Balkan Kaleidoscope is a project addressing one of the bloodiest conflicts in contemporary history of Europe that had not ended until the Western Balkans collapsed into pieces. Several decades of shared history had been forgotten and lost in ashes, families separated, neighbours turned into enemies, parents buried their children, while eventually Yugoslavia as a historic monument to unification of different Slavic nations was deconstructed into “old-new” independent entities and countries.
The project partners representing civil society, local authorities, educational institutions from different local communities and walks of life across Europe will be debating about the culture of remembrance and about preserving the memories and testimonies of the historic narrative of preceding generations, about their life in pre-conflict times to help us reconstruct images and chain of events of the epoch they lived through. The project brings attention to importance and value of oral history and multiperspectivity in historic narrative. The project aims at promoting among young people a deeper understanding of Europe’s shared history, common values and at developing respect, tolerance and appreciation of European diversity on the background of remembrance of Yugoslav Wars and their consequences for contemporary Europe and its society, as well as its importance as a milestone in European integration efforts.
Specifically, project’s goal is to help young people across Europe to better understand the complex and sensitive issues of intercultural and interethnic dialogue while developing teachers’ capacities for using multiperspective methodology as easy-to-use learning tools, personal testimonies and narrative fostering critical and unbiased thinking. Through these activities project fosters reflection on importance of peace in Europe as well as understanding of the goals and efforts made in the Balkan countries towards democratic reforms and to furthering the EU integration.
The project lasts 18 months starting with the international event scheduled for 25-28 October 2017 in Osijek, Croatia and builds on activities initiated locally with a strong European dimension. In addition to the events in Osijek, an international event will be held in Mostar as well. Also, local activities will be held in partner countries: Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Italy, Serbia, Slovenia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. In these events students will be learning and reflecting on the Yugoslav Wars in history classes and workshops. Last but not least, students will online present the outcomes of their research projects.