European Capitals of CultureΠοιειν Και Πραττειν - create and do

New narratives of Europe

In the Bid book there is described the Tomorrow Project [see page 82-83] with following outline:

"The aim is to create strong links between the city, the region and the rest of Europe. It will be ensured through the extensive involvement of communities of emigrants from Basilicata who live across the continent, and who are keen to take advantage of opportunities for exchange regarding local traditions and traditions in their home country."

Of interest here is that this project taps into the potential of diasporas which almost all Southern EU Member States have experienced. There is the famous film by Marie Iliou called 'Journey'. It is about three different waves of migration from Greece to the United States. Her key theme is that those who depart for a better life pay in the end a huge prize. There is a lot of pain. Also those who depart, they cannot keep up with the lived through changes back home. In the case of Germany, this is one of biggest problems as those who left never went through the educational process linked to post war Germany in need of getting out of the era of Totalitarianism under Hitler. Migrants abroad tend to reduce their memories of their childhood places to postcard like images which hang often in the Greek or Italian restaurant in Berlin or New York. That romantic longing for the past is full of nostaglia but has also many other lay overs. As research shows not everyone who departs will return or maintain even a conscious link to the place the parents might have originated from, and then again there are those who begin to become curious as to what was the place where the grandparents used to live. It is a re-identification process with many hidden dimensions. Naturally a lot depends under which circumstances the parents or grandparents left the native place, for wishing to escape unemployment differs from having to save your life as was the case with many Jews and intellectuals who would have otherwise fallen victim to persecution of the Nazi regime or Leftist people in Greece and Italy.

But touching upon the story of the diaspora is a special aspect of the European narrative which was linked in the post war period with the 'Gastarbeiter' who came to Germany to work in the factories. Likewise since 2010 a new set of migration has set in due to the economic crisis hitting in particular the Southern EU member states and their respective societies.

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