The programme of the cultural routes quickly took
into account the fact that a privileged section of its public
consisted of young Europeans. The reason is obvious: it is they who
will build the Great Europe.
But it is also they who suffer most from the
progressive obliteration of the memory of the events that forged
their common continent and shaped its nowadays characteristics. The
portal of the Institute thus takes into account pedagogical
dialogue engaged around their evolving citizenship.
loss of memory
Many European observers underlined the great
political, economic and social changes that have affected Europe
for the past fifty years. They were accompanied by a swing of
generation, involving loss of memory on behalf of the younger
generations, with regard to these transformations.
Moreover, these changes reached very different
stages, depending on whether one looks at the East or the West of
Europe. To give only one simple example, the experience of
political totalitarianism is transmitted in France and Germany only
through history books, whereas in Spain or in Portugal it can still
exists with parents and grandparents, and, finally, for most of
Central and Eastern Europe, even teenagers can have a concrete
memory of it.
If one thinks of the landscape, the same
phenomenon is perceptible. The most developed part of Europe no
longer knows the traditional rural society other than from novels
and ethnography works and has a view of agricultural production
only through the televised image of farmers' manifestations or the
aseptic presentation of supermarket aisles. On the other hand, in
most of Mediterranean Europe, as well as in Central and Eastern
Europe, urban families still keep strong ties with their parents
who remained in rural areas. They have intact memory of the
practices and the ways of life of the rural world when they do not
separate their activities between the two worlds.
The establishment of collaborations between the
two parts of Europe finally joined together and the meeting of
younger generations born on both sides of the iron curtain thus
makes it possible to clarify in a comparative, i.e. tangible, way
significant concepts such as: the prevention of conflicts and
racism, the transformation of rural traditional society, the
passage from industrial to post-industrial society, and the
transformation of landscape as work space, landscape as leisure
space, or finally the compared statute of national and European
educational and cultural encounters
All starts from the idea that in order for
Europeans to understand each other it is necessary to find common
means for reading Europe. But when it comes to young Europeans the
question passes obligatorily through pedagogy and meetings based on
the means of finding the bases of a common citizenship.
The subjects that make possible the reconstitution
of Europe in practice do exist. The pedagogy of these meetings
through European courses on heritage, rereading of history books,
research on places of citizenship has largely been led on the
theoretical level by the Council of Europe.
What is missing, on the other hand, are places
where to continue to create Europe by practising it.
The programme of the cultural routes privileged
several entry ways to create occasions for meetings: religious
culture, gardens and landscapes, as well as theatrical practice.
Three subjects, or three very different frameworks, each of which
allowing a dialogue for the rediscovery of certain specific
Photo Terrasson Secondary school
- how to understand the division of Europe into territories
gathered around a religious expression and how to help them rejoin
- how to develop a sense of responsibility with respect to the
environment, not only as "ecological obligation", but as a feeling
of appartenance to a "European garden"?
- how to reread certain fundamental texts of the history of
European gardens by confronting them with a multidisciplinary
practice, starting from gardening to visual arts, while passing
through bio sciences?
- finally, how to take into account theatrical repertory and its
practice by body and voice as a common European heritage?
Various forms of meetings were worked out and
pursued by the Institute, as well as many pilot projects, for which
we propose a general course accompanied by practical information in
the database or files: the work of students and pupils, analysis
and evaluation of projects, transfers of experience...
Photo Theatre for the youth in Europe
Fortunately, the Institute is not the only
organisation, although there are only a few, to open dialogue among
young Europeans on the basis of cultural practice taking into
account the European idea not only in the history of its
institutions but also based on historical topics, places, meetings,
and on the people and practices that constituted and still
constitute today their substratum.
This is why we opened this domain with the
presentation of the Centres of European Culture, partners and
associates of the Institute which, more than ten years ago,
inaugurated a really new form of meetings of young people around
In addition, supporting the presentation of this
experience that created a trend, there are in fact concrete
elements of work carried out work, available for consultation in
the database, which keeps growing richer every month.
But we want to affirm from the outset that it is
not a question of a superficial meeting. The Institute and the
Centres started a common approach to the pedagogy of Europe through
cultural routes, a Europe that continues thanks to young people.
The goal is to design the web portal better, in dialogue with
pedagogues, as well as to prepare the elements of an educational
platform for distance studies aimed at the teachers in charge with
the education of Europe, either by their institutions or simply by
other web sites