mercoledì 21 gennaio 2009

ERA - European Resistance Archive

Navigando in internet mi sono imbattuto in questo interessante progetto europeo, per l'Italia è coinvolto l'Istituto Storico di Reggio Emilia, peccato che dal 2007 non abbia più avuto aggiornamenti. E' in inglese.

What is ERA?
ERA is a space in which individual stories of people having resisted against the terror, humiliation and despair fascism brought over Europe are kept alive and visible for everybody. The protagonists and eyewitnesses will disappear in the next years. Soon, there will be no other testimonies of the happenings apart from those having been collected, recorded, recounted and written down. The value of eyewitness interviews is unique. No book or film can replace the opportunity of watching eyewitnesses tell their stories of resistance and independent decision to do so. The European Resistance Archive will enable the documentation of this precious knowledge. It offers video interviews with women and men having taken part in the antifascist resistance. In Europe, these testimonies are often only available to those personally visiting archives or documentary centres. Currently six countries are involved in the project: Poland, Slovenia, Austria, France, Italy and Germany. But it would be in the sense of the project to extend the range of countries and in future being able to integrate every European country being afflicted by fascism and Nazism. ERA is defined to be an open and growing website and it bears the possibility of being extendible in various directions. It should work as a first step in a network of historical research covering the various faces of the European resistance. In the process of creating this new platform, young people participated actively in the realization of the project in form of doing the interviews. The young participants were guided in their work by historians, memory worker and a professional video-team. We hope that this creates an understanding and coming together of the different generations and makes the understanding of the history of Europe possible.

ERA Goals
ERA Memorial Trip, Auschwitz March 2007, Eyewitness Henryk Mandelbaum speaking. The European Resistance Archive (ERA) wants keep the knowledge of the resistance alive und wants to demonstrate by which means people contributed in the liberation of national socialist rule by their decision to fight against fascism, occupation and extermination. ERA offers a specific knowledge of the diversity of the resistance movements and different outcomes in their national contexts. Aim of ERA is to create a common understanding of European rights as the result of a historical path characterized by the fight against fascism/Nazism. The active role of women in the fight against fascism/Nazism should be recognized. People of different political, social and religious motives fought in the resistance and did so because of their conscience. ERA wants to create and spread an European awareness that the resistance against fascism and nazism played a constitutive role in the creation of the new Europe. ERA will promote a methodology in order to teach younger generations how to interact with historical witnesses and how to grasp the nuances of their testimonies to acknowledge these experiences as a specific knowledge of history. Interested individuals, school-classes and universities can participate actively in the work of ERA. In the current historical discourses, especially in the educational systems of schools, still a national perspective dominates in most countries. We want ERA to become a forum, in which the different national perspectives come together and lead to an understanding of European history, for which the resistance against fascism and Nazism played a constitutional role. A Europe-wide research of already existing video-materials of eye-witnesses is aimed at to integrate these recordings into the archive. Of course, this is strongly connected to financial securities. Any future activities depend on funding/other possibilities to keep the work on ERA going.

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