ANNUAL REPORT 2018 Living Together Harmoniously in Europe
CONTENTS OUR MISSION I WHAT WE DO I ABOUT THE EVENS FOUNDATION
INTRODUCTION 5 COMMON PURPOSE THROUGH DIFFERENCES Assemblies: Modern Rituals Learning Communities for Peace Sharing European Histories The Aesthetic Experience Evens Lecture & Debate series Urban (Dis)Connections Inside polarisation – Conflict Matters Workshops
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NORMS AND VALUES WITHIN THE EUROPEAN REALITY Cultural Institutions as Places of Resistance Mind over Media: Analysing Contemporary Propaganda Models of ethical journalism and development of critical media Journalistic Voices Diversified Media Meets Literacy small-scale events Difference Day Art and Critical Education Image and Memory - Writers’ Series Embracing Controversy Fact-checking integrated EMELS – European Media Literacy Standard
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OUR MISSION The Evens Foundation aims to contribute to rethinking and building a European reality committed to the values of diversity, freedom, responsibility and solidarity. We identify and support innovative ideas and achievements through our prizes and calls, initiate experimental projects bridging the gap between research and practice, and facilitate knowledge exchange through our lectures, seminars, debates and publications.
WHAT WE DO The expression Living together harmoniously in Europe embodies the founders’ vision and stands at the core of our work. We look for tangible ways to engage with this key concern from philosophical, social, cultural or educational perspectives. We identify and support innovative ideas and award achievements through our prizes and calls. Furthermore, we foster experimental projects that bridge the gap between research and practice, and facilitate knowledge exchange through lectures, seminars, debates and publications. We collaborate with an ever-expanding network of citizens, practitioners, researchers, NGOs, and academic and cultural institutions connecting different communities and perspectives across the continent and beyond. As an operative foundation, we initiate and run projects together with our partners. Since the Foundation’s outset, we have taken risks by stimulating experimentation – whether by designing our own projects or supporting independent pioneering ideas. We mainly focus on developing pilot projects testing scientific hypotheses, innovative pedagogies or artistic processes.
ABOUT THE EVENS FOUNDATION The Evens Foundation is a public-benefit foundation started as a family endeavour in 1990. Its founders, Irène Evens-Radzyminska and Georges Evens, established it because of their commitment to the European project. Born in Poland, they witnessed the troubled history of the Second World War that tore the continent apart. Forced to leave their country of birth, they found a new home in Belgium. Corinne Evens, daughter of the founders, is the Honorary President of the Foundation. Monique C anto-Sperber is the Chairwoman of the Executive Committee of the Foundation.
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The Evens Lecture and Debate series is one of the new initiatives of the Foundation, strengthening our commitment to contribute actively to the quality of public debate on pressing issues of our times. In 2018 we welcomed two prestigious keynote speakers in BOZAR, Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels: Michael Ignatieff, Rector and President of the Central European University in Budapest, and Ivan Krastev, Chairman of the Centre for Liberal Strategies in Sofia and Permanent Fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna.
CHAIRWOMAN’S MESSAGE The year 2018 marked the launch of our new Strategic Plan, covering the period 2018-2020. In this renewed strategic vision, we translated our accumulated expertise into a broader approach. The principle lying at the core of our new initiatives is the need to look at contemporary challenges in all their complexity. Our current plan seeks to pursue the vision of our founders through focusing on two main initiatives: (1) Common purpose through differences and (2) Norms and values within the European reality. These concerns unfold several thematic axes, exposing the challenges that Europe faces today. The new initiatives build on our experience and expertise in peace education, conflict transformation, media literacy, journalism, science and the arts. Crucially, they also allow us to critically assess what is needed to nurture a contemporary and sustainable form of “Europeanness” in line with the ambitions of our founders. The aforementioned themes have always been intrinsic to our projects and are strongly reflected in our more recent initiatives and projects. As is often the case with action plans carried out over s everal years, 2018 also saw the completion of projects launched the year(s) before. We combined this with several initiatives preparing new innovative projects, building on gained experience and accrued partnerships.
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Building on our work in the fields of arts and education, the Evens Foundation also opened a new inquiry to explore pedagogies that use artistic strategies to create a space open to questioning, difference, acknowledging conflicting views and multiple voices, and thinking together. In a first stage, we conducted interviews with researchers and practitioners experimenting with art-based pedagogies, and more broadly, art education conceived as a critical practice. As a response to the identified need for collective reflection and learning on these topics, we convened a select group of practitioners to a seminar in Budapest in November 2018 for three days of challenging and important conversations. Another important project focuses on heterogeneous assemblies and the conditions for the emergence of collective intelligence. This three-year-long inquiry brings together researchers and practitioners from a variety of fields to examine what exactly happens when we assemble by delving inside the “black box” of collective deliberation. In times of increasing social polarisation and distrust in traditional political institutions, the Evens Foundation wants to contribute to the burgeoning public debate on ways of opening up and reviving democratic processes and forms of civil dialogue. In the wake of the Conflict Matters Conferences, we established Conflict Matters Workshops led by a single organisation around a certain issue or theme. This initiative met a clear need among practitioners and educators to create more time and a more focused environment to learn from each other. For the 2018-2019 series of Conflict Matters Workshops, we invited Bart Brandsma to outline the dynamics of polarisation and to explain how to create a strategy of depolarisation.
At the workshop in Northern Ireland in October 2018, the mixed perspectives of local and international participants from the Foundation’s network allowed the audience to understand that division and polarisation are present in different contexts across Europe and to look at their situation from another angle. The biennial Media Meets Literacy Conference of the Evens Foundation has developed into a well-recognised and well-received event among professionals throughout Europe. By fostering the visibility of the Media Meets Literacy (MML) ‘brand’ through smallscale events, we keep activating the established community and maintain the visibility of the Evens Foundation as a key player in the media education and literacy field. In 2018 we organised an MML event in November at BOZAR, Brussels focusing on ‘Fight Disinformation with Media Literacy’. This event was initiated by the Evens F oundation, organised in collaboration with the Media & Learning Association and supported by the European Commission. To continue our support for visual literacy, the Foundation launched a new project with our long-standing partner LE BAL, the acclaimed French institution dedicated to visual studies. A few years ago, we initiated together Ersilia, a digital platform and a one-of-its-kind tool for analysing images. To share Ersilia’s remarkable resources with wider audiences, and to enrich it with new perspectives, the Foundation launched a new collaboration with LE BAL: Image & Memory, a series of literary texts that shed light on images that have shaped our collective imaginary. These initiatives emphasize that the needs and concerns at stake in Europe require constant reflection and debate, innovative experimentation and adaptation, as well as consciousness-raising and dissemination. Not least in the context of the European elections in 2019 and their political and societal implications, the Evens Foundation will not cease to promote harmonious living together in Europe in order to help overcome division. Monique Canto-Sperber Chairwoman, Executive Committee
INTRODUCTION The Evens Foundation aims to rethink and experiment with ways of living together in complicated times. Our projects build upon the diversity of human histories, cultures, and experiences, considering the recognition of these differences as a precondition to shape a common world.
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For almost thirty years, we have been active in key fields of intervention such as democracy, education, media, arts and Â Âscience. For our strategic plan 2018-2020, we designed two leading initiatives: Common Purpose Through Differences, and Norms and Values Within the European Reality. These concerns unfold several thematic axes, exposing the challenges that Europe faces today.
Our projects explore different forms of togetherness and belonging, call for new solidarities and aspire to create a neutral space for the plurality of voices and discordant viewpoints to intersect. We seek to critically investigate values, social constructs and narratives in order to enable collective reflection within the wider society.
COMMON PURPOSE THROUGH DIFFERENCES ASSEMBLIES: MODERN RITUALS How do we assemble, negotiate, debate or deliberate, and sometimes come to a political compromise between people with widely divergent views? How can our differences – some of them irreconcilable – allow for discussion and engender solutions for collectively faced challenges? The Evens Foundation has launched a research and experimentation project, Assemblies: Modern Rituals, dedicated to heterogeneous assemblies and the conditions for the emergence of collective intelligence. This three-year-long inquiry brings together researchers and practitioners from a variety of fields to examine what exactly happens when we assemble by delving inside the ‘black box’ of collective deliberation. More specifically, the project focuses on the necessary conditions for inclusive deliberations, the epistemic benefits of diversity and its influence on the quality of deliberation and transformation of opinions, the civic effects of assemblies, the role of emotions and affects, and the place of dissensus in deliberation processes. Finally, the project seeks to understand the relation between the spaces and forms of assemblies and the knowledge and relations they produce. In other words, how does the way people gather shape their thinking and actions in turn? In times of increasing social polarisation and distrust in traditional political institutions, the Evens Foundation wants to contribute to the burgeoning public debate on ways of opening up and reviving democratic processes and forms of civil dialogue.
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The project is designed in collaboration with a scientific council comprising David Farrell (University College Dublin, lead researcher of the Irish Citizen Assemblies), Helene Landemore (Yale University), Yves Sintomer (Université Paris 8) and Richard Sennett (LSE).
LEARNING COMMUNITIES FOR PEACE Learning Communities for Peace is a European project initiated by the Evens Foundation in 2016 in partnership with the U niversity of Gothenburg (Sweden), CREA – Community of Research on Excellence for All (Spain), Place Identity Clusters (Greece), Centre for Peace, Nonviolence and Human Rights (Croatia), and Alternative Resolution to Conflict (UK). The project was launched in November 2016, with the first partners’ meeting in Sweden, and continues until 31 August 2019. In this project, focused on primary schools, we experimented and examined an alternative, bottom-up approach to foster inclusion and social cohesion adapted to different European realities, building on the wisdom present in the (wider) school community. In doing so, we wanted to examine our assumptions to understand whether and under which circumstances this way of working is feasible, realistic and efficient, how it relates to the teaching/learning processes, and what is transferable. The essence of the project lies in recognising that each setting is unique and that ownership is crucial. This implies that there are no readymade strategies, tools, methods that can be implemented to achieve the overall project goal. It also means that the overall goal is redefined locally to correspond to the lived reality in each setting. The operational work, steered by five primary schools in Croatia, Greece, Sweden and the UK in close collaboration with the partners, formed the core of the project. This phase, which took place during the school year 2017-2018, was monitored by researchers from the University of Cambridge.
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The partners are currently working together to develop a set of intellectual outputs to share the project experience with policymakers and other primary schools that have an interest in becoming a Learning Community for Peace. This project is co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union and the Evens Foundation.
SHARING EUROPEAN HISTORIES The past is often a source of conflicting interpretations rather than easy consensus. Still, historical identity is central to relations between states and people in the here and now. In our diverse European society, we cannot escape history when seeking to understand the present in our search for a common future. With our new focus on European history, we wish to open up a space to engage with its dissonant and often conflictual nature as a first step in discovering common positions or overcoming divisions. To get things moving, we joined forces with EUROCLIO, the European Association of History Educators, and launched a call for applications in order to identify innovative projects and pioneering approaches, resources or practices that aim to help (young) people understand the complexity and multiplicity of European history, and recognize how history can engage everyone in understanding
THE AESTHETIC EXPERIENCE We tend to consider aesthetic experiences as the most complete because of the unique operation of emotions and intellect. A esthetic experiences thus offer a productive terrain for questioning and shaping individual and collective perceptions, representations and attitudes. To examine the conditions that enable a transformative aesthetic experience, the Foundation has launched a research and experimentation project, The Aesthetic Experience, spanning ancient,
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modern and contemporary creation, from the visual arts to music and sound. In 2018 we refined the main questions of the project, researching similar initiatives and finding partners in France and Belgium. As a result, we concluded partnerships with the Centre Pompidou in France, the Royal Museums of Fine Arts Belgium and Theatrum Mundi. The concrete pilot projects will be defined and carried out in 2019-2020.
Europe and their part within it. The call was open to individual history educators (formal and non-formal contexts), researchers or students, and civil society organisations or institutions. Working bottom-up allowed us to keep an open mind regarding projects and ideas that answer the real needs of educators and researchers working in this field. In response to our call, we received a wide range of ideas and project proposals from all over Europe. After drawing up two shortlists, an international expert group helped us to select and invite five individual contributors and two projects, which will receive support to further develop their ideas and projects. Our support comes in different forms: financial support, support with public relations and dissemination, and editorial and operational support.
EVENS LECTURE & DEBATE SERIES The Evens Lecture and Debate series is a new initiative of the Foundation, strengthening our active contribution to the quality of public debate on pressing issues of our times.
the Centre for Liberal Strategies in Sofia and Permanent Fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna, focused on the age of imitation and its discontents analysing Europe’s past and future.
In Brussels we work in collaboration with BOZAR, Centre for Fine Arts. There we invite renowned speakers from different fields to reflect on the broad theme “Common purpose through differences” in a keynote lecture.
For 2019, the Foundation aims to promote further debate on the societal mirroring and impact of recent political verdicts and future developments.
In 2018 we welcomed two prestigious keynote speakers. Michael Ignatieff, Rector and President of the Central European University in Budapest, discussed the connections between the shifting p olitical effects on democracy in Europe and academic freedom in his lecture on 24 September. On 3 December, Ivan Krastev, Chairman of
In Paris, the Foundation continues its partnership with the Centre Pompidou to revive the tradition of the public agora and discuss topical and controversial issues that Europe faces. A joint debate series in 2019 on actual issues such as the resurgence of nationalism in Europe was explored and prepared in the course of last year.
URBAN (DIS)CONNECTIONS Our cities are testing grounds that experiment on a daily basis with forms of togetherness and separation. More than rural areas, cities are confronted with a high degree of diversity and constantly changing populations. To understand how Europeans conceive their belonging to Europe, we decided to look closer at connections and disconnections in cities. For the first phase of this project, we concluded a partnership with
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the Chair Pascal Lamy of the Université Catholique de Louvain to better understand cities as places of “living together and apart”. More concretely, the Foundation will support several phases of anthropological field research to analyse contemporary mobilisations of (past) cosmopolitanism in small and medium-sized Danubian port cities. We’ll organise meetings with the researchers involved, and initiatives to enable them to present their findings to a wider audience and discuss the main questions.
INSIDE POLARISATION – CONFLICT MATTERS WORKSHOPS In the wake of the Conflict Matters Conferences, we established the Conflict Matters Workshops led by a single organisation around a specific issue or theme. This initiative met a clear need among practitioners and educators to create more time and a more focused environment to learn from each other. For the second series of Conflict Matters Workshops, we invited Dutch consultant and trainer Bart Brandsma* to outline the dynamics of polarisation and to explain how to create a strategy of depolarisation. The first workshop in this series took place at New-Bridge Integrated College in Loughbrickland, Northern Ireland from 24-26 October 2018. Two more workshops (in Barcelona and Cluj) were planned for 2019. On the eve of each training workshop, Bart Brandsma gives a lecture to share his vision with a broader audience. To each of these workshops, we invite a carefully selected audience of local and international participants from the Foundation’s network who expressed an interest in this topic. In Northern Ireland, this mix of perspectives worked extremely well. It allowed p articipants to understand that division and polarisation are present in different contexts across Europe and to look at their situation from another angle.
* Bart Brandsma is a Dutch philosopher, independent trainer and consultant who works throughout Europe on local and national issues, and is author of the book Polarisation: Understanding the Dynamic of Us versus Them. With a small team of dedicated people, he trains and advises professionals – such as mayors, public prosecutors, policymakers, teachers, school heads, prison personnel and directors, radicalisation experts and counterterrorism teams, police professionals, municipality workers, youth and social workers, dialogue experts, communication advisors and journalists. For further information, see https://insidepolarisation.nl/en/.
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NORMS AND VALUES W ITHIN THE EUROPEAN REALITY CULTURAL INSTITUTIONS AS PLACES OF RESISTANCE The objective of this project is to research, map and understand which actors are playing or could play an active role in counterbalancing cultural dominance and offering a democratic vision for institutional activities. We aim to engage with polyvocal activities and promote a neutral proposal from and for institutions, artists and students. Concurrently, the programme would encourage the creation of an unbiased environment and a tool to resist and shift the narrative as determined by a dominant discourse, offering a plurality of counter-narratives in return. In particular, the Foundation would help to foster a comprehensive cultural proposal that guarantees a form of participation based on the agency of everyone involved, ensuring inclusiveness in terms of demography, geography, religion and gender. We thus wish to create a new possibility to engage with heritage horizontally, encouraging the concretion of a new and alternative cultural paradigm. A scientific committee, the backbone of the project, is currently being formed and will include academic professionals and cultural practitioners active in the museum field. The project outcome will include a symposium in collaboration with BOZAR (spring 2020), a workshop and a publication.
© Annette Lemieux
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MIND OVER MEDIA: ANALYSING CONTEMPORARY PROPAGANDA This one-year project, initiated by the Evens Foundation and funded by the European Commission, aims to adapt and implement the existing Mind over Media resource in six European countries. Together with partner organisations in Belgium, France, Poland, Finland, Czech Republic and Romania, a multilingual platform was created, based on the Mind over Media platform developed by Renee Hobbs. All participating countries also developed a local Mind over Media Blog in the national language, containing fully translated and culturally adapted learning materials. Teachers find here all the materials needed to use the methodology in their learning environment,
information about upcoming trainings, highlights from other countries and a link to the global platform Mind over Media. During 2018, all partners developed curriculum plans, prepared evaluation criteria and held workshops. An intense dissemination campaign was organised in collaboration with cimusee.org. On 13 November, the project was presented at the Media Meets Literacy event in Brussels. https://propaganda.mediaeducationlab.com/ http://www.cimusee.org/
MODELS OF ETHICAL JOURNALISM AND DEVELOPMENT OF CRITICAL MEDIA The Evens Foundation wants to promote journalists and media as key drivers for democratic, sustainable and peaceful development, with a geographical focus on the Visegrad countries (V4: Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia), supplemented by Austria and Bulgaria as these countries are most targeted by recent developments causing concern for a critical civil society and free media. The project consists of a first research phase to explore the condition and needs of the media community in these countries and iden-
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tify cores issues regarding professional ethics. A second stage will introduce a national conference and a series of tailored workshops responding to the identified needs, and providing the journalistic communities in each country with professional tools and support. In 2018 we got in touch with the Ethical Journalism Network (EJN) as a project partner. Pending the start-up of the project in 2019, the Evens Foundation decided to support a first study visit of EJN to Poland, as a pilot action for further project development.
JOURNALISTIC VOICES DIVERSIFIED The Foundation is keen to take initiatives to diversify journalism and the media; specifically, to help to diversify journalistic voices in a broad sense, covering the (geographical or cultural) origins of those voices, the content of media channels, and operational aspects such as forms of distribution. A first crucial step is to research and map noteworthy initiatives in Europe that aim to diversify journalism in different fields of action. In 2018, we started exploring the options for collaboration with several potential research and structural partners, so as to define the project scope and launch the project in autumn 2019.
MEDIA MEETS LITERACY SMALL-SCALE EVENTS
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The biennial Media Meets Literacy (MML) Conference of the Evens Foundation has developed into a well-recognised and well-received event. It convenes media and information literacy professionals from institutions, NGOs, media outlets and academia throughout Europe. By fostering the visibility of the MML ‘brand’ through small-scale events, we keep activating the established community and maintain the high visibility of the Evens Foundation as a key player in the media education and literacy field.
Evens Foundation, organised in collaboration with the Media & Learning Association and supported by the European Commission (Directorate-General for Communications Networks, C ontent and Technology). The focus and title of the event was Fight D isinformation with Media Literacy.
In 2018 we organised an MML event on 13 November at BOZAR, Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels. This event was initiated by the
The Foundation took responsibility for the agenda and programme, as for the selection of the speakers.
DIFFERENCE DAY In 1993, the United Nations General Assembly declared the 3rd of May as World Press Freedom Day to raise awareness of the importance of freedom of the press, and remind governments of their duty to respect and uphold the right to freedom of expression. In 2015, the Evens Foundation, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Erasmushogeschool Brussel, BOZAR & iMinds (now imec) named this special day Difference Day, which is intended to honour individuals and organizations who make a difference by defending and promoting these values. Press freedom is of paramount importance for the Evens Foundation, especially in the European contemporary journalistic context, so under pressure in recent years. The event consists of morning programmes aimed at high-school and university students, and afternoon sessions open to the general public. These sessions can be plenary as well as panel discussions, and are shaped by the Difference Day key partners. BOZAR also ensures that an artistic component is integrated into the day. The theme for the 2018 edition was Voices of Resistance. The Evens Foundation had the opportunity to organise a debate with speakers Thomas Duprel (TARMAC/RTBF), Justin Schlosberg (Birkbeck/Media Reform Coalition), Sandra Kacavendic (CANVAS) and Maria Frisova (freelance Slovakian journalist, Central European Forum). Live Magazine returned with its captivating format of storytelling in which authors, journalists and artists go on stage to tell the audience stories without being either recorded or broadcast. The night before Difference Day (on 2 May), a gala dinner for partners and guests was well attended, including by embassy officials, CEOs of Belgian press chains, journalists and politicians. The Difference Day Honorary Title for Freedom of Expression was presented to the son of Daphne Caruana Galizia, the Maltese investigative journalist who was murdered in 2017.
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© Sven Vee
ART AND CRITICAL EDUCATION Building on our work in the fields of arts and education, the Evens Foundation has opened a new inquiry to explore pedagogies that use artistic strategies to create a space open to questioning, difference, acknowledging conflicting views and multiple voices, and thinking together. Considering important and critically assessed work done in the fields of community art and social practice over at least 30 years, both in Europe and worldwide, we started our research with an attempt to get a deeper understanding of the current field, its practices, and the main questions at stake. Our particular focus was on the use of arts in formal and informal educational settings. As a first step, we conducted a series of interviews with researchers and practitioners experimenting with art-based pedagogies, and more broadly, art education conceived as a critical practice. Alongside formulating the contemporary problematics, the interviewed practitioners also often mentioned the need to have dedicated spaces for collective reflection and learning. As a response to this call, we convened a select group of around 30 practitioners – educators, artists, and activists from Europe and beyond – to a seminar in Budapest from 5 to 7 November 2018. A group of 20 students in the Master’s in Visual Arts TRANS – Art, Education, Engagement at HEAD, Switzerland also joined us during these three days of challenging, important conversations. The programme, consisting of thematic round tables and working sessions, was developed collectively by the participating practitioners, who defined a list of topics and problematics to focus on. Questions included: changing power relations in education, questioning mediation practices and discourses, relations between artists and educators, the question of the public, collaborative practices and co-creation, community work and the traps of categorizing, trans-
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ferability of practices, situated knowledge, effects and impacts of social practice, educational activism, relations with institutions and political context.
Contemporary Art Pristhina (Kosovo), Swimming Pool (Bulgaria), Transductores (Spain), Tranzit (Hungary), and Threshold Studios (UK).
As a platform for peer learning, the seminar also offered the participants an opportunity to share the obstacles and stumbling blocks they encounter in their practice and collectively think about strategies to overcome them.
Renowned art education professionals such as Janna Graham (Goldsmith University, London), Gila Kolb (Hochschule der K ünste, Bern) and Nora Sternfeld (Kunsthochschule, Kassel) acted as advisors and moderators of the discussions, to help us further explore the educational and philosophical implications of art-based pedagogies.
Among the participating organisations were: Agency for Agency (UK), Büro trafo.K (Austria), De Veerman (BE), Douro Museum (Portugal), Káva (Hungary), Laagencia (Colombia), Microsillons ( Switzerland), OFF biennale Budapest (Hungary), raumlaborberlin (Germany), Implicated Theatre/Serpentine Galleries (UK), Stacion – Centre for
Finally, we also used this opportunity to envision next steps: future partnerships or joint experimentation initiatives allowing participants to enrich their practice and take it further. In 2019 we will develop some of the concrete ideas that emerged during the discussions.
IMAGE AND MEMORY WRITERS’ SERIES To continue our support for visual literacy, the Evens Foundation has launched a new project with our long-standing partner LE BAL, the acclaimed French institution dedicated to visual studies. A few years ago, we initiated together Ersilia, a digital platform and a one-of-itskind tool for analysing images. Designed by LE BAL, it grew rapidly, developed new pedagogical materials, and received professional recognition from the educational community. To share Ersilia’s remarkable resources with wider audiences, and to enrich it with new perspectives, the Evens Foundation has proposed a new collaboration with LE BAL. Image and Memory is a series of literary texts that shed light on images that have shaped our collective imaginary. Every month, a writer submits a short literary text that will appear both on the platform and also in a partner media outlet. The text will be dedicated to an image or images of their choice. Contemporary or historical, disturbing, enigmatic or easily seductive, these chosen images will necessarily be part of our collective memory. Sometimes forgotten and newly brought to the surface, these are images that have shaped our perceptions and representations. Combining critical and sensitive approaches, these texts will unfold the – often imperceptible at first sight – historical, political, and cultural significations that the images contain. The analyses will reveal how our collective gaze is constantly being conditioned, be it by cultural habits or technical possibilities, and how ways of seeing persist or change over time. Finally, the writers will engage with the emotional responses that are evoked when looking at images, adding more complexity and new ways of relating to what we see. The texts will be published in 2020 and will later be gathered together in a book.
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EMBRACING CONTROVERSY In 2016, the Evens Foundation launched a pedagogical initiative to support the development of and experimentation with methods and practical tools to discuss complex and divisive issues in school settings, taking into consideration the emotional implications of such issues. To address this need, the Foundation developed the Embracing Controversy project, centred on the question of how teachers can be prepared and supported to handle such topics in a constructive way, transforming controversial subjects into learning opportunities. We launched three pilot projects in Belgium, France and Poland for (future) teachers and educators on how to debate with students on sensitive and/or controversial topics, taking the different contexts into consideration. The pilots in Belgium and Poland were finalised in 2017. In France, the Foundation proposed to our long-term partner, La Ligue de l’Enseignement, to run together an experimentation project with the goal of adapting and testing existing pedagogical tools in the context of the French educational system. Three volunteer schools developed and carried out a distinct educational experiment. Teachers and supporting educational staff, accompanied by researchers working on teaching controversies, met regularly during the year to discuss their experiences and reflect collectively on the implemented pedagogical formats and methods. As a result, a dedicated digital platform was created with the aim of encouraging other teachers and educators to work with controversial issues in the classroom, offer them insights, and share relevant methodologies, tools and documentation. Launched at the Salon de l’Education in
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November 2018 in Paris, the platform also presents in detail as case studies the experiences conducted, and collects important literature and resources on other interesting practices. For more information about the French experiment: https://www.semparerdescontroverses.org.
FACT-CHECKING INTEGRATED Expecting the European elections in 2019 to take place in a landscape of mis- and disinformation, the Evens Foundation sought to support educational approaches of fact-checking for young and future voters as a sustainable ‘vaccine’ against disinformation. The focus of this project is on secondary schools and extends also to journalism education. With this project, the Foundation aimed to support fact-based debate during the European Parliament 2019, and also to stimulate smaller-scale pilot projects in (higher) education settings. The Foundation supported an Erasmus+ project application of Faktabaari and some partner organisations. However, pending a decision by the European Commission (EC) in autumn 2018, the Foundation provided a grant for preparing a European Journalism Training Association (EJTA) bootcamp (which took place in January 2019) as part of EUFACTCHECK, an EJTA project to build a sustainable curriculum unit on fact-checking in a European network of journalism schools. The upcoming European elections would provide an interesting test period and result in a common manual and didactic guidelines for dealing with misinformation as a final and tangible output. Through fact-checking political claims and trying to tackle misinformation, the students and their public would gain deeper insights into and interest in democratic processes, both on the national and on European level. Based on this experience, further collaboration and the deployment of a more elaborate project in 2019 could be explored. Recognizing its expertise in the field, the Evens Foundation was invited to participate in a panel on the value of fact-checking (27 September 2018) at a conference organised by and in the European Parliament.
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EMELS – EUROPEAN MEDIA LITERACY STANDARD EMELS – the European Media Literacy Standard for Youth Workers and all who work with children and youngsters – was established in a European Strategic Cooperation project with seven organisations, including the Evens Foundation, in the Erasmus+ framework, from January 2017 to June 2018. Together we looked for an answer to the question: How can youth workers start with media literacy? Because media are such a big part of the life of young people, their educators often wrongly assume that they know how to handle them. We’ve noticed, however, that in general young people lack some crucial, critical skills to grab the opportunities of digital media to the fullest, while navigating the possible risks. We aim for happy young citizens who feel safe and secure and can experiment and develop, act autonomously, connect with others and participate in social, economic and cultural life. That helps them to transform the society they live in. There is a need in youth-work for a common framework that stipulates what it means to be media-literate in an increasingly digital world. That’s why, together with several partners, we developed
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EMELS. This European standard is a guide for creating and improving media literacy projects, tools and training to enhance the competences of young people. It can be used in different contexts: youth-led organisations, organisations for young people and informal groups of youth services, and government entities. The project brought together international experts to develop a common approach to media-education training, learn from each other and exchange experiences. The partners also consulted with several organizations and institutions involved in media literacy and youth work. Exchange of best practices was fostered through the MIL/PEER platform supported by the Evens Foundation. Throughout 2018 the EMELS standard was finalised, and then launched in five languages on www.emels.eu. The Evens Foundation secured dissemination of the project in the Media & Learning Newsletter (July) and via www.cimusee.org. And an EMELS workshop was held at the Media Meets Literacy small-scale event in Brussels on 13 November 2018.
EVENS FOUNDATION BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Corinne Evens, Honorary President Yolande Avontroodt Angélique Berès Monique Canto-Sperber Daniel Kropf Alicja Pacewicz Jonathan Evens Xavier Vidal
Antwerp Marjolein Delvou, Programme Curator Eva Van Passel, Programme Curator (until 2018) Federica Mantoan, Programme Curator (from 2019) Caroline Coosemans, Office Administrator Greet De Wilde, General Programme Manager (until 2018) Myriam Vanvinckenroye, Liaison Officer (from 2019)
The Evens Foundation © 2019 Evens Foundation www.evensfoundation.be
Wils&Peeters Graphic Design Paris Anne Davidian, Programme Curator, Head of Paris Office
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Monique Canto-Sperber Corinne Evens Xavier Vidal
20 I EVENS FOUNDATION I ANNUAL REPORT 2018
CONCEPT, GRAPHICS & PRODUCTION
Warsaw Joanna Krawczyk, Programme Curator, Head of Warsaw Office (until 2018) Hanna Zielińska, Programme Curator, Head of Warsaw Office (from 2019) Magdalena Braksator, Project Manager
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