PATH

November 2016 – January 2018

The idea

The project “PATH: Peace Activism Through lessons from History of forced migration” proposed a concept for defining and understanding current tendencies of forced migration. The participants looked at lessons from the past and worked with remembrance as an inspiration for present and future peace activism.

The project aimed to:

1

Achieve remembrance of historical events such as the aftermath of WWI, Spanish Civil War and Yugoslav war.

2

Draw parallels between past and current conflicts focused on the reasons, specifics and consequences of forced migration.

3

Raise awareness within local communities on the topic.

4

Provide space for networking for future development on actions for peace building and conflict and forced migration prevention.

5

Promote peace, anti-militarism and non-violence and encouraging active participation at European Level.

The activities

The project was divided into seven activities:

A Preparatory Meeting

Budapest (Hungary), 18 – 21 November 2016

Organised with the support of the Building Bridges and No More War working groups of SCI, the meeting allowed the project team to meet in person and shape the direction of its future work, identifying and delegating key tasks. They used the opportunity to discuss best practices and challenges of previous projects, sharing expectations and experiences. There was also the chance to visit “Open Doors”, a project by SCI’s Hungarian branch Utilapu, which works with young refugees and asylum seekers.

‘Learn and Get Inspired from the Past’ seminar

Alt Empordà (Catalonia, Spain), 10 – 15 March 2017

Participants had the opportunity to explore the history of the Spanish civil war and to revisit the topic of forced migration. The participants followed the refugee route and got introduced to great historical spots: Elna Maternity Hospital, the venue of the concentration camp Argeles, Exile Memorial Museum etc. Local witnesses, experts and activists were invited to share their knowledge. Participants were encouraged to create a short video which contributed to the project’s final video: PATH stories behind borders.

Seminar: One Step Forward, One Step Back

Novi Sad (Serbia), 8 – 14 May 2017

The seminar explored the history of the wars in ex-Yugoslavia while drawing parallels between the situation in the region then and the ongoing situation where the Balkan Peninsula. Experts and associations from Novi Sad (NSHC, CK13) and grassroots activists and organizations in Subotica, the northernmost city in Serbia, shared with the group. Causes and consequences of the conflicts in the Balkans were discussed, including the resulting peace movements (Women in Black, SCI) and Europe’s response to the current humanitarian crisis, exploring concrete examples in Serbia.

No Border Fest

Rome (Italy), 12 – 21 June 2017

It was organised to stimulate debate on forced migration then and now, labour exploitation and related contradictions. Initially, the camp was organised around a migrant camp in Foggia in cooperation with Radio Ghetto Voci Libere, a community radio amplifying minority voices, and Laboratorio 53. Unfortunately, the migrant camp was closed before the camp could take place. Instead, the camp joined the No Border Fest in Rome, actively involving over 400 people including refugees and asylum seekers in discussions on issues such as social inclusion, freedom of movement and self-determination.

REcapturing the History

Thessaloniki (Greece), 10 – 20 July 2017

The camp was dedicated to collecting stories of refugees and victims of war, beginning with the first wave of refugees arriving to Greece in 1922 and ending with the asylum seekers reaching Greece in the 21st Century.

Solidarity with Refugees

Friedland (Germany), 12 – 26 August 2017

The camp used Friedland, the site of the biggest camp for German refugees after WWII (and home of SCI’s German branch) as a base to analyse and deconstruct political, social and psychological borders set between refugees and Germans today. The group worked in a community garden with refugees and local community members, participated in creative workshops with migrant theatre group Boat People Projekt, and put on an exhibition on the theme of borders.

Visibility event & Evaluation meeting

Sofia (Bulgaria), 25 – 30 January 2018

It was organised by CVS Bulgaria in cooperation with many local stakeholders and turned into a dynamic 3 days long No More War Festival focusing on peace, with aspects including forced migration, radicalisation prevention, non-violence and peaceful protests. More than 70 visitors joined various discussions, workshops and screenings that took place during this festival, among others the premiere of SCI’s documentary PATH stories behind borders that was created during the PATH project. Additionally, the visitors could follow the steps of an art installation that traversed the parallel between the history of forced migration in various conflicts of our past and present. In parallel, the team evaluated the projects’ many dimensions and impacts. Read more about the PATH final exhibition here.

Resources

PATH stories behind borders

SCI’s documentary was created during the PATH project and premiered during the PATH Final Event in Bulgaria January 2018. The documentary focused on stories of people who were on the move during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), Balkan Wars (in 1990’s) and the newest migration wave in Europe (from 2015).

Path Exhibition

Visitors could follow the steps of an art installation that traversed the parallel between the history of forced migration in various conflicts of our past and present. Immerse yourself in the experience here.

Project partners and supporters

The team

The PATH team was responsible for implementation of the PATH project. The members of the team took care of organising key activities and ensured the quality of projects outputs. The team also communicated the project to key stakeholders and made efforts to ensure its visibility and impact.

Supporter

The PATH project was supported by the Europe for Citizens Programme of the European Union.

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