Right now I and three other people from the umbrella organisation of youth councils in Baden-Württemberg are on our way to Armenia, or as the natives call it Hayastan. We will go there to study youth participation and informal education. The trip is financed by the youth in action program of the EU and organised by the Polish Fundacja Civis Polonus. I hope to gain many insights into this country in „wilder“ Europe.
Whilst preparing I found this quote from a book about the Caucasus:
„Given all these problems, can one ever really think of the Caucasus as Europe? To conceive of Europe as a place that does not stop at the Oder River or even the Bosphorus became possible once Europe refashioned itself as a set of values rather than a self-evident set of boundaries.
Seeing things in that way has required a gargantuan effort to forget, to shove into the dark corners of the past those values that have most often defined Europeanness: nationalism, chauvinism, and a penchant for the authoritarian state.
In other words, it requires that today’s Europeans and those who wish to join them continue to do what they have done since 1945—to engage in a collective rethinking of the past that enables a creative, liberating, and humane imagining of the future.“ King, C. (2008). The Ghost of Freedom:A History of the Caucasus. Oxford University Press, USA.
It summs the situation, as far as I could gather from books, up very well. Now I’m eager to see the real thing. I’ll keep you updated here on my blog and also on my twitter. I hope to show you some pictures as well.
We will fly out there tonight arrive very early in the morning in Eriwan and then have parts of monday off, the meetings will start on tuesday and we will all be back on monday the 5th.