Transition Dialogue

“Transition Dialogue 2019-2021. Dealing with change in democratic ways“

Project duration: July 2019 – December 2021

Background and aims:

In 2019 in parts of Europe we are marking 30 years since the beginning of transition from communism and the fall of the Berlin Wall. In two years from now in yet other parts of Eastern Europe we will mark the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the war-torn collapse of former Yugoslavia. Witnesses and drivers of those events are still actively shaping the social, political and cultural life.

Meanwhile a generation has come of age that has no direct memory neither of communism nor of transition. Their knowledge and perceptions of this recent past is mostly based on stories of the older generations and on politicized and instrumentalized discourses. Against this background and as practitioners of history and civic education, we aim at taking a closer look at two of the areas that mostly contribute to the formation of knowledge and perceptions of that recent past – the public discourse and teaching of transition. We aim at working:

nationally (in a number of partner countries);
locally (in each of the countries outside of the large cities into the rural areas);
internationally (exchange, share knowledge and compare our findings).

At the end of this process, we hope to have a more multifaceted and nuanced understanding of the impact of transition on societies in Eastern Europe and how history and civic education can be used to help deal with it.

Outcomes and outputs:

Analyzing and actively contributing to the public discourse on transition. Some of the key questions are whether the discourse incorporates the plurality of perspective and voices and what can be done to accommodate the diversity of viewpoints. What is the role of international exchange for a better understanding of the national context? What formats and methods can be used to mainstream the topic and engage a wider audience in a more diverse conversation?

Analyzing of and contributing to teaching transition with means of history & civic education. This part of the work includes analysis of school curricula and textbooks to find out how transition is taught and framed in formal educational institutions. Part of the inquiry looks into teaching methods and approaches. The international component of the program aims at a transnational comparison. In addition, and based on the analysis, we will formulate recommendations in order to improve the existing materials or suggest the development of new ones. Those will look into good-practice examples, cross-country learning and sharing of practices, as well as working methods and approaches.

Related articles:

Transition in Lithuania: rethinking the narrative at Nyla podcast

Project coordinators:

Sofia Platform, Bulgaria 

Project partners:

Center for Citizenship Education, Poland 

Congress of Cultural Activists/ Association of Active Citizens, Ukraine

Ivo Pilar Institute, Croatia

Open Lithuania foundation, Lithuania

Permer Centre for Civic Education and Human Rights, Russia

With the support of the German Federal Agency for Civic Education

Sponsors and partners