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W-CHILD project

Behind closed doors. Growing up under Totalitarian Regimes / Growing up in Wartime

Project

W-CHILD is a European Remembrance project, co-funded by the Europe for Citizens programme under the EACEA-51-2018 call. The general objective of the project is to improve Cultural Routes' skills and competences through the capacities of their cultural operators. CRs will put in practice pilot experiences that will contribute to the process of capacity building in 4 main topic areas: Sources, Story Telling, Cultural Management and Citizens involvement. 

Partnership

W-CHILD brings together 4 partners of different nature: URBAN Association (Bosnia and Herzegovina) as the lead partner, Fundatia Academia Civica (Romania), Post Bellum, a non profit non governmental organisation (Czech Republic), and the ATRIUM Association (Italy).

  • URBAN of Sarajevo: it is one of the most active actors on the BiH cultural scene nowadays. It organizes the biggest Festival of Photography in Balkans (Balkan Photo Festival) and opened the WAR CHILDHOOD MUSEUM, the world’s only museum focused exclusively on the experience of childhood affected by war. The 2018 Council of Europe Museum Prize has been awarded to the Museum as a “powerful self-sustained model of civic initiative”;
  • Fundatia Academia Civica of Bucarest: it was founded in 1994 by the Romanian writers to provide civic education on the recent past of Romania and of Eastern Europe. Its main project is the Memorial to the Victims of Communism, which became the world’s first memorial to the victims of communism, with sixty permanent exhibition rooms;
  • Post Bellum of Prague was formed by a group of historians and journalists to increase public knowledge of the 20th century history of the Czech Republic, especially among younger generations. Post Bellum has collected thousands of interviews with testimonies as part of their documentation project, Stories of the 20th Century, and for their online archive, Memory of Nations. They organize various other projects and activities to raise awareness of modern history.
  • ATRIUM Association and European Cultural Route.

Objectives

The project bases its activities on two topics which are strictly interconnected when it comes to Memories of Totalitarian regimes and armed conflicts: CHILDHOOD and EVERYDAY LIFE under totalitarian regimes and war. The stories of everyday life of people that suffered under regimes/war can be essential in helping new generations to better understand the consequences of brutal and anti-human regimes.

The aim is to stimulate the reflection of young people from 4 different countries on how the totalitarian regimes in Europe and armed conflicts in Bosnia affected the way of life of children, so as to better understand the brutality of those systems, to understand and appreciate the benefits and rights that are given by peaceful and democratic Europe, as well as to commemorate and pass on the stories of the victims of these crimes.

Activities

The objectives will be achieved through different activities:

  • collection of micro-stories in each involved country about personal experiences and the life of ordinary people who lived their childhood under totalitarian regimes;
  • implementation of “Twinning through History” activities by involving young participants;
  • meeting between students and witnesses: people who lived their childhood under Communism, Fascism in Italy and Civil War;
  • organization of public events, such us reading of stories, visiting of places that marked the life of witnesses;
  • realisation of a documentary films about micro-stories to be shown at the Sarajevo Film Festival and production of an e-book to disseminate the stories also in other countries.

Duration and Budget

The project, which will last 12 months (3 September 2019 - 31 August 2020), with a budget of 98.280,00 Euro. The end date of the project has officially been postponed on 2 March 2022 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.