The Eleventh Meeting Of The RCC Task Force On Culture And Society

The Eleventh Meeting of the RCC Task Force on Culture and Society was held on 28 and 29 April 2015 in Durrës, Albania.

The main purpose of the meeting was to discuss the regional work plan of the TFCS for the 2015, the ongoing activities for promotion of the three Regional Programmes within the Cultural and Creative Sectors Dimension of the SEE2020 Strategy, monitoring and assessment, existing EU funding mechanisms in the field of culture, potential joint regional projects and activities. EUROCLIO was represented by two members of its core team for the Project “Rethinking History Education.” Milos Vukanovic (Montenegro) and Fatmiroshe Xhemajli (Albania) gave a presentation about the work and ideas of EUROCLIO to the meeting and its participants.

Based on the initiative from the Montenegrin National IPA Coordinator (NIPAC) to draw more attention to the significant role of culture and creative sectors in the overall economic and social development of our region, representatives of the NIPACs from the economies participating in the SEE2020 Strategy attended the second day of the meeting dedicated to the presentation of regional programmes and support their inclusion within priority areas, and to the Montenegrin proposal on the “Culture for Integration and Growth: Utilizing the economic and reputational value of Cultural Heritage in Western Balkans”. It was concluded that cultural and creative sectors are strong contributors to economic growth and integration and should be included within the financing of Multi-country IPA as one of the priority areas.

The meeting also gathered TFCS members from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Greece, Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro, RCC, European Commission, representatives of SEECP Secretariat from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Albania, representatives of NIPAC offices from Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro, and Serbia, representatives of Creative Europe Programme (EC), EU Delegation in TiranaRCC external experts from audio visual sector and design, Cultural Heritage without Borders (CHwB), and Cooperation and Development Institute.

Young History Educators from the Balkans Explore EUROCLIO at Denmark Conference

Eight young history educators from the Balkans had the opportunity to participate in the EUROCLIO Annual Conference in Denmark , within the project ‘Rethinking History Education’. For most of them this was the first experience of a EUROCLIO Conference and for some of them of an international conference in general. This opportunity offered them a unique insight in the Danish educational system, and a chance to meet peers and colleagues from all over the world to exchange experiences and ideas and to establish new contacts. As a result the group showed interest to establish partnerships with teachers in other countries, and to explore opportunities for funding to participate in a conference of the American Historical Association in the United States.

The group met three times throughout the conference, partially guided by EUROCLIO Board member Mire Mladenovski, to discuss the next steps in the project. They discussed the outcomes of the kick-off meeting in Skopje for the regional website. Moreover, throughout the week the group filmed several programme elements and interviewed participants. This material will be edited into a short video they will present during the Annual Regional Summer School in August.

Kick-off meeting “History that connects the Balkans. Rethinking History Education?”

From 2nd to 5th of April 2015 the first Kick-off meeting in the EUROCLIO project “History that connects the Balkans. Rethinking History Education? 21st Century Approaches” took place in Skopje, Macedonia. Members of History Teachers Associations from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia were invited to participate in order to discuss organizational issues with the development of regional website and with preparations for the summer school in Mrkonjić Grad. EUROCLIO was represented by Jonathan Even-Zohar (director), Judith Geerling (project manager) and by Ivan Markovic (trainee). Organizer of this meeting was Macedonian History Teachers Association headed by its president and EUROCLIO board member, Mire Mladenovski.

During the meeting two successful workshops were organised. The topic of the first workshop was the programme of the upcoming summer school. After a fruitful discussion, it was agreed that summer school will be heavily focused on topics such as cultural history, remembrance and glocal history (global and local history). In addition to this, there will be several on-site learning activities such as visits to archaeological sites, museums, former concentration camps and memorial sites. Following day, another productive workshop was held. The workshop topic was the development of a regional website for history, citizenship and cultural heritage education. Following a series of discussion participants presented the initial concept of the website and agreed to further discuss via Skype challenges such as language.

Overall, the meeting in Skopje was successful in reaching its aims, as well as it provided the capacity to continue with the presented projects. The participants know that there is still work to do and they will work actively in the coming period to overcome necessary challenges before the summer school in Mrkonjić Grad.

Learn so you can be understood – a video on the state of educational system in the Balkan region

The Joint History Project – an initiative of the Centre for Democracy and Reconciliation in South East Europe, has made this well informed short documentary entitled Uči da bi te razumjeli (‘Learn so you can be understood’) where international experts at the region analyze the current situation in the schools and the needs that has to be faced in the near future. Moreover the video counts with the participation of many partners and members of EUROCLIO in the region, including Director Jonathan Ever-Zohar.

A great resource to learn about the current state of the educational System in the Balkan region as well as to know CDRSEE programme Joint History Project.

To see the video click here.

First Lesson Modules Peer-Reviewed in Kosovo

In the area of the famous battlefield where Balkan and Osman armies clashed in 1389, 15 dedicated History Educators from all over Kosovo gathered for the 3rd Workshop in the EUROCLIO/SHMHK Project “History Matters”. EUROCLIO Founder and Special Advisor Joke van der Leeuw-Roord presented in great detail the EUROCLIO Manifesto, which was for this occassion translated into Albanian and will soon be available online. Former Director of the Schools History Project, and currently Deputy-President of the Historical Association Chris Culpin dedicated a full day to an inspiring session dealing with source-based learning, but which raised many interesting questions about how to work with propaganda in the class-room. President and Deputy-President of the Association of History Educators in Macedonia, Mr Mire Mladenovski and Mr Besnik Emini joined the meeting and shared their experience and expertise, including the recently launched bilingual online resource “Macedonia in World War One. A Common Approach to the Past”. Also the meeting convened a core group of the History Teachers Association of Kosovo, and steps were made to complete a future multi-annual action plan, and apply for official accreditation. Finally, a critical reflection on use of the past was addressed during an on-site learning visit to both the mausoleum of Sultan Murad I, who died in the aforementioned battle, as well as a monument erected in 1953 called Gazimestan.

“Once Upon A Time…We Lived Together” Language Editions Available

The latest EUROCLIO collaborative educational publication “Once Upon A Time … We Lived Together: Joint Work in a Multiperspective Approach” is now available in 8 languages, for free in full, downloadable PDF Book format.

‘Once Upon A Time … We Lived Together’ was publically launched by Chief Editor Bojana Dujkovic-Blagojevic at the 21st EUROCLIO Annual Conference in Ohrid, Macedonia, and is the main outcome of the History that Connects project ‘How to Teach Sensitive and Controversial History in the Countries of Former Yugoslavia’ (2011-2014). It contains 23 innovative exemplar workshops focusing on some of the most sensitive and controversial topics of regional history between 1900-1945, with contributions from educators of all seven project countries (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia).

Over 500 History Educators Trained with New Resource “Once Upon a Time…We Lived Together”

In the period between July and mid-October, over 500 History Educators from all countries of former Yugoslavia were able to participate in Public Launch and Teacher Training Seminars organised in Mavrovo (4-5 July, Macedonia), Prizren (12-14 September, Kosovo), Ljubljana (17 September, Slovenia), Zagreb (18-19 September, Croatia), Belgrade (25-26 September, Serbia), Podgorica (6-7 October, Montenegro) and Sarajevo (12-14 October). At every event EUROCLIO Director Jonathan Even-Zohar together with the Country Coordinators and the Country Editor presented the new Resource Book “Once Upon a Time…We Lived Together” in the different language editions – following small technical edits, all these versions will be made available online in the coming month.

The seminars all had strong regional dimensions with Trainers coming from other countries, and the remainder of the time together was spent to do active training on using the material. A full report of all events will be availble in one month time. Lot’s of input and pictures have already been shared on the EUROCLIO Facebook Group.

EUROCLIO Has a Say on Cultural Heritage Rehabilitation in South-East Europe

A EUROCLIO delegation took part in the High-level Regional Conference Cultural Heritage Rehabilitation as a Key to Sustainable Development, held on 27-28 October 2014 in Dubrovnik, Croatia. The event was organised by the Regional Cooperation Council Task Force on Culture and Society which promotes cooperation between the countries of South-East Europe with the support of the European Commission.

Members of the Croatian History Teachers Association Denis Detling and Kiti Jurica-Kodra – and of the History Teachers Association of Montenegro HIPMONT Milos Vukanovic together with EUROCLIO Senior Manager Blandine Smilansky met with representatives of Ministries of Culture from the region as well as various institutions and organisations dealing with cultural heritage in the SEE. The aim of the Conference was to present the achievements of the project Ljubljana Process II – Rehabilitating our Common Heritage, and pave the way for future cooperation and endeavors in this field.

At the Conference EUROCLIO had the opportunity to present its mission and work related to cultural heritage, and advocated for an increased recognition of the contribution of high-quality history, heritage and citizenship education to a development-driven approach to cultural heritage rehabilitation through innovative and responsible on-site learning.

Important steps in Kosovo. One more successful training finalized.

Between 12th -14th September, in Prizren (Kosovo), EUROCLIO in partnership with the History Teachers’ Association in Kosovo undertook a successful training seminar within “History Matters. New Steps for History Education: Supporting the Successful Implementation of the Kosovo Core Curriculum for History” embedded with the launch of the educational publication ‘Once Upon A Time… We Lived Together’ developed in History that Connects project ‘How to Teach Sensitive and Controversial History in the countries of former Yugoslavia‘ (2011-2014) project.

The training was attended by more than 30 history educators across Kosovo. The training programme which started with an official welcome and speech by the representatives of EUROCLIO continued with an active workshop day, led by teacher trainers from United Kingdom focusing on the use and analysis of sources, and workshops based on the modules from Kosovo and Macedonia. Trainers in the seminar introduced the participants to the online tools and sources available on the Historiana Programme (online history teaching portal) and instructed them to develop their own module using the sources in the Historiana collection, and to share their ideas with their peers.

The Ambassador of Norway to Kosovo, Jan Braathu who joined the concluding session of the seminar stressed the importance of the work to be achieved in this project. During his inspirational speech, Mr Braathu stressed: “It is not only history project, not only about methods, association building, it is about all of these, it is developing critical thinking among young people in your country. This is an overall objective, alongside some other objectives”.

For more information about the History that Connects programme visit the programme page.
For questions, contact jonathan@euroclio.eu

History Educators in the Western Balkans Participate in New Training with “Once Upon a Time…We Lived Together. 1900-1945”

The series of seminars organised at national level by EUROCLIO and its member Associations in the Western Balkans in September and October are the platform for the launch of EUROCLIO’s new multilingual teaching tool entitled ‘Once Upon A Time … We Lived Together’. Attended each by 50 to 100 participants on average, the seminars are a unique opportunity for history educators in the region to discover exemplar material for the history classroom. An almost Live Report of the series of Training can be seen on the EUROCLIO Facebook Group or for example the report on the Croatian National History Portal.

This publication is the main outcome of the History that Connects project ‘How to Teach Sensitive and Controversial History in the countries of former Yugoslavia?‘ (2011-2014), which was officially introduced at the 21st EUROCLIO Annual Conference in Ohrid. It contains 23 innovative exemplar workshops focusing on some of the most sensitive and controversial topics of regional history between 1900-1945, with contributions from educators of all seven project countries (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia).

Between 11 September and 5 October, 6 national launch and training seminars will take place in the project countries. In particular, Kosovo (Prizren: 12-14 September), Slovenia (Ljubljana: 19 September), Croatia (Zagreb: 20-21 September), Montenegro (Podgorica: 3-5 October), Bosnia and Herzegovina (Sarajevo: 10-12 October).

The programme and reports of the training seminar can be shared upon a request. Contact jonathan@euroclio.eu for queries.