Bridging Generations is an eighteen-month-project (October 2014 – March 2016) within the framework of the Europe for Citizens Programme, under Strand 1: European Remembrance. The project seeks to raise awareness on remembrance and common history and values. It also seeks to promote the European citizenship by bridging the gap between generations and involving them in an intergenerational and intercultural dialogue.
The main focus is on the memories of senior citizens from Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy and Poland who lived during and after WWII. Their stories will be collected in order to appreciate the role of collective memories in achieving mutual understanding and cultural diversity. Using the method of biographical narrative the impact of WWII on shaping national identities and the commemoration of the victims of war in Europe will be examined and discussed.
European citizens cannot forget their histories and cultural traditions and as a result, they cannot escape from them. Through the Bridging Generations project, European citizens are asked to share their stories with the younger generations so that they can learn about the aftermath of The War and specifically of WWII through personal experiences and collective memories.
Collective memory includes critical aspects of political culture, community traditions and social identity. It informs our understanding of past events and present relationships, as well as contributing to our expectations about the future. This is what Bridging Generations aspires to do; build a better future for Europe.
By recording and sharing the life experiences of senior citizens a common platform is created which connects these stories from different countries. In this way their messages and experiences are passed on to younger generations who are further removed from the trauma of The War. Young people therefore become aware of the impact of totalitarian regimes and of war. As Maurice Halbwachs, a French sociologist and philosopher, said “Memories are passed through society via verbal exchange, and if the way of recollecting the past is through silence, then this is also transmitted, and becomes a mode of remembrance in itself”.
The project involves European citizens from 3 different age groups: young people up to 30 years old (students and professionals), adults between 30 and 65 years old (film makers, sociologists, project managers, culture managers, historians, artists, art educators, policy makers, researchers, professors) and senior citizens (65+) from Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy and Poland.
Bridging Generations Project Trailer
The project is funded by