Projects

Learning from the Past, Acting for the Future – European Citizens Stand Up in Front of Injustices

The project “Learning from the Past, Acting for the Future – European Citizens Stand Up in Front of Injustices” was coordinated by the Intercultural Institute Timisoara in partnership with Fondazione Centro di Documentazione Ebraica Contemporanea from Italy, Tsentar za Mezhduetnicheski Dialog i Tolerantnost Amalipe from Bulgaria and Big Picture Association from Poland. The project was co-funded by the European Union through the Europe for Citizens Programme.

The aim of this project was to raise the awareness about the need to stand up against injustice, to act for human rights and to make sure that history does not repeat itself. Teachers from 4 countries (Romania, Bulgaria, Poland and Italy) have been involved in a process aiming at developing their competences to teach about the Holocaust and human rights in an interdisciplinary approach – on the one hand to draw lessons from the past and apply them to present days’ realities, on the other hand to understand the mechanisms for protecting human rights that exist today and how the fact that they did not exist in the past allowed for such atrocities to happen.

The main activities included the organization of 4 national seminars in 2021, in each of the 4 countries involved in the project, and one international conference in Poland, in 2022, bringing together representatives of all the countries involved in the project. Throughout the project, the teachers were supported to develop curricular and extra-curricular activities with their students based on an interdisciplinary methodology that combines Holocaust education with human rights education and intercultural education. The teachers engaged their students in local projects, to research the past and to contribute to a democratic and equitable future. Some teachers engaged in collaboration with teachers from other countries and created opportunities for their students to engage in online peer learning processes. Policy proposals have been submitted to local and national authorities to argue the importance of mainstreaming this interdisciplinary approach.

A Handbook for teachers called Learning from the Past, Acting for the Future. An Interdisciplinary Approach to Holocaust, Human Rights and Intercultural Education developed within this project is available online at: https://www.intercultural.ro/en/handbook-holocaust-hr-intercultural-education/
Teachers can find in this handbook: an argumentation of the need for an interdisciplinary approach of Holocaust education, human rights education and intercultural education; an explanation of the ways in which this interdisciplinary approach can lead to the development of competences for democratic culture; an overview of the methodologies which are best suited for an interdisciplinary approach; a set of educational activities that can be used by the teachers with their students; as well as recommendations for further reading.

Five events have been carried out within this project:


Event 1

Participation: The event involved 32 citizens, from across Bulgaria, primarily middle school and high school teachers.

Location / Dates: The event took place in Blagoevgrad and Sofia, Bulgaria from 12 to 17 July 2021

Short description:  The aim of the event was to offer teachers from across Bulgaria the opportunity to learn, reflect, share and debate about Holocaust and human rights teaching contexts, methodologies and practices. A learner-centred approach, based on the principles of experiential learning and active participation was be used during the seminar. National and international researchers, practitioners presented and worked with the teachers to develop their competences to empower students to become active European citizens.

Participants understood how the Holocaust was carried out starting with dehumanisation, hate speech, scapegoating, discrimination. They drew lessons from the past that can be applied to current situations of injustice and discrimination. A specific action plan for a project with students was drafted by each participant to be put into practice during the school year, involving the local community.

Event 2

Participation: The event involved 32 citizens, from across Romania, primarily middle school and high school teachers.

Location / Dates: The event took place in Cluj, Romania, from 20 to 24 July 2021

Short description:  The aim of the event was to offer teachers from across Romania the opportunity to learn, reflect, share and debate about Holocaust and human rights teaching contexts, methodologies and practices. A learner-centred approach, based on the principles of experiential learning and active participation was be used during the seminar. National and international researchers, practitioners presented and worked with the teachers to develop their competences to empower students to become active European citizens.

Participants understood how the Holocaust was carried out starting with dehumanisation, hate speech, scapegoating, discrimination. They drew lessons from the past that can be applied to current situations of injustice and discrimination. A specific action plan for a project with students was drafted by each participant to be put into practice during the school year, involving the local community.

Event 3

Participation: The event involved 30 citizens, from across Poland, primarily middle school and high school teachers.

Location / Dates: The event took place in Warsaw and Krakow, Poland, from 17 to 21 August 2021

Short description:  The aim of the event was to offer teachers from across Poland the opportunity to learn, reflect, share and debate about Holocaust and human rights teaching contexts, methodologies and practices. A learner-centred approach, based on the principles of experiential learning and active participation was be used during the seminar. National and international researchers, practitioners presented and worked with the teachers to develop their competences to empower students to become active European citizens.

Participants understood how the Holocaust was carried out starting with dehumanisation, hate speech, scapegoating, discrimination. They drew lessons from the past that can be applied to current situations of injustice and discrimination. A specific action plan for a project with students was drafted by each participant to be put into practice during the school year, involving the local community.

Event 4

Participation: The event involved 29 citizens, from across Italy, primarily middle school and high school teachers.

Location / Dates: The event took place in Padua, Italy, from 29 August to 2 September 2021

Short description:  The aim of the event was to offer teachers from across Italy the opportunity to learn, reflect, share and debate about Holocaust and human rights teaching contexts, methodologies and practices. A learner-centred approach, based on the principles of experiential learning and active participation was be used during the seminar. National and international researchers, practitioners presented and worked with the teachers to develop their competences to empower students to become active European citizens.

Participants understood how the Holocaust was carried out starting with dehumanisation, hate speech, scapegoating, discrimination. They drew lessons from the past that can be applied to current situations of injustice and discrimination. A specific action plan for a project with students was drafted by each participant to be put into practice during the school year, involving the local community.

Event 5

Participation: The event involved 29 citizens, from Poland, Romania, Bulgaria and Italy

Location / Dates: The event took place in Warsaw and Minsk Mazowiecki, Poland, from 3 to 6 April 2022

Short description:  The aim of the event was to gather teachers and representatives of civil society and public institutions from Romania (7 people), Bulgaria (6 people), Italy (5 people) and Poland (11 people) to share their practices, to discuss about educational approaches for Holocaust and human rights education and to set up a European Network of Holocaust and Human Rights Educators. The Handbook describing the interdisciplinary approach combining Holocaust, human rights and intercultural education, developed in the framework of this project (and available here) was discussed during the conference.

Preparatory activities

A series of preparatory activities were organised in order to carry out this project. The first partners’ meeting took place in person, in Timisoara, in February 2020, gathering 8 representatives from all partner organisations:

–  Intercultural Institute Timisoara, Romania

–  CDEC Foundation, Italy

–  Big Picture, Poland

–  Amalipe, Bulgaria.

The rest of the preparatory activities took place online.

The description of the events organised in this project can be downloaded from here.

Rehabilitation, refunctionalization and revitalization of Mocioni Mansion in Foeni, Timiș County

Timiș County Council, in partnership with the Timișoara Intercultural Institute and NORTH Consulting ehf Iceland runs between 25.05.2021 – 30.04.2024 the project “Rehabilitation, refunctionalization and revitalization of Mocioni Mansion in Foeni, Timiș County”, co-financed by EEA Grants 2014 – 20 through the RO-CULTURA Program, the Timiș County budget, the IIT budget and the state budget.

The Mocioni mansion in Foeni was built in 1750 as the noble residence of the Mocioni family, well-known scholars, philosophers and politicians of Aromanian origin who militated and supported the rights, education and emancipation of Romanians in Transylvania during the Austro-Hungarian domination.

Currently in Timiș there is no historical monument to host artistic residencies or intercultural and heritage education activities. The mansion, located in a geographically marginalized and disadvantaged rural environment, will facilitate the annual realization of residents, contributing both to the enhancement of the monument and to the increase of the tourist attractiveness of the community. The created creations will enrich the community, they will transform it into a living museum, a community whose face will be changed by capitalizing on different ways of artistic expression. To achieve this impact, the Monument Recovery Plan has 3 interrelated directions of action: strengthening the capacity of the community, artistic activities and cultural education activities. The success of the Plan implies an active involvement of the partners as well as the engagement of the community throughout the whole process, so that the capitalization of the monument to contribute to the economic, cultural and social development of the community. We propose the introduction at community level of a new process for Romania – Participatory Governance for Cultural Heritage, a process that will allow both the involvement of community representatives and their co-responsibility on how to manage the restored and refurbished monument.

The general objective of the project is the economic, social and cultural development of Timiș County by highlighting the Mocioni Mansion in Foeni, a historical monument of national and universal value.

The specific objectives of the project are:

– increasing the tourist-cultural attractiveness of the area by rehabilitating and refurbishing the historical monument – Mocioni Mansion from Foeni commune, Timiș county, during 36 months;

– the development of an attractive and unique cultural offer in Timiș County by highlighting a historical monument located in a marginalized rural environment, during 36 months.

The Intercultural Institute Timisoara is responsible for the implementation of the Plan for the capitalization of the restored historical monument, which will be carried out for a period of 15 months, between December 2022 and April 2024.

The plan starts from the founding of a center for cultural, educational and artistic activities, which will highlight the talents, creativity and cultural heritage in the area of intervention, having an area of incidence that integrates the local, regional and international level as addressability.

To achieve impact, the Plan has 3 interrelated directions of action:

  • community capacity building;
  • performing artistic activities;
  • carrying out intercultural education activities and for cultural heritage.

Some of the project activities are dedicated to the community, for example:

1. Establishment of a consultation and support group Friends of the Mocioni mansion

2. An awareness campaign on cultural heritage and community development by capitalizing on local heritage

3. A pilot activity for capitalizing on the local tangible and intangible heritage – Banat brunch in Foeni

4. Study visits to Romania and Iceland for learning from examples of good practice.

In Timiș County there is no historical monument to house artist residences, for this reason the center will provide the necessary facilities for artistic expression and artistic productions especially for creative young people in Timiș County. National and international collaborations and co-productions will also be encouraged in order to increase the visibility of Romanian artists and art, as well as of Timiș County.

Activities for artists and the community:

5. Camp for the training of young artists and professionals active in culture and education

6. Interdisciplinary residency in street art and landscaping in the community

7. Visual arts residency and the mobility of Icelandic artists in Romania

8. Traveling exhibitions and the mobility of Romanian artists in Iceland.

The ethnic diversity in Foeni (Romanians 74.84%, Hungarians 13.87%, Serbs 5.87% and Roma 1.09%) determines the multiculturalism and multi-confessionality of the place, being in accordance with the major characteristics of the intervention area. In order to capitalize on these specific characteristics in educational activities, we want to support both teachers and students for the development of intercultural skills and awareness of their own values and attitudes regarding cultural diversity and cultural heritage.

Activities addressed to students from Timiș County:

9. Heritage education activities

10. Intercultural education activities and cultural diversity

11. Mocioni Mansion Days and the final conference of the project.

The project also includes activities for tourists:

– Pilot activity for capitalizing on the local tangible and intangible heritage – Banat brunch in Foeni

– Art exhibitions made after residencies

– Mocioni Mansion Days – Open Day, an event held annually.

The facilities offered by the center will include:

– visiting an interactive museum point dedicated to the Mocioni family and the history of Banat, with a classic exhibition but also with immersive technologies for virtual and augmented reality

– access to the information, documentation and reading center

– access to exhibition and performance spaces

– guided tour in the community and in the surrounding area, treasure hunting will benefit the 2 Natura 2000 reservations, Timiș meadow, integration in the Timiș Mansion Route initiated by APDT, junction through Foeni between the bike route on the Bega Canal and Timiș meadow.

The project activities will address the following target groups: 1) 150 members of the local community and students who will participate in the awareness campaign; 2) 1,000 students from the community and county aged 5-19 who will be involved in education activities; 3) 14 artists / creatives, of which 3 from Iceland, who will participate in 2 residencies 4) 10 artists / creatives and professionals from culture and education, of which 2 from Iceland, participants in the training camp, education activities and various other activities; 5) 8 community members involved in study visits; 6) 700 visitors interested in cultural, rural tourism, cycling tourism participating in the pilot offer, visits to the museum, exhibitions and other activities. 7) 120 other relevant categories of people from the region, the neighboring area of ​​Serbia, involved in other activities. The final beneficiaries, who will be able to visit the restored mansion in the coming years, will be able to exceed 700,000 people from the community, the neighboring communities from the micro-region, from Timișoara and Timiș County, from the country and from the Serbian border area.

Expected project results include:

  • A cultural and educational center
  • An active advisory group – Friends of the Mocioni mansion
  • 150 community members informed in 5 meetings
  • 3 traditional local products identified and promoted – Banat brunch in Foeni
  • Learning from examples of good practice – 2 study visits to Romania and Iceland
  • 10 young people (8 from Ro and 2 from Is), artists, professionals active in culture and education (museographers, teachers, curators, young artists active in NGOs, etc.) trained in cultural animation
  • Min. 4 works of street art and min. 4 landscaped green spaces
  • Min.10 paintings;
  • min. 20 framed artistic photographs;
  • 2 film presentation of the monument of 2min and 5min
  • A mobility program for 2 Icelandic artists in Timisoara
  • A traveling exhibition presented in Timisoara and Reykjavik with 500 pieces of bilingual Romanian / English catalogs;
  • A mobility program for 2 Romanian artists in Iceland
  • min. 500 students participating in 25 intercultural education sessions
  • min.350 students raising awareness about cultural diversity,
  • 500 pieces published in the Handbook of Intercultural Education
  • min. 500 students participating in 25 heritage education sessions
  • min.350 students awareness on cultural heritage
  • 500 pcs published from the Manual for education on cultural heritage
  • 2 historical presentations;
  • 4 artistic moments on the occasion of the Mocioni Mansion Days
  • A final conference.

The EEA grants represent the contribution of Iceland, the Principality of Liechtenstein and the Kingdom of Norway to reducing economic and social disparities in the European Economic Area and to strengthening bilateral relations with the 15 beneficiary states in Eastern and Southern Europe and the Baltic States. These funding mechanisms are established on the basis of the Agreement on the European Economic Area, which brings together EU Member States and Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway as equal partners in the internal market. In total, the three states contributed € 3.3 billion between 1994 and 2014 and € 1.55 billion for the 2014-2021 funding period. More details are available at: www.eeagrants.org and www.eeagrants.ro .

The RO-CULTURE program is implemented by the Ministry of Culture through the Project Management Unit and has as general objective the consolidation of economic and social development through cultural cooperation, cultural entrepreneurship and cultural heritage management. The budget of the Program is approximately 34 million euros. More details are available on www.ro-cultura.ro.

Project financed by the EEA Grants 2014 – 2021 within the RO-CULTURE Program.

RELATION – Research, Knowledge, Education against Antisemitism

This project aims to create an innovative strategy for combating antisemitism that starts from a better knowledge of the Jewish history/traditions as part of the common history/traditions, and puts in place a set of educational activities in Italy, Spain, Romania and Belgium as well as online actions in order to tackle this phenomenon. Initially, research will be conducted in order to map the state of the art, in each participating country, of antisemitic feelings and anti-Jewish prejudices/bias. The methodology used as framework for the research activities and data analysis (WP2) will rely on Standpoint Feminism and Critical Discourse Analysis, which foster reflexivity and critical thinking, deconstruction of dominant antisemitic discourses and set for the alternative and counter-narratives. This methodology will be integrated by a web monitoring process. Given the lack of studies on the intersection of antisemitism and sexism, and the perception of antisemitism by Jewish Women (Gold, 1997; Stoegner 2020), our research might be able to fill some of the gaps in this field and inspire targeted campaigns.

Based on the research, educational activities for pupils and training activities for teachers will be developed. The project will mix formal and non-formal education, following the principles of human rights education of the Council of Europe and the European Union in the field of youth and the Guidelines for Policymakers developed by UNESCO and OSCE to address antisemitism through Education (2018). The pedagogical strategy is based on two aspects: a) the comparison on concrete cases of prejudice at the level of the teachers and b) the active participation of the students also through a peer to peer approach.

An online awareness raising campaign tailored for young people will be carried out to support them to substantiate their point of view on antisemitism and other forms of prejudice, intolerance and hate speech. The storytelling, that will be used both for pupils and for young adults activities, will contribute to raise awareness and reflect upon different cultural and religious backgrounds, bias and understandings.

The model and methodology used within RELATION project will be compiled in a book that will be published on paper and online and a handbook which will provide guidance for transferring the methodology in other EU countries.

Project duration: Jan 2022-Jan 2024

Partners:

Fondazione Centro di Documentazione Ebraica Contemporanea –  CDEC, Italy (coordinator)

Fondazione Hallgarten-Franchetti Centro Studi Villa Montesca, Italy

Intercultural Institute Timisoara, Romania

Universita Degli Studi Di Milano, Italy

Universita Cattolica Del Sacro Cuore, Italy

Comunitat Jueva Bet Shalom De Catalunya, Spain CEJI – A Jewish Contribution to an Inclusive Europe, Belgium

SHIELD

SHIELD is a project funded by the European Union’s Internal Security Fund aimed at protecting places of worship from the risks of violent extremism. Implementing risk factors’ analysis, SHIELD is to enhance security postures at places of worship through improving the coordination, cooperation, and communication between law enforcement agencies, public authorities, faith leadership and congregations.

The combination of the Shield protective and risk factors’ analysis brings together stakeholders and target groups to develop new measures to ensure the safeguard of these places and the resilience of believers with different faiths.

SHIELD’s consortium is made up of 18 partners from 10 EU countries, engaged for two years: from January 2022 to December 2023.

The Intercultural Institute Timisoara is one of the project partners.

SHIELD project foresees the following working packages (WP):

  1. analysis of critical points, resilience activities and risks. The tasks of WP2 activities will lay the foundations for the definition of prevention and mitigation strategies, to be identified in WP3;
  2. identification of safety and security measures. The aim of WP3 is to identify technologies and procedures that can meet the needs and mitigate the vulnerabilities outlined in WP2;
  3. WP4 aims at developing training sessions and simulations to test, validate and evaluate the methodological, technological and procedural solutions identified in WP3;
  4. the dissemination and communication plan and WP5 will ensure to reach and involve the stakeholders and target groups to promote and ensure the sustainability of the project outcomes.

The project outputs will be publications, as factsheet and recommendations, and meetings, as workshops and conferences, to raise, in the target groups, the awareness and the information on the practical measures and tools for increasing the protection of places of worship.

More details about the project are available here: https://shieldproject.eu/.

Digital Destiny

The project aims to provide a digital platform for teachers, parents and pupils that integrates sustainable development educational goals, participatory learning and digital storytelling for a holistic and democratic approach in education through blended learning.

​By combining a sustainable education pedagogical method with participatory learning methods (including design thinking) and digital storytelling, Digital Destiny will develop a new pedagogical approach, based on the Competence Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture, that is suitable for a blended learning approach for young learners.

In addition, Digital Destiny will offer professional development training materials and education tools to be used to support blended learning environments for children 6-12 years old.

The project is coordinated by North Consulting from Iceland and includes, together with the Timisoara Intercultural Institute, partners from Belgium (DJAPO and Mediawijs, Flemish Knowledge Center for Digital and Media Literacy) and Greece (University of West Macedonia). The project started in March 2021, it has a duration of two years and it is funded by the European Commission through the ERASMUS + program.

More details about the project are available at www.digitaldestiny.eu.

“Imagine” Seminar

Between the 19th and the 21st of November 2021, in Toledo, Spain, the “Imagine” Seminar engaged a group of 30 school and university students in dialogues and debates around different current controversial issues.

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Democratic Culture – A Community Project

Working together for an inclusive Europe

The project “Democratic Culture – A Community Project” takes place between August 1, 2021 and March 31, 2023 and aims to develop local civic groups to support schools in the counties Alba, Arges, Botosani, Buzau, Gorj, Hunedoara, Maramures and Valcea in the process of developing students’ competences for democratic culture.

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Dealing with popular myths. Youth work against disinformation and distortion of historical facts

The project aims to map myths and distortions of historical facts among youth and deconstruct them through the tools of historic-civic education. Myths and distortions are carriers of stereotypes but, in many cases, young people accept them as truths and don’t question them. They become easy targets for groups spreading myths, which youth is not able to recognize as such. This behavior leads to the growth of prejudices and stereotypes, hate speech and radicalization. The inability to critically understand information becomes even more worrying in internet era because these myths can easily reach young people through social media.

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Track and Field for All

The Track and Field for All project (T&F4All) is an innovative project which aims to use athletics for social and cultural integration. The project focuses on participation in athletics activities of young people from places where track and field activities are not so practiced, from those neighbourhoods and streets where children and young people from our European cities still live in disadvantaged conditions.

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Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture

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The Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture (RFCDC) was published by the Council of Europe in April 2018 and is made up of 3 volumes.

Volume 1

contains the Model of Competences: 20 competences divided into four areas – values, attitudes, skills and knowledge and critical understanding – as well as information about the background to the model, how it was developed and how it is intended to be used.

Volume 2

contains competence descriptors, that is, a series of statements setting out learning targets and outcomes for each competence. These descriptors are intended to help educators design learning situations that enable them to observe learners’ behaviour in relation to a given competence.

Volume 3

offers guidance on how the Model of Competences might be used in six education contexts: curriculum, pedagogy, assessment, teacher training, whole school approach and the prevention of radicalization and extremism.

For more information about the Reference Framework, please see the website of the Council of Europe: https://www.coe.int/en/web/campaign-free-to-speak-safe-to-learn/reference-framework-of-competences-for-democratic-culture.