and continue improve the quality of history education in the Western Balkans.
In the morning Jonathan and Martin met with Hubert Neuwirth of the ADA in order to continue dialogue about a significant potential new project involving, for the first time, direct cooperation with the education ministries of the Balkans and Danube Region. An exciting and novel idea to involve media organizations within the project and address their responsibility to further intercultural understanding in the region was also voiced.
A lunch meeting with Centropa followed, where the joint challenges and opportunities of both organisations were discussed in depth. Notably, it was decided that Centropa would hold workshops displaying their new educational material at the national textbook launch events in Bosnia and Herzegovia and Macedonia later in the year. Suggestions for future action outside of the HTC programme included a project involving students from Africa, Europe and North America about the American Civil War and the slavery movement.
As always, keep an eye on the website for further updates!