EU-Relay Project -connecting people throughout Europe

The project title EU-Relay, refers to a race of travelling teams from one country to another, with the aim of exploring through video local realities in terms of European citizenship. The project intends to answer to the following programme proirity: Active European Citizenship: participation in our societiesThere is a need for further reflection on the concept of Active European Citizenship as well as need for development of tools and models adapted to citizens’ active participation in the construction of Europe at all levels.

This programme supports a wide range of activities and organisations promoting “active European citizenship”, especially the involvement of citizens and civil society organisations in the process of European integration.

GENERAL OBJECTIVES

Giving citizens the opportunity to interact and participate in constructing an ever closer
Europe, which is democratic and world-oriented, united in and enriched through its cultural diversity, thus developing citizenship of the European Union;  Developing a sense of European identity, based on common values, history and culture.

SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES

•Bringing together people from local communities across Europe to share and exchange experiences, opinions and values, to learn from history and to build for the future; •Fostering action, debate and reflection related to European citizenship and democracy, shared values, common history and culture through cooperation within civil society organisations at European level.

The project has started already with video action 1 and 2 in Bulgaria and Romania.

VIDEO ACTION 2: ROMANIA

During 31-st of March and 4-th of April, the city of Suceava will be hosting the next step in the Eu-Relay project, what we call “video action” 2. Last- minute preparations are being made, reviewing the checklist, reservations and confirm with the partners. Phiuu!!  as shooting days approach, we can hardly wait to see our friends again and feel very excited about how we are going to work together as a team the next week and shoot some great interviews.

The topic of the documentary in Romania will deal with Romanian traditionand European Citizenship in the context of The European Year of Voluntarism. Our Bulgarian friends will meet authentic kraftsmen and will have the chance to watch them work on wonderful traditional objects and pass on the to next generation their skills and talent. Moreover, we will try to create an event and re-enact traditional customs from the rural area and bring them in the urban area (in the city pub), where there will be singing and dancing (of course, the traditional way). The youngsters will have the opportunity to express their views and opinions about traditional ways and lifestyle in an open session of debates at the University, and we will be there to catch it all on camera.

The shooting days will add up to visiting all the important touristic sites in our area and of course, to the memorable moments we will spend together while relaxing and having fun: going out in local pubs or maybe a small rock concert.

DEBRIEFING AFTER VIDEO ACTION 2:

During 3 days, both Romanian and Bulgarian teams made a wonderful journey to discover young people and their elder siblings envolved in keeping their traditions alive, in managing to pass them on to the next generations in different forms. We saw pitoresque places where tradition was unaltered and we saw places where traditional elements were combined with modern elements as a sign of evolution.

Our approach was to observe, take notes and compare… rarely did we express any opinion about it.. it was like smelling the flowers instead of picking them up. Local people were interested in having them recorded on camera, because they want to show the world how beautiful their traditions are. Next to that, there is the young generation which understands how important it is to be keeping our traditions alive mainly because this is who we are, it is part of our individuality as a nation.

The young generation use traditional elements in their clothing, singing or dancing as a compound of „ethno” fashion. They enjoy hand-made jewlery and clothes and they are very proud to be wearing them. We interviewed a lot of people and the common question was „why / for what purpose do you keep these traditions alive”? The answer is always linked to the feeling of pride to be Romanian and a feeling of belonging to a certain group.

All in all, it seemed that 3 days were not sufficient to travel and meet all the people that we planned to meet, but anyway we felt very happy to be able to show you a small part of a large culture, the Romanian one.

EU-Relay continues with Video Action 3… Now we are headed to get to know another type of culture, where a new trend is arising to serve  as a model for the whole world as a way to protect our future generations: “green” lifestyle in Latvia.