Impact of the European Capitals of Culture and... Volunteering. A Succesfull Story Ganja City – European Youth Capital 2016
ISSN 2360 – 6355 ISSN-L 2360 – 6355
“NUMBER 3 - YEAR 0NE AUTUMN 2014”
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: MIHAELA DIANA PODARIU, “NONFORMAL EDUCATION”
European Youth Capital 2015 - Cluj-Napoca
Editoria “The other capitals of Europe” WRITTEN BY: DRAGOȘ ANDREI PREUTESCU - EUROPEAN DIGNITIES JOURNAL’S DIRECTOR - (IAȘI, ROMANIA)
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: CHEVUK KELEVRA - MEXICO CITY, MEXICO. “REFLECTIONS ON THE WATER”
WHAT IS HAPPENING IN EUROPE IN THE LAST YEARS, IS A NEW WAY OF CREATE CONNECTION, UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN PEOPLE OF EUROPEAN COUNTRIES. WHY I SAY IN THE LAST YEARS? BECAUSE IN THIS TIMES WE ARE MORE AWARE OF THESE TRENDS AND MORE CLOSE TO THEM. FOR THIS ISSUE OF EUROPEAN DIGNITIES JOURNAL, THE IDEA TO PROMOTE A KIND OF CAPITALS FOR EUROPE WAS OUR PURPOSE. THE EUROPEAN YOUTH CAPITALS (EYC) IS ABOUT YOUNG PEOPLE WITH THEIR MOTIVATIONS, DREAMS, SKILLS PUT IT IN A VERY ORGANIZATIONAL EUROPENISTIC LEVEL. WE JUST WANTED TO FIND OUT, AS MUCH AS WE COULD WHAT IS HAPPENING IN THE CITIES THAT WERE, ARE OR WILL BE CAPITALS OF YOUNG PEOPLE IN EUROPE. THIS YEAR THESSALONIKI (GREECE) IS THE EUROPEAN YOUTH CAPITAL. THEY ORGANIZE EVERYTHING AROUND THE CONCEPT OF „TIME”. NEXT YEAR CLUJ-NAPOCA (ROMANIA) WILL BE THE EUROPEAN YOUTH CAPITAL. WHAT IS INTERESTING IS THAT TODAY WE ARE NOT JUST CONNECTED WITH TRADITIONAL CAPITALS OF EACH COUNTRY, BUT IN EUROPE IS BUILD A NEW APPROACH AND DEVELOPMENT OF OTHER CAPITALS. WE HAVE EUROPEAN CAPITAL OF CULTURE, EUROPEAN SPORT CAPITAL OR OF COURSE EUROPEAN YOUTH CAPITAL. IT IS A NEW IDENTITY WHICH OCCURS TODAY, BUILD ON THE BASE OF INTERCONNECTIVITY, CULTURAL EXCHANGE, SHARED DEVELOPMENT, NEW APPROACH IN CHANNELS OF COMMUNICATION ETC. SO WE HAVE ON ONE SIDE TRADITIONAL CAPITALS AND ON THE OTHER SIDE THE NEW CAPITALS. IN PARALLEL ALL THIS CAPITALS CONNECT THE OLD HISTORY OF EUROPE WITH THE NEW ONE, THE OLD UNDERSTANDING OF EUROPE WITH THE NEW ONE. BECAUSE EUROPE TODAY STARTS TO BECOME A LAND OF OPPORTUNITY. WELL EXCEPT THE BUREAUCRACY FROM THE UE LEVEL, WE CAN SEE BEATIFUL ACTIONS ON THIS SIDE OF EUROPE, THE SIDE OF CAPITALS. THIS CAPITALS GIVE US A DIFFERENT VISION ABOUT EUROPE, FINDING OUT ABOUT OTHER CITIES THAT WE DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT IT, ABOUT THEIR PEOPLE. MAYBE WE DIDN’T SUCCED IN SHOWING AT A HUGE LEVEL WHAT IS HAPPENING IN THIS CITIES BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER WERE EUROPEAN YOUTH CAPITALS, BUT DEFINITELY WE START TO MAKE THE YOUNG PEOPLE TO BE AWARE OF THIS TREND IN EUROPE AND TO SEE WHAT WE CAN WIN FROM ALL OF THIS. JUST LET HAVE ONE SIMPLE QUESTION – WHAT IS AN EUROPEAN YOUTH CAPITAL FOR ME?
European Dignities Journal • EDITORIAL BOARD • DIRECTOR - DRAGOȘ-ANDREI PREUTESCU (IASI, ROMANIA)
- VERONIKA STRELCOVA (ZVOLEN, SLOVAKIA) - ADRIAN GARCIA (MADRID, SPAIN) - CHEVUK KELEVRA (MEXICO)
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF - MIHAELA DIANA PODARIU (TARGU-FRUMOS, ROMANIA)
DRAWINGS - NADIA ELENA SPULBER (IASI, ROMANIA) - CARMEN CIOBANU (BOTOȘANI, ROMANIA)
CREATIVE DIRECTOR - CHEVUK KELEVRA (MEXICO)
CONTRIBUTORS - ALEKSANDRA KOWALSKA (POLAND) ANAMARIA AVĂDANEI (CÂMPULUNG MOLDOVENESC, ROMANIA) - ELMIR VALIYEV (GANJA, AZERBAIJAN) - CECILIA DI LORETO (PADOVA, ITALY) - SEBASTIANO GALIAZZO (PADOVA, ITALY) - CRISTINA DUMITRU TABACARU (PITEȘTI, ROMANIA) - DUMINICĂ RAMONA IZABELA (CONSTANŢA, ROMANIA) - ILINCA SANDUC (BUCHAREST, ROMANIA) - ELENA-LAURA TENCALIUC (MOLDOVA-SULITA, SUCEAVA) - STEFAN APOSTOL (ROMANIA, IASI) - STELLA BASINYI (BOTSWANA) - VERONIKA STŘELCOVÁ (SLOVAKIA, ZVOLEN)
SECRETARIAT - BIANCA AELENEI (PASCANI, ROMANIA) TRANSLATION - ANDI VALENTIN SÂSÂIAC (TARGU FRUMOS, ROMANIA) PHOTOGRAPHY - ALEXANDRA MUSCALU TEAM COORDINATOR - (PAȘCANI, ROMANIA) - FUIOR BOGDAN (PAȘCANI, ROMANIA) - APOSTOL ȘTEFAN (IASI, ROMANIA) - ILINCA SĂNDUC (BUCHAREST, ROMANIA) - FRENȚESCU BOGDAN (VASLUI, ROMANIA) COVER PHOTOGRAPHY BY: MIHAELA DIANA PODARIU: “NONFORMAL EDUCATION”
NEXT ISSUE COVER PHOTOGRAPHY BY: “ASIRYS STOCK PHOTOGRAPHY”
European Dignities Journal • INDEX • • High Education •
“Non-Formal Education - European Approach” P. 06 • In Community • “Ultimate Frisbe From a Bakery to the Fields All Over the World” P. 10 “Why Armenia?” P. 14 “Community Beyond the Place Understanding Community in a Broader Sense” P. 22 “Both the Author and the City Are Asking Themselves: Who’s Guarding the Guards?” P. 28 “Facts About Cluj-Napoca, the Youth Capital 2015” P. 34 • Diplomacy & Culture • “From Poland With Love” P. 36 “Granja City - European Youth Capital 2016” P. 39 “Sacred and Profane” P. 44 • Profile Hunters • “Interview With David-Jan Bosschaert”
• Urban Legends • “The Botanical Garden of Cluj” P. 58 “Rome, A Journey That You Never Forget” P. 66 “Report on a Visit to Tîrgu Frumos” P. 69 • Know How • “Impact of the European Capitals of Culture and... Volunteering. A Succesfull Story ” P. 76 • What’s in the next issues... • Winter 2014 - Best line (lyrics) P. 86 Spring 2014 - 6 years of “SUPER YOUTH” P. 87
ILLUSTRATION BY: CARMEN CIOBANU. IAȘI, ROMANIA
Non-Formal Education European Approach WRITTEN BY: DUMINICĂ RAMONA IZABELA (CONSTANŢA, ROMANIA)
Flexibility is the key word defining the XXI century. We need to be flexible in thinking and acting in order to achieve progress. This would be one of the explanations of the emergence of non-formal education, though its first apparition is situated around the end of XX century ( cca. 1965) Even if the term is used increasingly in European context, there are not many those who actually know its meaning. In order to clarify, the nonformal education represents first of all a methodology. It is not about what one can teach using it, but how he can do it. According to UNESCO “every kind of learning that happens outside the traditional school setting can be called non-formal. However, defining nonformal education is not easy, it has been described variously as an educational movement, a setting, a process and a system.” PHOTOGRAPHY BY: MIHAELA DIANA PODARIU - PAȘCANI, ROMANIA, “8.2. STRASBOURG”
institutional regulation of NFE. The thing to keep in mind for those is that the NFE is considered to be part of a lifelong learning process. As general review, with the aim of European recognition of non-formal Education, the Council of Europe proposes a common tool called Portfolio, that is going to be officially launched on the 19th of October 2014 during a seminar that will take place at the European Youth Centre Strasbourg, France. The principal challenge is conctitute by the different approaches , law system and economy of each country. In my opinion it is actually conflicting calling the non-formal education non-formal since it is not opposed to the formal one, but it is its complementary. Moreover the “non” reminds of something negative and obviously there is a tendency to be rejected. To sum up, the efforts of COE and the common struggle of young leaders and those working with young people will be at some point rewarded by the spread use of NFE. On the other hand, for the recognition of NFE the expectations are maybe lower, taking into consideration the previous mentioned challenges (economy, laws etc.). Still we are talking of two processes that will take time and patience.
• High Education •
At European level it is interesting to observe the current differences between countries. For example, the Southern countries such as Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece have a positive attitude regarding this practice, being used in both public and private institution. On the other hand they meet difficulties when it comes to implement the NFE into the formal educational system, in terms of recognition. For Germany and Austria the things are better. Since they have a dual educational system, meaning they integrate practice to theory (facts not words), they also integrate the non-formal education to trainings. These two countries try to combine the formal learning with the experimental learning. Moving a little to West, there is France, considered one of the most advanced regarding NFE, since 1985. France main attempt is to support both employee and employer in the area of identification and assessment of professional competence, in order to support career development and enterprise internal utilisation of competences. The main initiative was to create vocational education, providing also vocational certificates, also called Certificat d`aptitude professionelle (1992). The French model is also followed by Belgium. For the Northern countries like Finland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark we cannot talk of a Nordic model knowing they have different approaches. Their most remarkable initiative is the legislative and
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: MIHAELA DIANA PODARIU - PAȘCANI, ROMANIA, “8.3. STRASBOURG”
At European level it is interesting to observe the current differences between countries. For example, the Southern countries such as Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece have a positive attitude regarding this practice, being used in both public and private institution.
• High Education •
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: MIHAELA DIANA PODARIU - PAȘCANI, ROMANIA, “NONFORMAL EDUCATION”
ILLUSTRATION BY: CARMEN CIOBANU. IAȘI, ROMANIA
In Community Ultimate Frisbee From a bakery to the fields all over the world WRITTEN BY: CECILIA DI LORETO AND
At the beginning of the 20th century at an American college, a group of hungry students were in line for another cake. While they were bored by the waiting they started to throw and catch the empty pie tins. Soon this new hobby got quite popular among several other people. This empty tin became well known with the name of Frisbee, due to the frisbie bakery Company producing the pies. In 1948 a new kind of Frisbee was invented. This new object was made in order to fly further and play with it. Throwing a disk wasn’t enough yet, so at Columbia High School in 1968 they came up with a new game: Ultimate Frisbee. This is the actual team sport that is now played in many countries all over the world. The teams are formed by seven players each. The field is 100 m long and 37 m wide with two goal areas 18 m deep. The score is made when catching disc in the goal area. While you have the disc you can hold it for up to ten seconds, but you are not allowed to run. The game can be played on the grass, on the sand or indoor. An interesting fact about ultimate is that is self-refereed at all levels. All the players are responsible for the way the game is played. They have to make all the foul calls and solve the disputes as soon as possible to make the match enjoyable. This is the reason why most of Ultimate players are very respectful of their opponent. The first rule speaks about “Spirit of the game” in these terms: “Ultimate relies upon a spirit of sportsmanship that places the responsibility for fair play on the player. Highly competitive play is encouraged, but never at the
• In Community • expense of mutual respect among competitors, adherence to the agreed upon rules, or the basic joy of play [...]” The behaviour and knowledge of the rules is so important that at the end of every tournament the team with the best SOTG (Spirit Of The Game) wins a prize that is as aimed as the winning of tournament itself. Another unique characteristic of this sport is the existence of three divisions: open, women and coed. In the open division both male and female can play, in the women’s one obviously only girls can play and in the coed division at least three women have to play. There are also categories for junior players (U23, U20, U17). In this sport everyone can develop different abilities. There are athletes, great thrower or simply smart players and they all make the difference.
Every national federation has its own championship. Then there are continental and worldwide competitions. The last world championship has taken place in Lecco (Italy) 2014, where teams from many different countries came to face each other at the highest level. There are also some tournaments organized by the clubs. And others where you can go on your own and the teams are made on the spot. In other words this sport is free, creative and unconventional! This might be the reason why in many circumstances is not recognised as other sports. For example in Italy the Italian national Olympic committee (CONI) does not consider it as an Olympic sport, despite the fact that has recently been recognised by the US Olympic committee.
In the last years the diffusion of ultimate Frisbee is increasing rapidly. The growing popularity of this ethical sport based on fair play may give to Ultimate the reward that it deserves.
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In Community 14
WRITTEN BY: CRISTINA DUMITRU TABACARU (PITEȘTI, ROMANIA) - CENTRUL ȘCOLAR
DE EDUCAȚIE INCLUZIVĂ SFÂNTA FILOFTEIA, ROMANIA CONNECT 1990 PHOTOGRAPHS BY: MIHAELA DIANA PODARIU - PAȘCANI, ROMANIA, SERIES “FACES OF ARMENIA”
• In Community •
I work in a special school in Romania and this is a quite challenging job for us because we have so little resources and with some students we do need a lot of concrete material to work with. However, I enjoy my work a lot, I learned so much from my students: I learned that I don’t need so much to be happy, even a song can make me happy, I learned that I am a princess, I discovered how tasty the chocolate given to you by a student who has only that chocolate. I also understood how important I am, for some of them (children without parents) I am maybe the only person who can really make a difference in their life. So, I am truly grateful for being able to meet them and live that experience.
I am convinced that my gains are richer and I am very much into giving back what I have received. I have travelled lately and thought that nothing can surprise me; all countries are beautiful and has so many things to offer and you can learn from everything. So I started a journey with an „inside-the-box”-curiosity and a preconception that what else Armenia can give me as I was an insider connaisseur of ex-soviet countries. But even before I could barely walk through Yerevan streets the politeness and friendship of the taxi driver stroke me in my face. We found a common language, Russian, as we were both raised in the same soviet education system, and I have discovered that taxi drivers here as the first promoters of their country. The man was speaking so enthusiastically about his country and how much Armenia has to offer; even if I wasn’t so surprise at all (it was quite dark outside and was too sleepy after a long flight). His eloquent speech raised my interest as I know that this would have ever happen in Romania.
â€˘ In Community â€˘ I travelled so much with taxi drivers, and I barely can find a taxi driver who is not complaining on Romanian system, government, people and how much he want to run from this country. I felt as embarrassed as I happened to do the same. So I rethought my attitude and said that I should see from now on how great and stunning Romania is, how many things we have to offer, how smart we are, how wild and pristine Mountains we have and so on. So I felt so lucky to meet this Armenian taxi driver from whom I learned something essential. The other thing I liked about this country besides its beautiful landscape, amazing food, old churches was its warm and hospital people. I always thought that Romanians (especially Moldavians, as I am from Republic of Moldova) are the most hospitable and friendly people. But in Armenia I realised how wrong I was. Armenians made me fall in love with their country, but so irreversibly that I always feel the desire to come back to that land where I felt so special and so important. The project activities were planned in a way that we had the opportunity to get in touch with locals and we had entered their homes and I have never felt so alive like in that exsoviet country. I was asked why you want to go to another project in Armenia and here are my main reasons: I like Armenia for its friendly and always smiling people! I like Armenia for its dazzling beauty and amazing places! I like Armenia for its everything-Ararat! I Like Armenia for its magical atmosphere and spirituality!
• In Community •
• In Community •
Community beyond the place Understanding community in a broader sense WRITTEN BY: VERONIKA STŘELCOVÁ (SLOVAKIA, ZVOLEN) - INSTITUTE OF PUBLIC POLICIES,
FACULTY OF SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC SCIENCES, COMENIUS UNIVERSITY IN BRATISLAVA
PHOTOGRAPHS BY: VERONIKA STŘELCOVÁ (SLOVAKIA, ZVOLEN)
What is important is that the place has – or seeks – identity as a community, and has reason to coalesce around common interests.“ (Borrup 2011 p 5) However, nowadays, „many warn of a „erosion“ of civil society that can be connected to fraying communities, widespread apathy, unprecedented levels of contempt for politics, or with an absence of clear and transparent public goals, admired leaders or compelling issues.“ (Moksens, 2010, p. 3) As a response to this skepticism around the fragile communities of nowadays Karen Scott an advocate of a concept of wellbeing raises in her recent book Measuring Wellbeing: aTowards Sustainability? Several supportive arguments to the conversation on the need for public engagement in form of communities. She refers to the afresh newcomer of localism as a solution with more emphasis being placed on local governance, with communities and individuals taking responsibility for local quality of life, wellbeing and sustainability“ ... „the current interest in subjective wellbeing and the way it is discussed, are closely meshed with the ideas of democratic renewal, active communities, individual resilience and volunteerism. The concept of wellbeing is now an inherent part of discourses concerning the responsibilities of citizens and the role of local governance in the current economic crisis. (Karen Scott, 2012)
• In Community •
Think of your communities, the groups you belong to, done by the place you live at, or the identity you share. They exist behind the activities you enroll yourself in, clubs you visit, and job you do or interests you have. What are these communities? What do you share with them?
However, the expansion of the social relations out of the cities and out of the nation states towards a global world with the human networks formed across the nation borders and thereby strengthened by increased movement of the people in the physical world and their interactions in the virtual one. Nowadays, with the free movement of people within European Union and more and more globalized world, the people diffuse” out of their local communities and expand their social relations out of the city or neighborhood into the global and virtual world. These are the networks, flow and mobility that determine the global communities in the current world. It is neither a neighborhood nor city that forms these communities based on joints of their interconnections.
Now within this globalized world consisting out of a cross-state relations and global networks, what is the role of community work? How the “new global grid of communities” of nowadays can be used can be used as a tool of public engagement, especially in the stated that are still currently subjected to the processes of democratic transition of civil society that can be enhanced through the tools of community work?
Especially when setting up the ambient into the civil society that was for several years conceived of as the realm of ‘authentic’ human relationships, while ordinary politics tied to the state – including the welfare state – was seen as always tending to corrupt natural community and threaten liberty. This is nowadays a legacy that still resonates in post-communist Eastern Europe, where citizens appear relatively inclined to trust the market’s capacity to ensure freedom and prosperity and in civil society to provide community and social security, compared to their Western counterparts. (Moksnes, 2010, p.12) Thereby, apart from the discontinuity and breaks and given this legacy from the past, the civil society started to recover slowly when the communist regime collapsed. Soon after 1989 civil society actors contributed to the richness of society with volunteer activities, as well as outstanding ideas for mobilizing activity of others. However, the course of transformation and rebirth of civil society is longterm process with a slightly visible progress that requires lot of effort and motivation. In the countries that belongs to the region of Central and Eastern Europe of post-communist countries with a strong presence of totalitarian regime that significantly oppressed civil society and it´s manifestations there is
This is because people´s perceptions can only truly begin to change once several generations have passed. On the other hand, there are many vital civil societies in the world that have community life and community participation integrated in their societies and administrative and political system. Also within Europe, the Southern European countries are distinguished by weaker municipalities with fewer competences caused by state (regional) centralization, but on the other side with strong focus on political functions defending the local interests on the upper-governmental level, assuring integrity and fostering the community identity that are still very typical. Back to our topic of communities beyond a concrete place, let´s raise a few definitions of the community. The classical one arose from the social theories and traces back to the community that consists out of people living at
• In Community •
a certain hesitations that appear in the society and effects the work with civil society and communities in a substantive way. Most importantly, in the CEE region people´s perception of the value system has not yet changed simply by imitating the Western European models.
a certain area, having among various social relations and networks and therefore are both attached to each other and to the place they live at. On the other hand, McMillan and Chavis introduce us to a “sense of community”, or „spirit of the community“, and suggest to define this „community sense“ in the four elements that they consider the community to be built from. (McMillan, Chavis, 1986) The first of them is the membership that includes five attributes: borders, emotional safety, the affiliation and identification, personal attendance and the common system of symbols. The second element is the influence that flows both ways – the members need to have the influence in the group and also the influence of the group on its members is needed to achieve the coherence in the group. Integration and the fulfillment of needs are according to McMillan a Chavis considered as a third essence of the groups coherency. This element is executed when the members of the group feel that the participation in their community brings those benefits to some extent.
Finally, the emotional connection is considered as an ultimate element of a real community, (McMillan a Chavis, 1986, s. 14) simply because it involves common history and involvement or at least the identification with it. Afterall, these elements are expressed in so called „dynamics of the community“ are they supportive to each other and thereby strengthen the „community spirit“. Can these four elements be applied to new-born communities in the global world? Let´s use the quotation Wallman that claims that communities are of a “boundaries that have more the properties of teabags than of balloons” (Wallman in Crowe and Allan, 1994). This vision comes much more close to the community of global world while idea of the diffusion allows us to think of a community rather of a variable and very dynamic entity. However, also this model must contain strong elements that people can share. For example, the communities of interest refer to a group of people who more or less consciously share common interests (Laver, 1983). Both of these types have a certain limitations that can be limiting in our globalizing world of more movement, flow and networking out of physical arena. In the area-based communities there is a danger that this idea does not adequately cater for certain groups within a wider community who do not see themselves as part of this collective identity. On the other hand, in the communities of interest there is a danger that one can be associated with such communities without wanting to be. Therefore, how we can understand the community both avoiding these challenges and taking in consideration the globalizing tendencies of the world, of our living, raising movement of people and need for a high flexibility in terms of understanding of a “place”? We can try to explain community as an umbrella that covers all these in one, unbounded imaginary area determined by the characteristic of a network, consisted by intense social relations of any physical of virtual connections of a people, sharing common ideas and visions. And how we see this in the context of the community work that shall be applied in the civil societies in the transition in order to foster the recovery processes? The core for the community development theory is the respect for the people´s needs and the focus on potential not on the problems, to build active and sustainable communities, based on the social justice and mutual respect. Community development works with the potential that already exists in the community, it enhances the process of the skills and knowledge growth
The questions which I have arisen have a rather abstract potential to be answered, without an idea of a concrete recommendations to be made. However, even a reflection that can be done in this can brings us to a different idea of a community, better understanding of challenges of a nowadays community life and importance of the power that the communities in the international sense has. There is a potential that the community work that leads to the community engagement can be the response both to the challenges at the local level and also positively influence to the global changes and respond to the challenges in the global communities.
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of individuals, groups and the community as a whole. The community development is assigned to assist individuals and the community to understand their problems, to educate and motivate the people to the self-help and independence and helps to facilitate the community solidarity (Miková, Husárik, 2012). Within one area or out of it. In the civil society that is in the process of recreation and activation this leads to generating an active community groups and formation of a sustainable community life. Flow of these groups or their individuals insures the flow of the ideas, share of the good methods and practices that can be used by the local communities under the umbrella of a global mission of a positive change in our communities.
YOUNG PEOPLE IN MOVEMENT. (YOUNG SKATERS AT THE SKATEPARK RUŽOMBEROK, SLOVAKIA, 2013) BORRUP T. (2011): THE CREATIVE COMMUNITY BUILDER´S HANDBOOK, HOW TO TANSFORM COMMUNITIES USING LOCAL ASSETS, ARTS, AND CULTURE, FIELDSTONE ALLIANCE, NEW YORK HUSÁRIK, M., MIKOVÁ J. (2011): SPRÁVA O ČINNOSTI KOMUNITNÉHO CENTRA SÁSOVÁ ZA OBDOBIE APRÍL 2011AŽ DECEMBER 2011, MESTO BASNKÁ BYSTRICA. MCMILLAN, D.W., CHAVIS D.M. (1986) SENSE OF COMMUNITY: A DEFINITION AND THEORY, AMERICAN JOURNAL OF COMMUNITY PSYCHOLOGY MOKSNES H., MELIN M. (2010) POWER TO PEOPLE, PEOPLE TO POWER: (CON-)TESTED CIVIL SOCIETY IN SEARCH OF DEMOCRACY, UPPSALA CENTRE FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, UPPSALA. ISSN 1403-1264, ISBN 978-91-975741-7-4 SCOTT K. (2012) MEASURING WELLBEING: TOWARDS SUSTAINABILITY?. LONDON: ROUTLEDGE
Both the author and the city are asking themselves: who’s guarding the guards? WRITTEN BY: ŞTEFANIA ARGEANU
TRANSLATION BY: EDA ZARIFE
• In Community •
Motto: “In our schools, children learn ‘a bit out of everything’ but too little about themselves. If our teachers would allow more time for children to explore the mysteries of the human mind, perhaps – by allowing them to train in the self-knowledge area, we would have less frowned foreheads and less self-destructive concerns. Undoubtedly, nowadays man is struggling between two damaging traps: Believes before researching and criticizes before understanding… though according to Phillip C.McGraw understanding is the first rule of life strategies”
Dorel Visan, in the ‘Everyone dies alone’ chapter from ‘Who’s guarding the guards’ pg.67
The spectator with laced lashes is looking at the wings of light that complements the wide-opened windows of the movie theater as if it was announcing the Seagulls season. He remembers the Free time, those moments when ‘Too late’ did not exist, because at the time was still able to gather in his palms Rainbow balloons… That was the time when he has first been told about the Ageless Heroes – heroes are ageless, even if they do stumble from time to time, on their ways to ‘genuine fulfillment’, upon those Trial roads. And this happens because they, the film heroes, are creating The taste and color of happiness/ Flavor of Happiness. The joy encountered here is spreading into an atypical Romance statement, written by the nervous system itself. Assuming that you’ve already started to miss the movies I’ve just listed among the above ranks as an imagination exercise, with a bunch of italic written words, I’m addressing you the following… Hey, you… Cluj, if you want to feel honored by the European Youth Capital title, Keep an eye on happiness! Hey, you… Cluj, have your look on the letters and read with your heart Dorel Visan’s work! And even if a single tiny little hunch exists, looking at the way the connection between Dorel Visan’s ‘human name’ and his books reading will contribute to the success of Cluj being recognized as European Youth Capital, this proposal has its own voice. And even if this hunch isn’t spread around out loud by a statistically significant group, I stick on to the idea of certitude towards a question that could shed light once interiorized by the readers: ‘Why are books a mean of discovering ourselves and what benefits would we have if we were reading?’
Let’s think that by choosing this manner of being, of feeling, you discover masterpieces around miniature realms that prepare the foreground for catching snaps of the bottom heart of a letter, which is every time seconded by other letters. This way, from reader you become a human’s stories photographer – a collector PHOTOGRAPHY BY: ADRIAN GARCIA CLUJ-NAPOCA, ROMANIA, “WIRES IN CLUJ”
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: ADRIAN GARCIA CLUJ-NAPOCA, ROMANIA, SERIES - “WIRES IN CLUJ”
of words, states of grace, sweet essences and purple illusions, amber like doses of optimism. You establish light’s intensity according to your own chromatic affinities and you stop whenever you want, just to come back each end every time you fill like you’ve been missing this itinerary, where you’re holding hands with the letter – being each time ready to see through the magnifying glass of senses, the feelings, thoughts, your favorite character’s emotions, which whom you’re not only identifying yourself with, but whom you can carry on aside your look’s right finger, bringing it to your own actual world - where all those curious onlookers, all residents of the city, seem to have forgotten to listen, read and transmit stories to those around them, regardless their proximity or their remoteness. Only when you enjoy reading you discover that you’re not getting tired, your eyes aren’t hurting and you don’t need glasses anymore – furthermore, time seems to have time for you and you have time for it, but what’s more important is that you have time for yourself. By reading you actually get the time to admit what or who prints out a wide smile on your face, what’s making you find the inner magic that you need for keeping on and not letting on the gave up feeling take over you because of some drawbacks. Books are bringing aside the distance, dissolve (self)-imposed limits (most of the times), teach you to come in front of people with stories about yourself – in which they feel at home, it teaches you to have the courage and patience to come back to different life situations, persons, pages that you consider important, whenever you feel the need. Dorel Visan is a generous author that welcomes his readers with the emotion of his rich memories. It is enough for me to hear or see he’s name written down in order to establish a particular symmetry between him, as a human being, as an actor, as a professional and his cultural activities, in which the young people of Cluj is involved.
• In Community • “In our schools, children learn ‘a bit out of everything’ but too little about themselves. If our teachers would allow more time for children to explore the mysteries of the human mind, perhaps – by allowing them to train in the selfknowledge area, we would have less frowned foreheads and less self-destructive concerns. Undoubtedly, nowadays man is struggling between two damaging traps.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: ADRIAN GARCIA CLUJ-NAPOCA, ROMANIA, SERIES - “WIRES IN CLUJ”
This is because the geography of places, of humans carried away by the same inner filter, done through different expression mechanisms applies here too. Cluj’s ‘geography’ covers moods, the musicality of voice, words of wisdom that were once spread by people like Dorel Visan. It might make you think that the real Cluj is not the city you can identify on our country’s map, but the simple one, with customs and traditions kept alive in beautiful memories, in which we rhetorically ask ourselves or, perhaps, still puzzled: Who’s guarding the guards? And in case this next question is still there for some of you ‘What’s the connection between the Cluj – 2015 European Youth Capital syntagm and the reading suggestion of the book ‘Who’s guarding the guards?’ then I invite you to stop by this three findings:
Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old. (Franz Kafka) Youth has no age. (Pablo Picasso) Youth is a state of mind. (Dorel Visan) So, starting from the premise that human ages are simultaneous, and youth is not an age, but a state of mind, I introduce you Dorel Visan. In this being the young people have the privilege to discover: the great library of the world, an unusual depth of existential encounters and at least three substrates: the human, the artistic and the philological ones. ‘Who’s guarding the guards?’ was published at the Princeps Edit publishing house in 2012. The volume begins with a preface signed by Mircea Radu Iacoban – Freedom, as a summary. The book greets in a special way those living based on moods and the emotion of the story that wants to be read. The pages bring you aside existential questions addressed under the touch of acting’s intelligence, PHOTOGRAPHY BY: BOGDAN FUIOR - PAȘCANI, ROMANIA, “SPORT IN THE EVENING”
‘By human’s settle in life, faith becomes a moral state. Understanding the nature means going up and down yourself.’
About a sacred vision of tragedy’s sense that enhanced in beauty, in old time’s daily rituals because God was being called by people to be their eyewitness and the one who blesses, with His presence, the earthly work, in pages: ‘As an artist who respects his public and himself, I worn a continuous and sustained battle with myself to return over and over to simplicity. And where do you think I was finding simplest ideas -that in fact, are the most fruitful? At people as simple as me, back from my village.’ The Tauseni born, Cluj’s author continues his confession like this: ‘[…] What was so special about this people? The Faith. And faith gave them certainty and certainty gave them power to endure life… I think that simple things, but with a deep background in stories worn me alongside through the years and opened me (as far as my understanding goes) the greatest path, otherwise closed in front of ignorance. ‘By human’s settle in life, faith becomes a moral state. Understanding the nature means going up and down yourself.’ ‘While at the drama school, teachers were constantly telling us: Be simple, why complicate? Since then, we’ve started to realize that being simple is way harder than being complicate. However, even theater that is a form and a source of education ‘gets complicated’ instead of being simple. Who’s taking account of wise Aristotle who in his poetics said few thousand years ago that emotion (the beneficent one) is achieved not by ‘theatrical tricks’ but by ‘action’s dynamics’?...’
• In Community •
permanently doubled by a recognized knowledge of human’s ‘inner night’, with its worries and doubts altogether.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: VITALI TROCIN, ROMANIA, “YOUTH”
Facts about Cluj-Napoca, the Youth Capital 2015! WRITTEN BY: ĹžTEFANIA ARGEANU TRANSLATION BY: EDA ZARIFE
Some of you, our dear readers, might not even heard about Cluj-Napoca so that us, the editorial board, decided to tell you a few things, some general facts which allowed Cluj-Napoca to become the European Youth Capital of 2015.
Why is Cluj-Napoca a GREAT CITY? Which are its STRENGHTS? Can it be considered a city of OPPORTUNITIES? - Cluj-Napoca is a city full of students and usually it is called to be a youth city. The first university in Cluj-Napoca, BabeČ™-Bolyai, well known around Europe celebrates 142 years in 2014; - The Municipality has committed itself few years ago to finance youth NGO projects from its own budget; - The municipality has long lasting partnerships with local companies in mobilizing funds for major projects or events; - Many companies have involved their own selves in organizing and supporting youth events; - The city has a hosting capacity perfect for every type of activity (from youth gatherings to high stars level conferences; - The hostel and campus hosting capacity had been doubled in the past 5 years, quality being also improved; - The city is a regional center for many big companies and associations, which have headquarters or branches here; - Cluj-Napoca is a growing economy for the past ten years; - There is a very low rate of unemployment. - In the past years it was made a major investment to improve and develop the public transportation, so that it became really enjoyable and easy to get around Cluj-Napoca; - There is access via plane from more than 17 European destinations.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: “MATEI CORVIN`S STATUE” - CLUJ-NAPOCA, ROMANIA
• In Community •
ILLUSTRATION BY: CARMEN CIOBANU. IAȘI, ROMANIA
Diplomacy & Culture
Diplomacy & Culture
From Poland with love WRITTEN BY: ALEKSANDRA KOWALSKA - A GRADUATE OF ENGLISH
EUROPE. A POLISH GIRL CURRENTLY LIVING IN GERMANY (BERLIN) AND HOPING TO DISCOVER MORE INTERESTING PLACES IN THE FUTURE. SHE BELONGS TO „EAST-WEST MUTUAL
DIALOGUE BETWEEN COUNTRIES FROM VARIOUS PARTS OF THE WORLD.
The moment my feet touched this ground of long history and rich tradition, I felt it was a place I belonged to long before I even knew its name. Gabriel Garcia Marquez when asked if he believed in love at first sight replied that it was the only kind of love that existed. Following his words then, if you can really love a piece of land with all its heritage and hopes for the future, my deep Romanian infatuation started right then. Having in mind all the stereotypes I knew about this country and knowing the bits of information that lit my curiosity, I felt ready for whatever this following months would bring. ...and here is what happened... I worked in a Hungarian kidergarten five days per week, danced tango in my free time, spent several afternoons in Samsara drinking delicious tea, met the locals and foreigners during Tower of Babel meeting I organized in „Havana” bar. I learned the true story of Vlad Țepes, read Bram Stoker’s „Dracula” and started to fear bears searching the garbage bins during cold mornings in some cities. I observed young people uniting to fight against destroying of Roșia Montana and at the same time became aware of still strong tensions between Romanians and Hungarians living in this part of the country. I got a new friend, whose pictures I could find painted on murals all over Cluj-Napoca and then spent many mornings engrossed into poems such as „Parting” (Despărțire) and „Whenever I remember” (De câte ori, iubito...) discovering why Mihai Eminescu is the most loved Romanian poet. At the same time, I met someone not that famous but who became my best Transylvanian friend and who helped me discover many sites of Romania I would probably not have been able to discover alone. Tamy became a great couchsurfing host who let me survive this first night in the city and soon introduced me to his friends as well as a really fat cat and a chinchilla with whom he shared his flat. Thanks to all of them (and a great German roommate of mine) I never felt a stranger to Cluj and from the beginning was surrounded with people I really liked. Taking walks through the city I learned to admire colourfulskirts of Gypsie women enlaced with gold and looking especially rich every Sundy, adding an exotic accent to the autumn streets. I felt sorry for numerous dogs running around trying to survive in the world where nobody wanted them.
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A year ago, as an old Polish car was bringing me through the border between Hungary and Romania, my great dream was finally coming true. I would spend a year living in Transylvania, a place of such a romantic name it could only bring me great adventures and memories that would follow me throughout my later life just like Paris followed Hemingway anywhere he went becoming his moveable feast. Filled with anticipation and excitement but also fear as I didn’t know where I would spend that night, I put my backpack on the pavement next to a gas station in Cluj Napoca/ Kolozsvár - the city that would be my new home the following months.
Diplomacy & Culture
I was both fascinated with what I saw and experienced and helpless and sad faced with the inequalities I could do little to reduce. Leaving Romania I had my head full of plans for the future. I hope to put them into action and see more of good things happen in this beautiful country. I learned to make a wish over my mamaliga, as dictates the tradition, and I hope this one dream comes true soon. I am looking forward to visiting Transylvania again but until then my long-distance Romanian love story will have to go on from hundreds of kilometers away.
WRITTEN BY: ELMIR VALIYEV, GANJA CITY, AZERBAIJAN - GANJA EUROPEAN YOUTH CAPITAL 2016 PUBLIC UNION. ELMIR VALIYEV IS THE CHAIRMAN OF GANJA EUROPEAN YOUTH CAPITAL 2016. AS A YOUNG PERSON, HE HAS BEEN CLOSELY INVOLVED TO THE YOUTH SECTOR AND HAS A BACKGROUND IN YOUTH WORK. HE PARTICIPATED IN MANY INTERNATIONAL AND LOCAL PROJECTS, CONFERENCES AND SEMINARS. RIGHT NOW ELMIR COORDINATES THE WORK OF GANJA EUROPEAN YOUTH CAPITAL 2016.
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Ganja City – European Youth Capital 2016
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The second biggest city of Azerbaijan Ganja has applied to become the European Youth Capital (EYC) 2016 and got shortlisted. Ganja has competed for the title with such cities as: Badajoz (Spain), Galway (Ireland), La Laguna (Spain), Varna (Bulgaria) and Vilnius (Lithuania). On the 21st of November, Ganja has been nominated as the European Youth Capital 2016 in Thessaloniki, Greece (the EYC 2014) during the European Youth Forumâ€™s Council of Members. The European Youth Forum gave the award based on an application from Ganja that focused on strong local and European youth participation and the commitment to work on human rights. Ganja was the only non-EU candidate city and the only representative city of the whole Caucasus. Ganja is a city with a big number of young people. 50% of the population of the city consists of young people, because of 4 universities and 4 colleges located in Ganja. The youth of the city is very active in NGOs, local activities, projects and youth organizations. Before European Youth capital the city has been selected as the first Youth Capital of Azerbaijan 2012. Due to clarifying information about preparation of Ganja to EYC 2016 we had interview with Chairman of Ganja European Youth Capital 2016 Public Union Elmir Valiyev. According to Elmir Valiyev, the activities organized in the frame of Ganja EYC 2016 have been led and coordinated by a special local committee consisting of young people and a coalition of different youth organizations. The municipality of the city has provided a big support to Ganja EYC 2016 initiative. BELLOW WE PRESENT TO OUR READERS A FULL INTERVIEW:
What kind of events did Ganja implement on its road to the European Youth Capital 2016? The road to the European Youth Capita was full of local and international events. The first event for the European Youth Capital was organized in January 2013. It was the presentation of the idea of applying for the title of the European Youth Capital 2016 (EYC 2016) to young people of Ganja city. Among these young people there were active youth workers, members of youth organizations, students and volunteers. The initiative was presented by the Local Support Committee. Some experts from different European countries, who have experience in this field, were also invited. Our candidacy was highly supported by the
Holding the title of the European Youth Capital is a big responsibility. It needs strong preparations and visual experience of the previous Youth Capitals. Which cities’ experience do you use in your work? The European Youth Capital title was established in 2009. The first city which got the title was city Rotterdam (the Netherlands). After Rotterdam such cities as Torino, Antwerp, Braga, Maribor, Thessaloniki and Cluj-Napoca also got the title of the European Youth Capital. Each of these cities has been successful during its EYC year. So I think it’s important to get the best experience from each of them. There’s a Network of European Youth Capitals, Ganja is also a part of this network. The Network is a good opportunity for us to have a dialogue with the previous and present European Youth Capitals. Right now we follow the activities of Thessaloniki, which is the present European Youth Capital of this year. We also follow the preparations process of Cluj-Napoca EYC2015 (Romania) and keep in touch with Braga EYC2012 (Portugal). I think we have a lot of examples to follow.
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young people of the city it made us very happy to see it! After getting shortlisted there were many local activities organized with participation of the youth of Ganja throughout the whole period of candidacy, like „Asphalt Art”, „Street Art”, international „Youth Employment Forum”, photo exhibitions, concerts, trainings, festivals. It was also important to represent our city on different European events, like the YO!Fest in Brussels, study trips to EYC2015 Cluj-Napoca, EYC2014 Thessaloniki. Of course, after the selection the number of events increased. After getting the title, we had many conferences and seminars, on local and international level with participation of officials. This kind of events are still going on, because it’s important for us to have a dialogue with young people in order to know what they’d like to see during the EYC year.
Diplomacy & Culture
There are very dynamic preparations going on right now. Organizations have been closely involved into the process from the beginning and right now as well. Right now local NGOs and student youth organizations work on promotion of Ganja EYC2016 and implementation of the program. The organizations are familiar with the work program of Ganja EYC2016, we have meetings with them to discuss the program and work on organizational issues. Students, volunteers and youth show interest to be a part of Ganja EYC2016. Everyone in Ganja is looking forward for 2016! As we know, Ganja EYC2016 program is full of different activities. But being more specific, what kind of activities do you plan to organize for 2016? The program of Ganja EYC2016 is very dynamic. Mostly the main work of Ganja EYC2016 is focused on 5 main priorities: volunteering, active participation, social cohesion, youth employment and education. The program includes 43 projects, 25 of them are international, 18 local. Establishment of Ganja Local Youth Council is also a part of the program and in general the work of Ganja EYC2016 will be followed by the Local, National and European Steering Committees. Ganja EYC2016 is highly supported by the municipality of Ganja city, right now we also involve the business sector of the city to the European Youth Capital. But of course there will be more projects organized by Ganja EYC2016 Public Union, local NGOs, Student Youth Organizations and individuals of Ganja, it won’t be limited with 43 projects. Ganja will also host big events of European organizations. I’d say as much we communicate with different NGOs, European Youth Capitals, as many new ideas we get! Our message is the word „CONNECT”. We want to connect geographies, the disconnected ones, young people with their city, policy, research and practice. And now we want to call European youth organizations to get connected in Ganja, we are open for project proposals from European and International organizations!
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The expected for everyone 2016 is coming closer. How do the population and youth organizations of Ganja get ready for 2016?
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Sacred and Profane WRITTEN BY: LAURA TENCALIUC
TRANSLATION BY: ANDI VALENTIN SÂSÂIAC
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Within the space between Orient and Occident, it is impossible for Murat and Onur not to ask themselves whether they are more European than Oriental, or maybe either just European or Oriental. Murat, an avowed rocker, with a beard and a motorbike, insists on belonging to Europe, he’s always on the move, while the land of Troy and Smina, as big as it may be, does not satisfy his wish of running with his BMW 650 GS throughout the whole Europe. Onur – a rather domestic lad, well-mannered and ardent Muslim, is certain that the European Union is a form of colonialism, and he does not wish to be with a woman who has emancipated ideas, who does not wear a hijab, who demands more rights than the Quran could grant. Whether the Kurds deserve autonomy or not, it is another pointless discussion, is Murat in favour and Onur against? What about the Justice and Development Party? Murat pro, Onur against. Could it be something magic in the eight black tea glasses, or how else could they stand one another?
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: “SPIRITUALITY” MIHAELA DIANA PODARIU - PAȘCANI, ROMANIA
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Probably yes, there might be something magic with this tea, as long as the manager treats his employees, the teacher forgets that he is the magister and anyone else who is learning how to adapt his measures wants to prepare and share it, as quickly as possible, as if it never finishes. Allahu Akbar/ Ash-hadu an-la ilaha illa Illah/ Ash-hadu anna MuhammadanRasulullah/ Hayya’ ala s’ salah/Hayya’ ala’ l-fatah/ Allah Akbar/ La ilaha illa Allah. Read again! And again! It could not tell you anything. One must hear in order to understand, even without knowing the words, for Islam is an auditory religion, it is cadenza, rhythm, music. It is the sound that calls for prayer, five times a day, for every Allah-abiding Muslim. It is similar to the smartphone that reminds you of your mother’s birthday, that you must go to the hair dresser or that classes start at two. One could neither skip this reminder nor postpone it, for its echo reminds that the Day of Judgment is near. One could only remain silent and think of God and His creation. What would it be like for an American or European to stop for five minutes, five times a day, to forget about his work in a Manhattan building, to remain silent and pray? Perhaps the prayer is too much and one could not accept being someone’s slave, while bowing on his knees in worship. What about five fiveminute breaks in which one disconnects from everyday life in order to forget, to dream, to create, to add and abate? A sacred language? Altaic is not as sacred as Arabic. One would get free tea because the waiter notices the Arabic alphabet on the table during one of the meditation hours, and it does not cost a thing to copy an Arabic handbook just because the revelation was received in Arabic. Discussions about Islam and the Prophet start more easily when the students notice the waw ( )فletter around my neck. They start with the letter’s symbolism (the symbol of the Prophet, the child’s position is his mother’s uterus, the believer’s position when he prays while bowed, after which he rises, the same as the fetus becomes a HUMAN) and continue with some hours of stories concerning the life of the Prophet, the uniqueness of revelation, the true meaning of jihad – efforts (the struggle against the nafs – one’s own sins), text and context, ISIS, political interests and Orientalism, the efforts that the youth make in order to illustrate that Islam does not mean war, but Salam – Peace. Here there are hours, in the West there are seconds in which “it is better not to talk about this”. God and Jesus Christ are topics for the clerics, theologians and for the Church, while Jesus is a symbol, He is not live. In houses, banks, on the streets, on the electric posts, in shops. It is a portrait, the portrait of a leader, of a visionary and revolutionist person. Only in the stories about comrade Ceausescu, the Communist Party and the cult of the leader, could I imagine the photogenic picture of the ever-present tormentor. Here, the leader is long dead now, but the respect people pay him is vivid, so it is better to refrain from speaking than questioning his reforms. Every local realizes that I am foreign and I do not speak the language, yet they tell me, with sparkling eyes, with both
The red flag with the half-moon flutters everywhere, so that one does not forget who he is. It is red, threatening, something like “don’t mess with us. Our ancestors had the world at their feet, I hope you understand and do not try to become our enemy”. Here, the borders between sacred and profane are wellestablished, there are principles, real men, as well as real women, and a healthy world. They learn what respect means, how to listen, look, feel, so that within one single day, one single hour or a few minutes, one will have a friend who will never forget the friendship the same as he will never forget the commitment to God. Time? Could the lack of time, deadlines or busy schedules be a reason for not meeting a friend? No, here, time is really relative, while friendship, soul, consciousness, altruism, dialogue, literally kill time. Insha’Allah I will return here.
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hands aiming at the portrait, with drops of sweat on their foreheads, with all their body, who was Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. I perfectly understand every time
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: “SEMA RITUALS” MIHAELA DIANA PODARIU - PAȘCANI, ROMANIA
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: “FRIENDSHIP” MIHAELA DIANA PODARIU - PAȘCANI, ROMANIA
Diplomacy & Culture
• Diplomacy & Culture • PHOTOGRAPHY BY: “ANKARA” MIHAELA DIANA PODARIU - PAȘCANI, ROMANIA
ILLUSTRATION BY: CARMEN CIOBANU. IAȘI, ROMANIA
Profile Hunters Interview with David-Jan Bosschaert WRITTEN BY: ALEXANDRA MUSCALU (CLUJ-NAPOCA, ROMANIA)
At the end of this summer, I had the great pleasure to meet at the „NapoMUN” event, in Cluj-Napoca, an exceptional person on his name David–Jan Bosschaert. David-Jan is a young BelgianFilipino polyglot and historian whose main interests include music, politics and of course, history. He`s been doing MUNs since 2011 and he have attended twenty so far and in the present he works at the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) in Belgium as a trainee. If I raised your curiosity, you are warmly invited to read the next interview about the perspectives of David related to Cluj-Napoca and Romania, life in general and also, his work in the youth sector.
• ProfileHunters • “DAVID-JAN BOSSCHAERT”
First of all, thank you very much for accepting our invitation to answer a few questions for our journal “European Dignities”. Did you like the previous two numbers? The previous editions were nice indeed; I did particularly enjoy the article on multilingualism in different European education systems, in particular since I’m a polyglot myself. The piece on cultural diplomacy was equally interesting. And of course the Armenian proverbs turned out to be very inspiring as well. Tell us a few things about you. Passions, wishes, likes, dislikes, anything you want to share. I’m essentially a person who has a broad range of interests. These include music (I’m a pianist, an organist, a singer and a choir conductor in my free time), politics (involvement in a political student union, former member of my own students union) and history (the subject of my first studies). I’m equally passionate about youth empowerment: making the voices of our generation heard at the appropriate political levels. And I do enjoy making friends as well as a bit of travelling on the side.
We saw on your Facebook details of a lot of jobs and activities you attended. How did you find all these activities and opportunities and which one did you enjoy the most? It always surprises me how many opportunities are available to people of our generation, and how accessible they’ve become. Browsing the internet is a good start: by chance you’ll discover lots of traineeships, internships, free language courses…
There’s simply no more excuse (except a bad internet connection) to withhold you from improving your skills in this day and age! And once you get going in these activities (e.g. in the MUN circuit, or in your students union), you’ll meet like-minded, highly-motivated people along your way who’ll help you. I’ve been blessed with a lot of friends, who at the right time suggested me to apply for this or that program: they didn’t help me get the position themselves, but they did point me in the right direction. Eventually, I got the hang of it, and I’m currently “mentoring” several people on the track of public diplomacy, although I can’t pretend to be an expert myself just yet! Many experiences did stand out in the past, especially the ones where I met several international leaders in person. I therefore can’t really provide you with one single event that stood out on its own. However, my role as the Belgian youth ambassador, charged with writing a new Youth Action Plan for the OSCE (an international organization with 57 participating states) alongside 56 other young motivated leaders most certainly stood out during this past year. Did your family played an important role in your professional development? My family background is rather different from my professional life, in the sense that my extended family doesn’t count a single lawyer or historian among its members. Despite the fact that they’re mainly engineers (including both of my parents), I can’t really pretend that they’ve directed me towards a certain career path at all. Nevertheless I’m very grateful for the great amount of liberty that they’ve given me from a very early age on, which allowed me to e.g. attend language classes and Summer College abroad on my own at the tender age of 17. I don’t know too many parents who would sign that „parental responsibility form”, but they sure did.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: “CHATTING, DREAMING, BEING TOGETHER. LISBON, PORTUGAL,” - BIANCA AELENEI
• ProfileHunters •
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: “CHATTING, DREAMING, BEING TOGETHER. LISBON, PORTUGAL,” - BIANCA AELENEI
Profile Hunters 54
We also know that you participated as a Secretary General in several MUNs. Can you write in a few sentences what is an MUN (Model Unites Nations) and what benefits can a youngster have by taking part of an activity like this one? A Model United Nations (or MUN for short) is a simulation of an international institution (usually of the United Nations family) in which young people represent different countries as if they were those countries’ real-life ambassadors. During this conference, they discuss real problems, and try to come up with a genuine resolution, while always acting in the best interest of the countries they’re representing. At an MUN you learn how to write academically, how to speak in public and how to negotiate with a lot of different people at the same time. You also learn a lot about a range of new countries, topics and institutions while debating at times very intensely. And of course one should never miss the opportunity to make new friends at an MUN conference; these people are usually very inspiring indeed, and will become valuable contacts in your later professional network. How many MUNs have you attended so far? I’ve been doing MUNs since 2011, and have attended over twenty so far, all during my years as a member of my university’s MUN association KULMUN back in Belgium. The best memories are made during an MUN, and as such it’s always good to discover new horizons when taking part in them. Formal dinner in an old college dining hall at Oxford and Cambridge, a summertime beach party in Tel Aviv or having a meeting in a gorgeous Art Nouveau b6uilding in Riga, an MUN is always an excellent reason to travel, to learn more about international issues and to meet new people along the way. The last MUN you checked was in a beautiful city from our country, called Cluj-Napoca. How was your experience as a Secretary General in NAPOMUN 2014? My term as a Secretary-General was a true pleasure, in particular since it allowed for me to return to Cluj-Napoca once more. A Secretary-General is the man or woman in charge of the entire conference, and it certainly turned out to be enough work indeed! I wrote a lot of individual crisis updates and other articles for NapoMUN 2014, but had
How would you describe our country and Cluj-Napoca also from your short staying here? This was my fourth visit to Romania overall and my third visit to Cluj-Napoca, so I’m rather biased when it comes to assessing your country I’m afraid. And I love Transylvania; otherwise I wouldn’t keep on coming back time and time again. Romania is a rather friendly country, which doesn’t live up to the easy stereotypes that thrive abroad. It’s very welcoming, good value and full of culture. It’s also welcomingly green in the more rural areas, which makes for a nice backdrop for great walks. As a historian, it’s always fascinating to learn more about the places I visit, and Cluj-Napoca and environs definitely offers enough to keep me interested during my repeated visits. And I of course always recommend coming to Romania to all those who are willing to be positively surprised. The year of 2015 is a special period for Cluj-Napoca because this city is declared to be the European Youth Capital of this year. Do you think Cluj-Napoca can be a space for young people to learn, to share and to develop their skills and abilities for a future successful career? I think that Cluj-Napoca has all the assets needed to be a great European Youth Capital. It has several universities, and its population therefore benefits of an influx of young and international students, who speak English and are eager to improve their skills. The city equally comes to life due to new investments, and therefore offers an increasing amount of work and innovation for young graduates from Romania and abroad. I would therefore agree with the statement that Cluj-Napoca seems to be a good pick for the title of European Youth Capital 2015. Enhancing knowledge about all sorts of things and the ability to interact with other like-minded people are already present at the heart of Cluj-Napoca’s
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a great time as well during the evening socials. Nevertheless all of our common efforts did prove to be worth it, and I couldn’t have done anything without the incredibly hard work of my Conference Manager Andreea Voina, who really made the whole thing run like a clockwork; I can’t thank her enough for that.
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We know that you are a trainee at the European Economic and Social Committee, an important part of the European Union. Can you write for young people what`s exactly doing this body and how useful it is for the European Union in solving future problems? The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) is particularly important, since it represents the voice of those at work within Europe. It has three types of members, all of which are unpaid: trade unions, employers’ organizations and other non-governmental organizations active within these areas. These representatives are meeting regularly in Brussels in order to give the other EU institutions first-hand advice on how certain decisions will affect the economy or the labor situation on the ground. It therefore helps to prevent a lot of problems to arise in the first place. And of course one of their main focuses now is tackling youth unemployment. The broad range of EESC advices to the European Commission will make it possible to make it easier to hire young people, while also making sure that their social rights as employees are respected. The fact that the EESC represents these three groups only contributes to striking the right balance between all interests at stake. What`s your role as a trainee in the EESC? I’m one of this fall’s 25 trainees, and while not being the only law graduate, I happen to be the only trainee assigned to the Legal service. This means that I’m helping to solve legal questions arising within the EESC itself, ranging from transparency issues to answering questions that others within the EESC might have regarding European law. Are there any youth or volunteering issues discussed in the EESC? The EESC has several youth initiatives up and about, in particular since working with young people is one of its top priorities. A video contest called “Europe Past Forward” was organized last year to highlight Europe’s young film-makers, and an interactive game called “R EU Ready?” was developed in order to give you an insight into how the EESC makes decisions (www.facebook.com/ YourEuropeYourGame). The impact of the EESC’s decisions is always likely to affect youth throughout Europe, and as such it’s good to know how it works and how it is composed. For those interested in a more professional way: the EESC also offers a limited range of paid and unpaid traineeships and internships. Everybody knows that our country has several problems trying to be solved in a way or another. What step do you consider we have to take in order to solve something in the end? While Romania has indeed a range of problems which are rather serious, the process towards finding a solution will have to be a gradual one. It’s surely needed that the citizen becomes more critical and vocal about issues which are going wrong: it simply isn’t sufficient to stand by and look at something being
If you were to give a piece of advice to young people around the world and they will take it into consideration, which one would it be? It’s never too late to strive for excellence! I was – honestly – a very poor performer at secondary school and a rather average one at university, but I made up for that by developing myself in many ways outside of the purely academic framework. Cultivate yourselves; learn a new language; apply for that seemingly impossible position. And never forget to realize what you have already achieved so far.
• ProfileHunters •
Compromises. A necessity or a choice? As a Belgian I’ve grown used to the art of compromise at a very early stage. I’ve also perfected this noble art during my long tenure at the Belgian Youth Parliament, which brings together young people from all linguistic communities in order to discuss political issues on a yearly basis. Compromise is therefore a necessity, and it shouldn’t be belittled as a bad choice at all, unless of course it concerns a matter of life and death to you personally or ideologically.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: “SAINT MICHAEL`S CHURCH”, CLUJ-NAPOCA, ROMANIA - ALEXANDRA MUSCALU
rotten without at least trying to do something about it. This mindset translates into initiative, enterprise and the idea that everything can be improved as long as enough people agree that something is rotten and needs mending, whether it’s ill-maintained roads, faulty government regulation or cases of corruption.
The Botanical Garden of Cluj WRITTEN BY: ILINCA SANDUC, LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT. BUCHAREST, ROMANIA ILLUSTRATION BY: CARMEN CIOBANU. IAȘI, ROMANIA
Man has always been fascinated with nature: its beauty, its unique character and mostly by the plants – the trees, the shrubs and other small plants and flowers. From the ancient times the kings brought homes to their royal palaces and gardens the vegetation of the regions they had conquered or visited. This habit gave birth to what I would call the “Ancient Botanical Garden”. Plants were gathered from distances far away and placed in the gardens of palaces for the delight of the king and queen, and, of course, for their guests. It was also a way to show the power and wealth of a kingdom. Initially with a particular purpose (the delight and sign of power), the Botanical Gardens were later set up as learning environments for universities, research fields for introducing and acclimatization of new species and, none the less, as a display of worlds flora, concentrated in a small garden, for everyone to enjoy. Despite being the second important cultural center of Romania, the city of ClujNapoca has a “relatively young botanical garden” (Marcus R. 1958). It was first created as small garden around 1872, for the Zoology and Chemistry Institute (Marcus R. 1958), but, as it lost its original purpose, another project for the gardens started in 1923, under Professor Dr. Alexandru Borza (Iliescu A-F, 2008). In 2010, the Romanian Ministry of Culture and National Patrimony categorized it as a historical monument.
• Urban Legends • PHOTOGRAPHY BY: BIANCA AELENEI - PAȘCANI, ROMANIA “LITTLE THINGS MAKE THE DIFFERENCE - LISBON, PORTUGAL”.
The Botanical Garden is situated in the southern part of the city, and it’s about 15 minutes’ walk from the city center (and yes, there are also parking lots nearby). Its area is about 14 acres; build on small hills that create the perfect scenario for displaying the various types of plants, in accordance with their climate requirements. As many other botanical gardens, this one is also is divided into sectors depending on the purpose of each exhibit.
When you enter the garden (after paying a really small entering fee - 1 euro for students), you are surrounded by *Thuja* trees, in front of which are annual plants, different in each season, creating a different landscape in the spring with tulips, hyacinths, daffodil and in the summer with marigolds, zinnias, petunias, canna, gladiolus. After a few stair steps you enter *The Rosary* – a collection of different kinds of roses, from spontaneous species to different hybrids, spectacular for their colors, dimensions and perfumes, that sums up to almost 350 varieties. This part of a Botanical Garden is called *The Ornamental sector* because it presents the species that are important for their obviously ornamental “skills”. (http://www.ubbcluj.ro/ro/structura/sport/gradina_botanica). From this point, you enter the most fascinating part of the garden - *The Phytogeographical* sector, where plants from all over the world are gathered and displayed in accordance with their origin. The first thing you see is the Japanese garden. Europeans were always fascinated by oriental culture and especially the gardens, more so by the philosophy of creating a garden and the concepts on nature, their connections to nature and the way they see the trees, the shrubs and the flowers. The Japanese garden is designed in a perfect landscape, in the traditional “gyo-no-niwa” style (http://www.ubbcluj.ro/ro/structura/sport/gradina_botanica). The elements of this small replica garden are the suggestion of hills in the back, the holy gate, the stone lantern, the traditional teahouse, the lake and, of course, a small island, linked with the traditional arched bridge. This is the “must see” of this botanical garden in spring – an abundance of colors and textures of the species gathered here: the cherry tree, the iris, the Japanese quince, the rhododendrons, the peonies and the lilacs, decorative apple trees, the magnolias, and of course, no Japanese garden would be complete without *Ginkgo biloba* and *Ailanthus altissima*, commonly known as the tree of Heaven (in Romanian is called “cenuşar” – the ash tree, and it’s not that popular). (Marcus R. 1958)
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: ILINCA SĂNDUC - CLUJ-NAPOCA, ROMANIA “ORCHIDS HANGING IN BOTANICAL GARDEN GREENHOUSES”
• Urban Legends •
Man has always been fascinated with nature: its beauty, its unique character and mostly by the plants – the trees, the shrubs and other small plants and flowers. From the ancient times the kings brought homes to their royal palaces and gardens the vegetation of the regions they had conquered or visited. This habit gave birth to what I would call the “Ancient Botanical Garden”.
• Urban Legends • PHOTOGRAPHY BY: ILINCA SĂNDUC - CLUJ-NAPOCA, ROMANIA “TOO MANY CHOICES”
Even if you visit the city of Cluj-Napoca in the winter when most of the vegetation is in a state of hibernation, stop by the greenhouses. This sector of any botanical garden is my favorite mainly because there’s something to see any time of the year. Plants outside you can see on streets, but those in greenhouses you have to travel to see them in their own habitat –tropical and equatorial climate. The greenhouses hosts aquatic plants, the amazon lily, mangroves, papyrus, orchids, ficus and ferns,
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: ALEXANDRA MUSCALU - PAȘCANI, ROMANIA “READING A BOOK IN THE PARK - LISBON, PORTUGAL”.
Another “not-to-miss” is the Roman Garden, named after one of the most important garden references in Ancient Rome – The garden of Plinius. The garden is dominated by the statue of Ceres (Roman goddess of agriculture), along which are presented Roman sarcophagus (the second part of the city’s name comes from the ancient roman colony of Napoca, and there for the display of this archaeological pieces discovered by accident near the ancient city). The small collection of plants gathered here were present in the ancient roman gardens: boxwood, myrtle, oleander, laurel, jasmine and roses.
The rest of the botanical garden exhibits plants grouped by different botanical characteristics, from different parts of Romania and other typical microlandscapes. I’ll let you discover by your own the rest of the gardens (because there are more thing to discover) and point our just a few: the water tower, the medicinal plants, and the Botanical Museum and the Herbarium, containing over 655.000 sheets of dry plants from all over the world, as well as different types of plant conservation. REFERENCES - MARCUS, R. (1958). PARCURI SI GRADINI DIN ROMANIA, BUCHAREST, ED. TEHNICA - ILIESCU, A.F. (2008). ARHITECTURA PESAGERA, BUCHAREST, ED. CERES
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: ILINCA SĂNDUC - CLUJ-NAPOCA, “ORCHIDS HANGING IN BOTANICAL GARDEN GREENHOUSE”
• Urban Legends •
succulent plants, cactuses and bromeliads, carnivore plants, eucalyptus, species of sugar palm and oil palm and many more amazing trees and shrubs from Japan, Australia, Asia, Canary Islands, Amazon.
Rome, a journey that you never forget... WRITTEN BY: ȘTEFAN APOSTOL. IAȘI, ROMANIA
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: APOSTOL ȘTEFAN - IAȘI, ROMANIA, “ALL ROADS GOES TO ROME”
I finished the University of Geography in 2009. Everyone must know 5 things about me: passion, courage, strong ambition, simple and believe that impossible is possible. I like diving (free diving into the Black Sea), hiking (national and international experience), watching TV shows like X Factor Romania, a music contest where I participated twice. I am an open person and I am very happy to share my experiences and my adventures with everyone. I like to read, my favorite kind of books are history and everything about mysteries, mythology.
• Urban Legends •
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: MIHAELA DIANA PODARIU - PAȘCANI, ROMANIA, “ANGELS IN ROME”
Zulu 10.10 a.m Roma Termini. Buon venire a Roma. I arrived in the pride capital of Italy from the Northern Europe. I feel that I’m a Viking and I want to meet the emperor of Rome. The emperor was not in the town but he gave me the chance to explore the mysteries of a great civilization. First think that I have to do was to check in. I must mention that I was a little scared because even I arrived in the morning the city were full of tourists. But I was lucky. After a beautiful sleep I started to explore the creation of Remus and Romulus, 73 B.C. My first meeting was with the Coliseum. Coliseum is the heart of Rome, a symbol that proves the glory of one of the best civilizations of the world. When I entered inside of the arena, my heart stopped beating for a second. I close my eyes and I try to recreated the atmosphere of this unique place: gladiators who fight in the name of Caesar, 50000 people who applaud every move of animals and , at the end, the emperor decision: mercy or death, one finger up or down. After I make some pictures with the arena and with the soldiers from the entry ( they ask me where I am from and I told them that I’m coming from Norway, so I’m a Viking and I want to make an alliance with Rome) , my footsteps asked me if I want something gorgeous: Foro Romano.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: MIHAELA DIANA PODARIU - PAȘCANI, ROMANIA, “COLUMNA TRAIANI”
My answer was sure, yes. Foro Romano was the center of the world in the Antiquity. Foro Romano is a huge place, with many temples and statues. The entire monuments are beautiful but something about I read before I make this trip opened my eyes: Via Sacra. Via Sacra was a road for prisoners who were condemned to death. Except Dacians. a prove is Columna Traiani. I started to walk on Via Sacra, it was sunset, and in my mind all spirits of heroes made me feeling unbelievable emotions. A day with a lot of history and emotions is about to be end. Is just the beginning. Me and Rome. The present and the past.
窶｢ Urban Legends 窶｢
REPORT ON A VISIT TO Tﾃ山GU FRUMOS WRITTEN BY: STELLA BASINYI
On the 3rd of September 2014, during my social visit in the Moldavian County in Romania, Andreea Racles and I took a 40minutes bus ride from Roman to Tﾃｮrgu Frumos. The road leading there is a dusty tarred road lined with agricultural fields on both sides. Furthermore in this morning, there was a frequent sight of shepherds behind the herd of sheep and goats and people on the road side travelling on carts pulled by a single horse. Travelling in this area gives a refreshing and relaxed feeling of a simple traditional agriculturalist lifestyle.
As the day wore on, in the even we took a short walk across the village to meet with some residents and the streets were crammed by young stars on the road side. We proceeded to meet with John and Claudia at their household. This is a family in which my colleague has interest to base her participant observation as a researcher in the town. Somehow the family felt drawn to me evidently due to my religious affiliation as most of our conversations was drawn from this aspect of my being. It was a very inspiring moment how somehow I found comfort in their home though we had so many differences we managed to find so many similarities in our lives. Either from my research field work or my own experiences in life.
• Urban Legends •
Tîrgu Frumos as the name suggests is a beautiful agricultural town that rests between hills which gives the town a beautiful pictures que view of hill background. The village is occupied by a mix of Romanian and Roma people. On my immediate presence all around I noticed gazes at me initially with alarm then followed by a smile sometimes accompanied by a complement which will just melt my heart. It is an understandable reaction because this is not really a touristic area nor is it a frequently visited area; an individual of colour would consequently draw a certain level of attention. As an African student interested in local cultures, I had my attention on the behaviour and socialisation of people with outsiders and I must say I was amazed by such resemblance of this people with my Botswana communities. The free spirits of children, loud laughter, and warm welcoming faces. This all seemed familiar.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: BOGDAN FUIOR - PAȘCANI, ROMANIA, “HAPPY TOGETHER”
Urban Legends 72
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: DAMIAN FURDUI, “NATURE IN TIRGU FRUMOS”
This is a family of Christians, as opposed to many within the area who are orthodox this family ascribe to Christian Baptism. We talked a lot about their experiences as a Christian family in this social context, their experiences and share testimonies of our faith. “Although we are poor, we are content that at least we are God `s chosen ones” said Claudia as her face melted with a smile. She says she was a card reader before she converted into Christianity. However she gave up this legacy that was passed to her by her grandparents because she does not believe in it anymore and it does not comply with her religious believes. Card reading is a common practice among the Roma and some use this gift as a source of family income. It also became evident that the family income comes across the border. John mentioned the desire to travel to Holland to work for some time because they have financial challenges. You can tell he has travelled from the way he speaks English as opposed to many people in this area. He also says this is an advantage for him when he is outside Romania borders and when he meets non- Romania speakers making references at visitors and translation work he does at church.
The objects in his “museum” he says are from different blacksmiths and craftsmen, some imported while some are made here. These artefacts are safely displayed in a room in his house where he is happy to show anyone who is interested. These objects as he emphasises, are very important in the history and culture of the areas as objects that led to massive growth of agriculture in this agricultural based region of Romania. They tell stories of both the makers and users of the objects.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: ARMAN
• Urban Legends •
We undertook a short inspiring visit to a remarkable individual, Prof Dan Fripis who recited the history of the region and Tîrgu Frumos as a rich and interesting history of cultural interactions. He narrated the history of this region through the works of the blacksmiths and craftsmen from different part of the world who met in this region. In evidence for this account Prof Fripis, a very passionate and interesting individual about the culture and its future in Tîrgu Frumos, collects and preserves artefacts from the history of the area. In his possessions are very interesting pieces of objects amongst others; metal objects, traditional cloths, wood artefacts and portraits of some of the significant craftsmen whose work you find in his museum. Amongst these, is a portrait of his great grandfather, a painter and came to this area from Austria. To some extent one can say the outstanding passion and devotion to heritage and culture we find in this individual is in its own a legacy, an inheritance that one is born with, a calling that many miss out on.
DAVTYAN, “BAZAR IN TIRGU FRUMOS”
The objects in his â€œmuseumâ€? he says are from different blacksmiths and craftsmen, some imported while some are made here. These artefacts are safely displayed in a room in his house where he is happy to show anyone who is interested.
• Urban Legends •
Prof Fripis lamented on the fact that, as future of the region, the lack of interest that young people in this region have on their heritage and culture is worrisome. As a cultural heritage scholar I share the same sentiment. It is however a challenge that I have encountered in Botswana where I conduct my research based on cultural heritage and local people`s perceptions on their cultural resources. I have also come to realise that while older generation in my research community as in Tirgu Frumos find comfort and pride on their past, younger generations are reluctant in the endeavour of cultural preservation for many reasons, one being lack of familiarity as some traditions fade or transform being replaced modern technologies and ideologies.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: MIHAI SIRGHE, “MY HOUSE IS A MUSEUM, STORIES OF TIRGU FRUMOS”
Know How Impact of the European Capitals of Culture and... Volunteering. A Succesfull Story WRITTEN BY: ANAMARIA AVĂDANEI
“European Capitals of Culture are proof that culture has a major role to play at the heart of our policies of sustainable development, because they are part of long term development of European cities and their regions, as well as a source of stimulus for dynamism, creativity, but also social inclusion” Jose Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission
The European Capital of Culture initiative has evolved considerably since its inception in 1985 as the European City of Culture, and is now one of the best known EU initiatives. Yet, the very fact that the Programme was conceived in the 1980s – at a time when the European Community (EC) had no legislative basis to act at the level of cultural policy – is quite remarkable in itself. The cultural policy of the European Union was founded, since the very start, upon two main axes; plurality and unity. The great challenge that the European Union has always been facing is to promote the cultural diversity of the cultural systems forming it, while respecting the characteristics of the culture of each member-state. In two words the European cultural model lies between the safeguarding of the cultural identity of each member-state and the exchanges and cooperation actions enriching every separate culture. The Institution of the European Capital of Culture is a long-term and systematic action aiming in promoting the two core axes of the European cultural model. The objective is to create the framework where it would be possible for each member-state to promote its own culture in a way that would be accessible to the public while, at the same time, to contribute to the creation of a sense of a
• Know How •
common European cultural identity and spread it to European citizens. Therefore, the European Capitals of Culture initiative was set up to: • Highlight the richness and diversity of European cultures • Celebrate the cultural ties that link Europeans together • Bring people from different European countries into contact with each other’s culture and promote mutual understanding • Foster a feeling of European citizenship.
The post-manifestation effects have shown that the event is also a valuable opportunity to: • Regenerate cities • Give new vitality to their cultural life • Raise their international profile, boost tourism and enhance their image in the eyes of their own inhabitants.*1 Primary Motivations and Objectives There are two areas in which a significant number of cities, from 1985 to the present:
I. Raising the capacity/ambition of the cultural ‘offer’ in the host city, state same motivation:
II. Raising the profile of the city and its cultural offer:
A change in the existing image is sought -for example, in the case of Istanbul 2010, the city had a significant internatioanal reputation for its heritage assets, but wished to position itself in relation to contemporary culture; Bruges 2002 sought a similar change. For some cities, this change was particularly counched in relation to change in the city’s industrial base. *1 EUROPEAN COMMISSION (2013), EUROPEAN CAPITAL OF CULTURE, http://ec.europa.eu/culture/our-programmes-and-actions/doc413_en.htm
Beyond these areas, there are a small number of specific objectives that emerge for just a few cities. Both Luxembourg GR 2007 and Essen for the Ruhr 2010 cite regional projects, bringing an area “together”. Luxembourg GR, however, specifically sought to ‘reinforce’ the Greater Luxembourg area as a political entity, whilst the Ruhr’s motivation was expressed more in economic terms: Helping to bring the Ruhr together as a single metropolis, as a new type of decentralised post - industrial conurbation. Aside from this, Ruhr’s stated aims also included an emphasis on translating this concept of a single metropolis through new governance structures. The motivation for Pécs to bid to be an European Capitals of Culture in 2010 also reflected a sense of opportunity around city governance, with civil society organisations credited with the initiative to bid as a way of developing their role in the city and that of citizens.
These cities all believe that artists and culture can provide answers to the complex questions posed by diversity and globalization. Culture is also regarded, particularly in economic circles, as a major element in making the city and region more attractive and increasing innovation. Thus, culture is understood as having the potential to effect both social and economic change in the context of the city. Similarly, Swedish aplications for the European Capital of Culture 2014 were noted as having identified this programme as an opportunity both to integrate culture as a catalyst in the local development and to get stronger connection with Europe. Additionally, it has proven capable of generating noticeable impacts in respective host cities; however, with the broadening of objectives and expectations, the breadth and ambition of related claims has also grown and these are not always supported by evidence. Some of the areas of positive impact for which evidence is stronger include the following:
• Know How •
Cultural Impact The Programme of the European Capital of Cultural can have a significant effect on the city’s cultural vibrancy. Its contribution to strengthening networks, opening up possibilities for new collaborations, encouraging new work to continue, and raising the capacity and ambition of the cultural sector is commonly acknowledged. Examples of cities that provide good evidence of emphasis on new work, or approaches that added capacity to the sector, are Glasgow 1990, Cork 2005, Stavanger 2008, Essen for the Ruhr 2010, Turku 2011, Tallinn 2011 and Guimarães 2012.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: VERONIKA STRELCOVA - SERPA, PORTUGAL. “ART AND PEOPLE TOGETHER”
Image Impact Many cities with a previously low (and, at times, even negative) profile have experienced an image renaissance, attracting considerable media attention and enhancing local, national and international perceptions. Cities such as Glasgow, Lille, Liverpool, Pécs and Turku have been successful in repositioning themselves as cultural hubs at a national and/or European level in the wake of their event years. Beyond discussion of the city, media interest in the European Capital of Culture and what it stands for in respective host countries has grown over time and covers a broader time spectrum than was originally the case, with it now beginning in earnest at the bidding stage. International interest is, however, more changeable and depends upon the strategic capacity of respective hosts. With the growth of digital and, particularly, social media platforms, media trends could change considerably, but to capture such effects in full requires new ways of thinking, both in terms of promotion and media monitoring.
The most recent hosts, such as Turku 2011, Maribor 2012 and Guimarães 2012, claim considerable on line news impact, far above any other type of media.
Social impact The most positive dimension of social impact can be understood in terms of effects on local perceptions and fostering a sense of pride, which partly relates to image impacts and is closely influenced by local and national media attitudes. Cities report considerable impact on improved local perceptions of the city, with many recent editions being able to claim that 50% to 90% of their local population feel that their city is a better place after having hosted the European Capitals of Culture. Other notable social impacts include increases and wider diversity in cultural audiences during the all the event year. Hosts as diverse as Helsinki 2000, Luxembourg GR 2007, Liverpool 2008, Essen for the Ruhr 2010, Guimarães 2012 and Maribor 2012 claim that over half of their local population engaged with their programme. Economic impacts While claims of economic impact have been at times over - inflated or lacking in robust evidence (particularly in terms of job creation), it is apparent that the European Capital of Culture can have a considerable effect on immediate to medium-term tourism trends, which, in turn, can have a significant impact on the city’s economy. In the case of cities capable of undergoing considerable repositioning, growth in tourism visits and spending can be sustained for many years to come. Glasgow 1990 is one of the best examples of long - term effect; Liverpool 2008 achieved unprecedented growth during the year itself; and Linz 2009 offers a good indicator of a city not previously well-known demonstrating steady growth.
• Know How •
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: ILINCA SĂNDUC - CLUJ-NAPOCA, ROMANIA. “SUNRISE OVER CLUJ IN JANUARY”
It is clear that the European Capital of Cultural position involve a mixture of culture, economic, social and image aspects. However, an interesting question is related to the role of volunteering within this context... Volunteers play a key-role in the cultural sector, ensuring vitality and freshness of ideas. Once volunteering is related to culture, it encourages involvement in artistic activities but also stimulates deeper learning and questioning on culture related issues. Another benefit deriving from cultural volunteering activities is that it acts as a link between art and social groups th at do not have easily access to art, otherwise. It is thus, that cultural volunteering becomes more than volunteering, turning into a form of cultural on-the-field education.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: BIANCA AELENEI - PAȘCANI, ROMANIA. “CHANGING FACES OR FACING CHANGES - PORTUGAL”
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: MIHAELA DIANA PODARIU - PAȘCANI, ROMANIA. “TEAMWORK”
Volunteering schemes are a fairly common element of public engagement used by European Capitals of Culture. Here are some examples.
• Bruges 2002 set up a volunteering scheme that focused particularly upon encouraging participation from different groups of the public; they called the scheme the public network. The national government supported the scheme, and individuals were encouraged to use either municipal routes of communication and networking, or their own existing routes. Participants in the network were supplied with marketing materials to share with their contacts and communities, and the network was supported by a coordinator. 112 people were involved in the network. Effectively, this is an example of volunteering as audience development. • Lille 2004, similarly, sought to use their volunteer programme, Ambassadeurs, as a route to relay...information as well as to assist the running of events and participate in special activities. The programme involved 17,000 people and enabled “the organizers...to keep in close contact with the general public, develop a system of feedback on public opinion and ensure key conditions of public support” (Besson & Sutherland, 2007). Volunteer programmes appear to have become increasingly ‘professional’, with different roles available, training support and, in some cases, job descriptions.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: MIHAELA DIANA PODARIU - PAȘCANI, ROMANIA. “CHILLING IN CLUJ-NAPOCA”
• Know How • PHOTOGRAPHY BY: MIHAELA DIANA PODARIU - PAȘCANI, ROMANIA. “INSIDE CULTURE - CLUJ-NAPOCA”
• The Patras 2006 volunteers programme identified nine different areas of activity that volunteers could get involved in, and supported them with training, with the aim of finding the right persons for the right positions. A formal management structure was put in place for the volunteers programme, and many of the volunteers were placed with specific venues. • Similarly, Sibiu (Romania) had 1,200 volunteers, with the majority being under 30; volunteers had job descriptions, and were selected to match specific roles...training was also provided. • Liverpool 2008 had 9,894 volunteers registered in August 2008; and 851 volunteers completed a training process to become active ’08 Volunteers’ within the dedicated 08 Welcome Programme, giving 5,611 days of volunteering in 2008 • Tallinn 2011 had a volunteer programme that linked individuals to specific volunteer positions with cultural operators and drew on the experiences of Liverpool 2008. Volunteers had a ‘job description’, received training and were supported by a dedicated coordinator.
â€˘ Istanbul 2010 ran an extensive volunteer programme, with three - day training courses and some volunteers receiving additional training to support them inengaging with foreign visitors to the city. Istanbulâ€™s example could be understood in terms of a catalyst for broader changes in governance, and this is linked to the volunteering programme in the city. This Program connected a group of 6,000 volunteers (initially it aimed for 10,000, but the amount was lowered, not because of lack of interest, but because the size of the group became unmanageable). In order to promote a participatory culture and as a reward for their time and energy, volunteers received training by professionals in entrepreneurship and self - organization, especially within the cultural and the third (NGO) sector. Moreover, the volunteers were invited to directly practice the skills they had gained by brainstorming with other volunteers they had met during their service or through the online database in order to initiate more projects and events for Istanbul 2010.*2
• Know How •
To conclude, I will invite you you do as volunteers to include Capitals of Culture? Because the the beauty
to respond to one question: what can your city on the list of the European future belongs to those who believe in of their dreams…
*2 THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT (2013), EUROPEAN CAPITALS OF CULTURE: SUCCESS STRATEGIES AND LONG-TERM EFFECTS, DIRECTORATE-GENERAL FOR INTERNAL POLICIES, AVAILABLE AT: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/etudes/join/2013/513985/IPOL-CULT_ET%282013%29513985_EN.pdf
What’s in the Next issues... Winter 2014 – Best lines (lyrics) Maybe you remember a song, a beautiful poem or some good lines from movies. This is the reason why at the end of 2014 we want to give the opportunity to everyone that have some special lines to share it for our readers. From Goethe to Whitman, from Woody Allen to Lana del Rey we are sure of the wonderful lines and the healty environment for understanding created by them. Like W. Whitman said – “I am enamour’d of growing out-doors”, let’s leave this best lines to generate open doors for our imagination, happiness, creativity and human understanding. At the end of the year we just want to be in the world of best lines to have a great 2015.
Spring 2014 – 6 years of “Super Youth” At the beginning of 2015 our NGO, “Super Youth” ASIRYS will celebrate 6 years of activity. So we decided to put together in the fifth issue of our journal all the important projects and their results, all the people we interact or we meet during international projects, al the experiences from all over Europe. If you had any connection with “Super Youth” ASIRYS or you intend to have, then we will appreciate if you write something about us and our activity. Send pictures, stories, present good friends or people that you met. Celebrate together with us 6 years of “Super Youth”.
Your opinion is very important for us, share it! e-mail: email@example.com http://asirys.blogspot.com https://twitter.com/AsociatiaAsirys https://www.facebook.com/europeandignities PHOTOGRAPHY BY: CHEVUK KELEVRA, (MEXICO CITY, MEXICO) “ARCUL DE TRIUMF”.
ISSN 2360 – 6355 ISSN-L 2360 – 6355
Best Lines Lyrics -
“NUMBER 4 - YEAR 0NE WINTER 2014”
SUPER TINERI ASIRYS Association is working at a journal called European Dignities, a magazine meant to provide to young people from all over...
Published on Nov 22, 2014
SUPER TINERI ASIRYS Association is working at a journal called European Dignities, a magazine meant to provide to young people from all over...