February 2014: PROJECTS



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Press Texts for the Release Event in Budapest on the 14th of September 2007 invitation in Hungariannosztalgia_release_meghivo.pdf (86.21 KB) invitation in Englishnosztalgia_release_invitation.pdf (88.94 KB) project description in Hungariannosztalgia_projektleiras.pdf (89.60 KB) Press Texts for the Release Event in Berlin on the 28th of September 2007 evening program for download in Germannosztalgia_programm.pdf (138.09 KB) press release for download in Englishnosztalgia_pr_engl_small.pdf (136.55 KB) press release for download in Germannosztalgia_pr_dt_small.pdf  

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OSTALGIA BASICSOstalgia – Word Spy Ostalgie – Wikipedia Yugo-nostalgia – Wikipedia Trabant Ampelmannchen OSTALGIA IN COLLECTINGDokumentationszentrum Alltagskultur der DDRDas DDR Museum  Retronom – Mindennapok vizuális objektumai Yugo-enciklopédia Emlékpont – Fél évszázad Vásárhelyen  Statue Park – Budapest  Internetowe Muzeum Polski Ludowej OSTALGIA NEGATIVEMauermuseum Haus am Checkpoint Charlie Terror Háza Múzeum IN IDEOLOGYSocialism Today Current Communist Countries   IN ARTInternational Poster Gallery Online IN TOWNCrazy Guides Trabi-Safari Ostalgie Shop Die Ostalgie Party Das DDR Hostel Café Sibylle – Berlin Nowa Huta IN MUSICKistehén Tánczenekar Rotfront  Krambambulya East Blok musik IN MOVIES Sonnenallee Go, Trabi GoA kis utazásGood bye, Lenin Der Rote Kakadu  Csinibaba    – ExtractMoszkva tér Die Stille nach dem Schuß Kein Land unserer Zeit? EXTREMESFallen in Love with the Wall I Miss Communism – One Woman Show DEALING WITH OSTALGIAA New Willingness to Criticize East Germany DDR-Revival Ostalgie im Fernsehen Addig jó, míg Kádár él Szemléletváltás az NDK-ról  Velünk élő Kádár  Parteidiktatur und Alltag in der DDR GO THEORETICJunge Osteuropa Experten  Memory & Nostalgia – conference Post-Communist Nostalgia – conference The Post-Communist Condition BOOKS AND ARTICLESAhbe, Thomas: Bevor der Westen war – Ein deutsch-deutscher Geschichtsdialog, 2006 Assman, Jan: Gedächtnis und kulturelle Identität, in: Kultur und Gedächtnis, J. Assman, T. Hölscher, 1998   Bajer, Josefina: YU-Nostalgie in Slowenien: Das Phänomen der Nostalgie als Produkt der Transformation, 2009 Benjamin, Walter: Leftist Melancholia, 1931 Boym, Svetlana: From the Russian Soul to Post-Communist Nostalgia. In: Representations, No. 49, Special Issue: Identifying Histories: Eastern Europe Before and After 1989 (Winter, 1995), pp. 133-166 Boym, Svetlana: The Future of Nostalgia, 2002 Brix, Emil: Der Kampf um das Gedächtnis 1997 >>> Explores the cultural memory of Central European societies from the middle of the 19th century to today. Shows that commemoration days tell something about the collective memory. Brown, Stephen: Retromania. Next Big Story or Same Old Story? In: N. O. Herbrand – S. Röhrig: Die Bedeutung der Tradition für die Markenkommunikation. Stuttgart 2006. p. 105-121 Brunnbauer, Ulf (Ed.): Alltag und Ideologie im Realsozialismus, 2005 >>>Assumes that everyday life and identity are neither rising from the communist regime, nor developing indepently. But an independence developed between ideology, politics, everyday life and identity. Cooke, Paul: Representing East Germany Since Unification: From Colonization To Nostalgia, 2005 Cordeanu, Victoria Isabela: Remembering state socialism in the 1970s-1980s in Romania: from Official Memory to the Memories of the ‘Dominated’ , 2003 Crowley, David – Reid, Susan: Socialist Spaces in Everyday Life in the Eastern Bloc, 2002 Decker, Kerstin: Letzte Ausfahrt Ost. Die DDR im Rückspiegel, 2004 >>> A retrospect and perspective of how we remember the GDR. Reportages and portraits. Ekman, Joakim : Communist nostalgia and the consolidation of democracy in Central and Eastern Europe. In: Journal of Communist Studies and Transition Politics, Volume 21, Issue 3 September 2005 , pages 354 – 374 Erdei, Ildikó: The ‘Happy Child’ as an Icon of Socialist Transformation: Yugoslavia’s Pioneer Organisation, In: John Lampe: Ideologies and National Identities. The case of Twentieth Century Southeastern Europe, 2004 Freud, Sigmund: Mourning and Melancholia, 1917 Goll, Thomas – Leuerer, Thomas : Ostalgie als Erinnerungskultur?: Symposium zu Lied und Politik in der DDR, 2004 Halbwachs, Maurice: Das Gadächtnis und seine sozialen Bedingungen, 1985 >>> Halbwachs assumes, that societies and social groupes build up a collective memory, that serves the own identity. Haverkamp, Anselm: Memoria. Vergessen und Erinnern, 1993 >>> The leimotiv is the relation of memory and oblivion; oblivion as a precondition of memory. Jaworski, Rudolf – Kusber, Jan – Steindorff, Ludwig: Gedächtnisorte in Osteuropa, 2003 >>> Explores the reevaluation and replacing of places of memory under new givens with concrete examples. Kirss, Tiina – Lauristin, Marju: She Who Remembers Survives. Interpreting Estonian Women’s Post-Soviet Stories, 2004 Konrád, George: Melancholy Of Rebirth: Essays From Post-Communist Central Europe, 1989-1994 Lüdtke, Alf: Alltagsgeschichte: Zur Rekonstruktion historischer Erfahrungen und Lebensweisen, 1989 Müller, David: Retro-Trend. Wie und warum alte Marken neuen Erfolg haben? Saarbrücken 2006 Neller, Katja: DDR-Nostalgie, 2006 >>> Ways, how Eastern German people orientate towards the former GDR, their cause and political connotation. Analyses of the niveau, the determinant, the developement and the political correlative of the phenomenon. Nora, Pierre: Zwischen Geschicte und Gedächtnis. In: Die Gedächtnisorte. In: Ders., Zwischen Geschichte und Gedächtnis, 1998 >>> Explores the connection of formation, instrumentality and effect of memory. Platt, Kristin – Dabag, Mihran: Generation und Gedächtnis: Erinnerungen und kollektive Identitäten, 1995 >>>  Discussions about memory, experience and perception, time and space and dimensions of memory. Roth, Klaus: Sozialismus: Realistäten und Illusionen. Ethnologische Aspekte der sozialistischen Alltagskultur, 2005 >>> A review of concrete aspects of the socialist everyday culture in Southeastern Europe. Scribner, Charity: Requiem for Communism, 2005 Steinbach, Lothar: Bevor der Westen war – Ein deutsch – deutscher Geschichtsdialog, 2006 >>> A reportage about the life stories of people, who started thinking about their past after the historical changes of 1989/1990. Velikonja, Mitja: Titostalgia: A Study of Nostalgia for Josip Broz, 2008   Volcic, Zala: Yugo-Nostalgia: Cultural Memory and Media in the Former Yugoslavia. In: Critical Studies in Media Communication, Volume 24, Issue 1 March 2007, pages 21 – 38 Wieliczko, Barbara – Zuk, Marcin: Post-Communist Nostalgia Among the Middle-Aged Middle-Class Poles. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, Atlanta Hilton Hotel, Atlanta 2003

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The n\osztalgia encyclopedia project coordinators: Josefina Bajer / josefina(at)nosztalgia.netHeidi Dommaschke / heidi(at)nosztalgia.netElisabeth Drescher / elisabeth(at)nosztalgia.net   The Partner associations SEE.IDSEE.ID –In Dialogue with South-Eastern EuropeJohann-Hiller-Str. 21/8; Klagenfurt/Celovec, Austria+43 650 2389369 mailtoSEE.ID(at)googlemail.com    old project Annemarie OberschmidtRéka Mán-VárhegyiStephanie EndterSzabina Kerényi info(at)nosztalgia.net The partner associations ANTHROPOLIS AssociationÉrmelléki u. 4.1026 BudapestHungary press contact: Szabina Kerényi >> email   Rejs e.V. Import – Export: Kultur!Plotki – rumours from around the blocBrunnenstrasse 16210119 BerlinGermany press contact: Annemarie Oberschmidt >> email   Imprint Responsible for the content of this website are the project organisers.For external links from this website are solely the operators of these external websites responsible.

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Olga, Masha and Irina will never get back to Moscow, the place they grew up in and now are ardently missing. The three sisters in Anton Chekhov’s famous play from 1900 vividly depict the yearning emotion that this magazine is dedicated to. Nostalgia, the romantic longing for the past, has recently had a major significance in the Central and Eastern European historical landscape after a number of peaceful revolutions around 1989 caused radical political and social shifts. Longing for Moscow, as the place you will never go back to. Longing for the socialist past that is lost; its rhythm, its feel and its objects; longing for a past existence that suddenly broke away and tore with it the tissue of a whole life world. Nostalgia knows many forms of expression: from Lenin t-shirts – to the re-marketing of Tisza trainers – to the affection for decaying dachas in deserted sceneries – to the glorification of former politicians like János Kádár. There is many a despot who becomes a hero through nostalgic remembering. Does nostalgia foremost represent the longing for historical continuity and thus the desire to imagine perfect communities bound together by a common path? Is nostalgia prone to nationalistic fantasies and therefore an easy target of political plots aimed at the construction of a certain subject to be governed? Or, perhaps, is nostalgia simply and innocently a fundamental part of human memory, as in tenderly remembering one’s childhood? – Memory does not differentiate between Tito and a teddy bear. Longing for Moscow, as a space to imagine a different life. The three sisters, Olga, Masha and Irina, are dissatisfied with their existence in a provincial town far away from their former home. Yet, their nostalgic longing for a life and place other than their present one signifies on a larger scale in Chekhov’s play the search for meaning in a modernising world.The publication in your hands is the result of an intense workshop at lake Balaton in May 2007 organised by the magazines Plotki and Anthropolis. A group of young writers, artists and academics from Hungary, Germany, Russia, Poland, Belarus, Serbia, Macedonia, Austria, Romania and Bulgaria set out to tackle the multilayered phenomenon ‘nostalgia’ from various directions. Come on a journey with us through the hills and valleys of nostalgic landscapes in Central, Eastern and South Eastern Europe. Balázs Frida uncovers the Hungarians’ posthumous love for János Kádár. Balázs Antal researches the culture of growing plants in Budapest display windows. Nicole Dietrich writes on sounds travelling across the Iron Curtain between East and West Berlin. Peggy Meinfelder reconsiders by ink East German symbols. Neeltje Reijerman photographs remains of Soviet army buildings in Latvia as reminders of the Soviet occupation. Artyom Kosmarski and Tanya Zamirovskaya present their two post-Soviet musical autobiographies as spaces of protest, nostalgia, and fancy. Vladimir Stankovic revisits the Soviet gym. Magda Falska and Andy Blättler marvel about the appropriation of old Warsaw lamps in contemporary Zurich. Fruzsina Müller is interested in the retro-trend of Tisza shoes in Hungary. Ägnes Gagyi wonders if we can see a Romanian email-photo-chain with the title ‘Beware, EU, we are coming!’ as a representation of Romanian collective memory. Alnis Stakle photographs former symbols of Soviet pride. Mariya Ivancheva tells the story of the mausoleum of Georgi Dimitrov in Sofia. Jörg Frank Seemann plans to build a light installation dealing with the darkness of the Eastern Bloc. Andrea Dezsö recalls moments of the archaic in urban space. Artyom Kosmarksi takes a stroll through Tashkent reflecting on its Soviet past and his relation to it. Aleksandra Kostiuk examines formerly forbidden photos of everyday life in Warsaw. Nicole Dörr asks what the political left can aspire to in a post-socialist world. Florin Poenaru gives an introduction to sex in socialist Romania and its nostalgic remembering. Achim Hatzius presents confusions and temporary solutions in being someone. Paula Muhr expresses the memories of her childhood in Serbia. Jasna Koteska recommends “freeing the memories” in Macedonian public discourse on the Yugoslavian past. Alexandra Trencséni reflects upon memory and identity. Isabella Willinger calls for a poetics of emotions vis-à-vis a politics of emotions.

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the n\osztalgia encyclopedia Project: The n\osztalgia encyclopedia is a long-term project which contains a conglomeration of various manifestations of the phenomenon of post-socialistic nostalgia. history:  This follow-up encyclopedia project was initially a joint project of two magazines, Plotki (Berlin) and Anthropolis (Budapest). Established within the framework of the German-Hungarian Cultural Year 2007, n\osztalgia aims at reflecting how post-socialist societies remember the time until 1989 – questioning who recollects, what is recalled and how it is remembered. Young artists, photographers, scholars and writers from both sides of the “Iron Curtain” jointly investigated and critically questioned the wave of (n)ostalgia in different (South and Central) Eastern European countries from a comparative and transdisciplinary perspective. The results of the research made by a generation “in-between” were presented in visual artworks, sound installations and essays. Have a look at various ways of remembering the socialist past here or in the print publication “n\osztalgia – ways of revisiting the socialist past”. The encyclopedia:  The second chapter of this project now (2009) -20 years after the Fall of the Wall- is embedded in a new scholarship with the cultural association SEE.ID- in dialogue with South-Eastern Europe (Klagenfurt/Marburg/Berlin) which we, the Berlin team of n\osztalgia, hope will not be a once only cooperation with others.   In short: The n\osztalgia encyclopedia is an open-ended, hyper-textual assembly of texts, pictures and sounds in various genres – small scholarly essays, polemic articles, critical reflections, personal recollections, collages, photo essays, acoustic memories – it can be pop, it can be art, it can be academical.  Everybody is invited to join the project by contributing to the n\osztalgia encyclopedia. Besides, we are highly interested in cooperations and networking with other institutions which focus on the same theme – the post-socialistic history and its open aftermath questions in nowadays transformed countries.  participate here: Encyclopedia or send an email to: encyclopedia(at)nosztalgia.net Still on sale for 6 Euros + postage –  in our plotkionline shop Old N\osztalgia Project: Project description Coordinators and participantsSponsors and partners ******************************** The artworks that were elaborated in the frames of the project were presented in an exhibition at the Collegium Hungaricum in Berlin (September 28 – November 4, 2007). Click on the images… pictures by Stephanie Endter ******************************** You can read here what the party guests in Berlin came up with when asked about nostalgia.

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Five experimental short films on everyday life in Georgia
A project by Plotki (Rejs e.V.), Sakdoc Film and the Centre for Arts and Culture at the Central European University.

Exciting information about the project can be found towards the bottom of this page!



Hair – it’s one of the most visible parts of our body whether black or white, long or short, straight or curly. This black short concentrates on hair as a character and takes place where it is shaped – a barber’s shop in Tbilisi.  Nowadays many mainstream salons are alike, but the barber shop in Hairminators retains the ‘white gowned’ spirit of old. Waiting involves dominoes, eating, chatting, singing, or even sleeping before the hair which “needs to be organized” arrives… (14:25 mins)
(A film by Data Chigholashvili, Salome Joglidze and Birgit Kuch)

chiatura, my pride

Chiatura was once one of the most prosperous industrial cities in Georgia, boasting rich resources of manganese. Due its location in a steep valley surrounded by high mountains, Chiatura installed a system of cable cars to transport workers to and from the mines, as well as manganese from the mines to the factories. With deindustrialisation the manganese industry shrank and Chiatura’s population halved, but many of the cable cars still run, establishing a net between the city and its people. Chiatura, my Pride explores how this extraordinary transport system gives character to the city forty years after its installation. (13:43 mins)
(A film by Stephanie Endter, Max Kuzmenko, Lisa Müller, Ulrike Penk and Kajetan Tadrowski)


Gulo is a film that explores the line between death and life, visualising the theatrical happenings and settings surrounding burial rituals. Often death is presented as the ending of life, something feared by people. Contrary to this, Gulo shows the diverse approaches to death and reveals the thoughts of people who are directly connected to the passageway between life and death: “death no longer interests me. I wish I had a different life, I want to be on stage.” Gulo is shot in Kutaisi. (15:41 mins)
(A film by Elene Asatiani, Eliane Bots, Mirek Koranda and Sophia Tabatadze)

harvest georgia

Weathered hands move scrap metal from the homes of those who live in and around Zugdidi to the Black Sea port of Poti, and Georgian society moves too, moulding itself around one of the country’s leading exports. From bathtubs, bedsprings and boilers to pots & pans, tin cans and coat stands… in Harvest Georgia the process of scrap metal collecting, weighing and exporting is told through the interaction of these re-valued objects, with those who handle them as part of their everyday lives. (6:37 mins)
(A film by Odeta Catana, Ian Cook, Angelika Herta and Zhenya Zakharova)

under a

“…form of government:  presidential parliamentary democracy. Official language: Georgian. Population: 4.6 million. Capital: Tbilisi.” As the eye deciphers the fading inscriptions in the underground passage and the body instinctively avoids the commercial humdrum, the ear catches the music. Under a is a film about the passage that runs under Tbilisi’s centrally located Freedom Square, and follows a band’s everyday flow in an underground place filled with tunes. (16:07 mins)
(A film by Natalia Buier, Madis Kats, Filip Pospíšil and Mikheil Svanidze)


What’s this all about then?
In May 2011, twenty young creative people from across Europe met for the first time in Garikula, Georgia. Some of us had never made a film before in our lives, whilst others had considerable experience in the medium. Each of us arrived with a topic for a possible film in mind and more topics came up as we discussed film, Georgia and the perfect khachapuri. After some basic training in filmmaking, we split into 5 groups and set off to different parts of the country for 8 days of shooting, before meeting again in Tbilisi to review our footage. After a fortnight’s break, we came together in Budapest and edited the footage over four days. The resulting Black Shorts are as diverse as they are intriguing. The films capture the endearing character of a barber’s shop in Tbilisi; the highflying web of cable cars in Chiatura; the lively theatrics of death in Kutaisi; the second life of objects as scrap metal in-and-around Zugdidi; and a day in the life of an underpass’s resident band in Tbilisi.

Is this really the best way to make films?
Probably not. You might want to choose people with more experience in filmmaking, to give people set roles and to allow much more time for everything – but Black Shorts is about more than just filmmaking. It’s about people exploring a new country through the medium of film, it’s about the interactions between young people from different parts of Europe, it’s about learning how to work with a new medium, it’s about the challenges and joys of group work and about making new friends in countries many of us have never been to before. But most of all, it’s about the joy of spreading a collective rumour (a plotki) throughout the region.

So why Georgia? Why Black?
Black is both a provocative colour bristling with symbolic tension, and the mundane colour of everyday Georgian life found in most peoples’ clothing, hair and the name of the sea. This fascinated us, as it allowed an entry point for exploring everyday life along broad thematic lines that did not exoticise, and yet it still stimulated the artistic imagination. It was suitably provocative, with angry complaints from Georgians outside Georgia demanding we should rather focus on ‘positive’ aspects such as Georgian folklore. And yet, encouragingly for all involved, it was warmly greeted by those who were the subjects of the films; they were more than happy to have their everyday stories filmed and we became friends.
We hope the films did them justice.

Where next for Black Shorts?
The Worldwide Premiere took place in Budapest on June 9th 2011, the films are now also available online (here and at www.daazo.com/blackshorts) and on DVD. Well attended, much loved and highly entertaining screenings took place in: Tbilisi, Berlin, Prague, Garikula, Bucharest, Leipzig, Frankfurt/Main, Budapest, Dresden and Kabul.

If you’re interested in organising a screening or would like more information please contact: blackshorts(at)plotki.net

Project Coordinators: Ian Cook, Stephanie Endter, Anna Dziapshipa and Mikheil Svanidze.
Project instructors: Salomé Jashi and Stephen Fee

The project is supported by the European Cultural Foundation and the Open Society Institute.


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Paintings to penises to pálinka to punk to priests – all changes from below

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“Péter Erdős you motherfucker…”

The punk movement in communist Hungary

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East-German Pastors and do-gooders

An East-German pastor provides space for political discussions and actions to the youth who did not want to fit in the synchronised masses.

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Anything to Declare?

 Cycling shorts, Limahl stickers, blue jeans, Mickey Mouse belts – what were your most precious foreign acquisitions during socialism?

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Resistance with a Moustache-less Face

 A brave freedom fighter with even less hair than brains

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Drums of Darkwood

 Or how comics ate out the soul of Communism in SFRY

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Totally Surrealist, Bejbi: Midnight Authors & Orange Alternative

Architects, artists and sculptors of Socialist Realism gave us wonderfully boxy buildings, chiselled-jaw proletariat posters and Gulliver-sized statues to admire with disbelief… it also provided for artists not-so-keen on the state aesthetic to develop their own artistic interpretation of society.

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Is there a season to everything?

People moved on. But do the ideas move on? Don’t we need the spirit of this ‘era’ today as well? –  Some recent thoughts and an interview about Poland’s “Orange Alternative”. Movements from the 1980’s are history. Mission accomplished.

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Punk in Siberia

Gr.Ob. You can’t enter a block of flats in the ex-USSR without seeing it. But the answer behind what it means continues to prove elusive

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Petersburg. New dimension

Russia is stuck in it’s post-Soviet territory, overwhelmed with the empire feeling… it’s quite easy to rule over this huge mass of people who were made to loose their roots… There are no changes from below in Russia. People simply don’t want to.

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Priceless Cargo

An essay on the ambiguous feelings of Soviet citizens towards the West, or how my parents travelled abroad from Soviet Ukraine…

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Backyard Resistance: Art as Savoir-Vivre

 Who wishes to retrospectively become a hero? Does she/he? My characters don’t seem to wish that. They simply confess their normality within an abnormal environment.

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Let’s get physical, physical
I wanna get physical
Let’s get into physical
Let me hear your body talk, your body talk
Let me hear your body talk

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Below the Belt: Nudism in Ceausescu’s Romania

 Take your clothes off and enter Vama Veche


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The Golden Age Forever Marked by Inexplicable Loss

The Golden Team of Hungarian football history: inexplicable fall, excusatory rumours and political regimes…

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“Getting Food” in Communist Romania

About villages built on palinka, “resolving” all society’s problems and chicken’s knees.

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Editing Workshops

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St. Petersburg

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Call for authors, photographers, journalists and artists STORIES FROM THE SEASIDE – the Central Eastern European magazine PLOTKI wants to publish the unknown stories about the Baltic Sea region and the people living there. Send us your reports, photo-essays, illustrations, fiction, comics and poems. If selected, your “Stories from the seaside” will be published online and in a printed magazine. _ Moving Baltic Sea PLOTKI is participating in the transnational project “Moving Baltic Sea” – a sailing environmental and cultural festival taking place throughout July and August 2008. The harbour festivals that will take place this summer in Rostock, Gdansk, Kaliningrad, Riga, Narva-Joesuu and St. Petersburg which will gather numours artists and environmentalists from the countries involved. On top of the public discussions, film screenings, music and theatre performances PLOTKI will offer Creative Workshops at the “Moving Baltic Sea”-festivals – resulting in a printed magazine. On the Spot – Creative Workshops The aim of the PLOTKI creative writing, photo and art workshops is to create spontaneous contributions during the “Moving Baltic Sea”-festivals. The creative workshops will be held in the native language of each country. The best contributions from the creative writing, photo and art workshops will be published in the magazine. Join PLOTKI Creative Workshops in.. …Rostock, 6.7.2008 …Gdansk, 12. and 13.7.2008 …Riga, 1.8. and 3.8.2008 …Narva-Joesuu, 9. – 11.8.2008 …St.Petersburg, 23.8.2008

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Ozone By Plotki

Crazy Plotki people perform the greatest smash hits of all times:

Today:Dragostea din Tei
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Cultures from around the Bloc

Rejs e.V. presents: Fremdbilder? – an intercultural photo workshop with young people from Turkey, Morocco, Palestine, Jordan, Afghanistan and Germany. Background The intercultural dialogue is and definitely will be a very important and continuous challenge for a peacefully living together in all European societies. Citizens of the European Union have to realize, that migration was, is, and will be there as long as the worldwide economical and political conditions differ in such extreme ways. Despite of the political, economical and historical differences in dealing with migration within the European Union there is one aspect, which is the first and most important step in all peaceful societies – it is the will to communicate, to speak out loud and to create a public discourse. In the case of migration the equal intercultural dialogue is needed. In Germany, a country with a long tradition of defining non-ethnic Germans as ‘Gastarbeiter’ (Guestworker), ‘Ausländer’ (Foreigner) or, nowadays, as persons with ‘Migrationshintergrund’ (migration background) which is even used up to two generations into the past, the equal intercultural dialogue is still at its very beginning. Before 2000 and the first ‘Zuwanderungsgesetz’ (migration law) Germany was officially a land without long term migration, even though the 3rd Generation of ‘foreigners’ was already born, went to school and made their living, according to this political status quo there was no need for an intercultural dialogue. Now, three years after the political change, several intercultural meetings between German politicians and migrant representatives (especially from Turkey) took place and a lot of projects for migrants have been lanced. Unfortunately those projects are often designed to enhance the Migrants chances for integration, f. e. by job trainings or German lessons, but the direct exchange and intercultural dialogue is frequently neglected. So, somehow odd, the Migrants in Germany shall integrate without knowing hardly any Germans in daily life. And these exchange deficits are not only on the side of the migrants, but it is equally important to antagonise reservation and prejudices of young Germans towards migrants. In general both groups, Germans and Migrants have almost no contact to each other, especially if ‘contact’ is defined as working, living or doing sports together, and not only the weekly visit at the Turkish Kebab House. Fremdbilder? – the Workshop Fremdbilder? Was a project aimed at stimulating the direct dialogue among young people with complete different cultural and educational backgrounds – young migrants and middle class high-school students. So one of the project aims was to enforce the communication between different ethnic and social classes and to strengthen the horizontal and vertical dialogue between different social groups. The main goal of the project was to create a meeting and exchange platform where understanding and acceptance were encouraged and fears and prejudices actively addressed. Further goals were the intercultural photo-stories and the planning and realization of photo exhibitions by the participants. The first group consisted of young people from Jordan, Afghanistan, Palestine, Morocco and Turkey at the age of 17-25, who had received only little education in their countries of origin. They only recently moved to Germany and prior to the project they had hardly any contacts with their German peers. In the second group were young high-school students from a German middle-class background with only little direct experience with migrants. If members of these two groups would meet accidental they would hardly get into touch. Worlds seem to lie between them and the lack of a common language would make the dialogue even more complicated. Within a workshop lasting one week their barriers and reservations could be reduced. The medium of photography and the introduction to the possibilities of the visual language – a new subject to both groups – democratized the dialogue among the participants and initiated the bridging between the cultures. After group-building processes and some hands-on technical training in the first days, the participants formed mixed intercultural teams and investigated with their cameras the particular social and cultural realities of their families, their neighbourhoods and daily lives. They were guides for their own neighbourhoods and at the same time discovered the social surroundings of the others. Some of the German participants were for the first time in a Mosque and were surprised how friendly they were welcomed there, for others it was their first time to enter a “Bioladen” (store with organic food – typical for the germen middle class) and to be introduced to the concept of biological food. The photos done by the participants have been shown in two public libraries (in Kronberg and Offenbach) and one city hall (Dietzenbach) – places of origin of the participants. Conclusion The young people, especially the migrants, had during the workshop for the very first time the possibility to express their opinions in direct contact with their German peers. And through the medium of photography they were also able to present it to a broader public within the exhibitions. Further more for the young people from Jordan, Afghanistan, Palestine, Morocco and Turkey it was the first intensive meeting with young Germans and for some also the first conscious contact with art in general and in particular the medium of photography. The intensive contact with the German pupils was also especially important for some of the participants since they realised how important education is in Germany to be able to fully participate in the society. This realization within this social interaction, that paths of education and life can be planned and that they are highly important, was one of the most important outcomes of this project. The high-school students on the other hand had the possibility to get into contact with the social reality beyond their mostly homogeneous circle of friends. Independent of prejudiced media coverage and shortened debates about so called “parallel worlds” they had the possibility to get an insight into realities which they would otherwise hardly notice and which were to some extent also negatively connoted. Probably most important was for all participants the daily contact and the discovery that understanding is possible despite of their different ways of communication and also that the individual problems and concerns of everyone are not so far apart. Even if the Workshop was a full success there are some points to consider for further activities. The fist and most important point is the sustainability of an intercultural dialogue. Fremdbilder? was planned as a short term Workshop so it showed just a glimpse of ‘the others’. For a sustainable intercultural dialogue apart from an interesting theme (as Photography was for both groups) long-term activities are probably better. More time would give the participants more possibilities to interact beside of the scheduled group activities. The second point is the huge educational difference between both groups – even though the less educated Migrants did perfectly well and were the most active group – well educated and fluently German speaking Migrants could be the missing link between these groups and make the intercultural dialogue easier. By Kajetan Tadrowski and Stephanie Endter Project partners: Rejs e.V. Import- Export: Kultur! (Berlin) StartHAUS GmbH – Innovative Pädagogik (Offenbach/ Main) Altkönigschule (Kronberg/ Taunus) Contact: Rejs e.V. Import – Export: Kultur! Brunnenstrasse 162 D-10119 Berlin Stephanie Endter: steph(at)plotki.net Kajetan Tadrowski: Tadrowski(at)web.de Financial support: “Femdbilder?” is supported by the European Commission during the “European Year of Intercultural Dialogue”, the foundation “Demokratie im Alltag”, the StartHAUS GmbH, the Stadtwerke Offenbach Holding and the City Council of Kronberg. “Fremdbilder?” formed part of the “Year of intercultural Dialogue” and was the German contribution to the international project “Cultures from around the block”.

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