Brussels, 18 December 2017: Do the Balkans produce more history that it can consume? What does it actually mean when a society ‘consumes’ history? How can responsible history education be promoted in the region? How can history teachers in the Western Balkans approach sensitive and controversial issues in the classroom?
After 2016-a year full of shocks on the European and global stage- we had started to think that we couldn’t be surprised by anything. In 2017 we were proven wrong.
Thessaloniki, 16 December 2017: Contributing to the discourse in civil society in Southeast Europe, the CDRSEE participated in the conference convened by the Navarino Network on ‘EU and Southeastern Europe: Democracy and Human Rights Challenges’ on December 16th in Thessaloniki.
On 15 December, 2017 ‘Okruzenje’, Balkans’ unique democratic media initiative, celebrated its 6 years of broadcast across the region in a momentous promotional event and episode filming in Tirana. The event, organized for the first time ever in Tirana, gathered numerous visitors, including members of the diplomatic corps, media representatives, longtime friends of the series, former Albanian guests of the show, and media & communication students from Albanian universities.
The Board of Directors of the Center for Democracy and Reconciliation in Southeast Europe convened its annual at the premises of the Center in Thessaloniki on 27 November, 2017. Reviewing the successes of the past year the Board of Directors engaged in a productive dialogue on the progress of current projects, as well as on future initiatives of action in the area of Southeast Europe. Fundraising for the continuation of the current flagship projects and for the implementation of new ones was at the centre of the discussions with regard to the CDRSEE’s future steps.
The JHP II’s series of regional launches was concluded in Ljubljana on November 22, 2017. The final ‘History of the Future’ event, held at the Museum of Contemporary History, was met with an overwhelmingly successful reception. With a diverse audience consisting of members of the diplomatic corps, international organisations, CSOs, NGOs, journalists, history teachers and students, the two new JHP volumes were presented to a Slovenian audience for the first time in the project’s history.
‘Fake news’ – the fact that this phrase will enter the Oxford English Dictionary in 2017, less than a year after it was first uttered is testament to the power of this phenomenon. Globally, false news and media manipulation in order to bring about social change are on the rise as never before.
On 9-10 November, 2017 the EU – Western Balkans Media Days, organised by the European Commission, brought together more than 250 representatives of media and policymakers from the Western Balkans and the EU in Tirana, to exchange forward-looking ideas and innovative experiences leading to the sustainability of professional journalism.
“History teaching can play two opposing roles. On the one hand it can contribute to the reproduction of conflict if it hushes up the dark sides of the past, by propagating a one-sided teaching of the controversial dramatic events. On the other hand, history teaching can be used as a tool for healing traumas and overcoming painful memories” argued Professor Christina Koulouri, Chair of the History Education Committee of the Joint History Project.