The collapse of the Soviet Union and the fall of the Iron Curtain not only had immense political implications for Europe, but for many also on a personal level. For Eleonore Dupuis it meant to eventually get the chance to search for her father, a former Soviet soldier in occupied Austria.
25 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Anna from Moscow finds herself caught in the middle of a heated debate in her family: the life during the Soviet Union – lack of personal freedom or a system of security and solidarity? Why is it perceived so differently? And what can her generation learn from the past?
After a long camapaign the Austrian Voters finally elected Alexander von der Bellen as new president. The candidate of the far right party FPÖ, Norbert Hofer, got more than 46 percent of the vote. With this the FPÖ, a party which is strongly connected with the new emerging right wing movement of the Identiarians, has found its path into the centre of the Austrian society. But who are the Identitarians? What do they stand for and how will this change the Austrian society?
With freedom of press endangered in many parts of Europe and the work of independent journalists becoming harder and harder we wanted to know first hand what it is like to work as a journalist with an interest in human rights and female empowerment in today’s Poland. Five of our young journalists met Iwona Reichard, Deputy Editor and Lead Translator of the New Eastern Europe in Gdańsk and talked with her about the media landscape in Poland and journalistic values/ethics.
The concept of »identity« is difficult to grasp. Nevertheless, 25 young Europeans tried to approach this complex term during EUSTORY’s History Camp »United or Divided in Diversity? National Identities in Europe« in Tbilisi, Georgia (2 – 8 October 2016). The students sounded out common grounds as well as contrary convictions when discussing their understanding of »identity«. However, they all agreed that continuing a dialogue about these varying conceptions is of the utmost importance. Because in the end, »(…) the diversity is what unites us«, states Elīna Jātniece (18) from Latvia. Find out how six participants of the History Camp in Tbilisi have approached their own identity.
Voters in Italy will have to decide about a constitutional reform on December 4th. The referendum, strongly supported by Italian PM Renzi, results in heated debates, also in our #callItaly, where our young voters share their fears that it will shift powers away from the parliament or will weaken Italy’s position in the EU.
The 27th anniversary of the beginning of the Velvet Revolution in then Czechoslovakia on 17 November 1998 brings back memories of a less peaceful uprising in 1968. Reconsidering the past, young Europeans have been asking to the people on Pragues streets: Where were you when the troops of the Warsaw Pact invaded Czechoslovakia on 21 August 1968?
The U.S. Election are held today, and to many people both main candidates are far from qualified to lead the American nation. Hillary Clinton caught a storm of critique for using her private server to host government emails. And with bigotry and racial slurs, her opponent Donald Trump has kept people and other countries in disbelief of what “the land of the free” has come to. History Campus had people all over Europe and one in the U.S. capture the reactions of people, if Donald Trump becomes President this November. The reactions are shown in our format “What-if-GIFs”.
However unpleasant the circumstances, there will always be people who would be proponents of the past, whatever the regime or the political system at that time. This seems to be the case especially in post-communist countries, for which the transition into a democracy does not always go smoothly. In light of this, during our trip to the Czech Republic, we asked citizens of Prague the question:‘If you could bring back one item from the times of Czechoslovak Socialist Republic (CSSR) what would it be and why?’ in the hope of creating a memory suitcase, which offers a look back at the past through the eyes of ordinary people.
Citizens of the Russian exclave Kaliningrad make a special case in the Russian-Polish relationship. Paulina Siegień regularly crosses the border between these two worlds, working for the local media in Kaliningrad, as well as in Gdansk on the Polish side. She spoke to young Europeans from the EUSTORY network about the current tensions between the two countries and their impact on the region.
What are the best ways to deal with identity and nationalism in Europe? During the History Camp in Georgia, 25 participants from 16 different countries gathered in Tbilisi to exchange their ideas on nationalism and European identities. Furthermore they presented their findings on personal and regional history.