Marseille, Nov. 2013

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Our Bulgarian partners made a film about the meeting:

Our first transnational meeting has been held in Marseille from 24th to 27th November 2013. Learners and project coordinators from all partner organisations came together and presented their local project work, issues and approaches around the theme “democracy”.

In the first evening we met each other in a small, cosy restaurant. We made some communication games. For example, each of us wrote three sentences about himself / herself on a sheet of paper. One of them should be wrong. We went through the room talking to each other in couples about the sentences and trying to figure out which one might be a lie. It was a nice starter to get to know each other.

In the next morning the Berlin participants made statue theatre with the whole group. We were in a museum. Participants from one part of the group were sculptors, the other statues. Sculptors showed their perception of democracy by creating a statue with arms, legs, head, facial expression, etc. from another person. After that they gave their “art production” a title. Then all “sculptors” left the room for a minute and came back as museum visitors regarding and discussing the different art objects. They saw Abraham Lincoln on his throne who abolished slavery, a statue of liberty and two object representing solidarity and equality.

Later we could listen to a talk show of the Bulgarian participants representing their organisation’s work. We took part in a world café and discussed a) in which way democracy and civic education is part of each partner’s educational system (formal, non-formal, informal learning) and b) three things which should be changed in our educational systems.

We got then information from our Czech partners about their culture of remembrance work using photography to show differences between past and today and to strengthen local identification. One participant explained us the story of a cinema in the town Liberec which should be closed but is going to be transformed in a vibrant cultural space thanks to a citizen’s initiative.

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During the second day participants tested a game which our partners from Marseille developed in order make the French political system more comprehensible: “La démocratie comment ca marche” or “Democracy – how does it work”. We discussed in smaller groups several presentation boards with explanations about democracy and human rights in general, the French parliament, the senate, the role of the president, etc. The texts should be accomplished through crucial, but missing words. During the discussions we compared what we learned about France with the political structures in the partner countries and could learn a lot from each other. Afterwards participants built groups of representatives of two different political parties, the government and the president of the republic. The deputies had to find arguments for or against cuts in education and sought to win.

We also took time to discuss the project blog and decided to show how to create an own blog at the next transnational meeting.

We went back home with lots of inspirations and good memories to encounters among learners from different regions of Europe. We will not forget the special light of the beautiful city of Marseille – even in November!

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