Any kind of civic engagement – be it in democratic or non-democratic countries – primarily deals with questions and problems of political culture. Politics, and the role authorities play in it, dominates the picture in authoritarian systems, of course; nevertheless activists should never forget that it is (usually) society which develops a certain type of government.
A group of young Belarusian activists met in Warsaw from 6 to 13 July under the framework of the “Belaplus 2008” programme in order to improve their project management skills for both local and international activities. The programme was organized by Kultur Aktiv e.V. (Dresden), Wolna Białoruś (Warsaw), and the Initiative Third Way (Minsk), and realized with the kind support of Stefan Batory Foundation from the funds of Robert Bosch Foundation, Stefan Batory Foundation and the German Marshall Fund of the United States.
Gert Röhrborn attended the seminar to discuss universal aspects of the ethics of activism and commitment with participants. Using Citizens of Europe projects My.Europe and Art.Interventions as appropriate examples for the methodological variety and scope of cultural projects he stressed how important it is to convince people of and activate them for emancipatory aims. No matter whether they struggle with traditional mindsets on the local level or try to establish fruitful transborder contacts: cultural activists do not only try to win over potential supporters, but at the same time already create and live in the nutshell of their favourite future society.
See video material part <a href=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SmZnHC5UkNU”>1</a> and <a href=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-H3IKWbM6G4&feature=related”>2</a> on “Belaplus 2007”.
Citizens of Europe goes on to support “Belaplus 2008” in its next stages.