European youth faces the crisis

How are the traces of the crisis changing the future of European youth? For instance, we can see that higher education is today not a guarantee for finding a work-placement; the media is removed from personal insight and it is instead all about numbers; financial struggles for banks and political negotiations; mobility does not apply for everyone in the same way within the EU boarders. All these issues were discussed in the recently finished seminar “Beyond the Crisis II, which took place in Berlin from 27th May to 2nd June in Berlin (Germany).

During seven days 15 participants, coming from Germany, Greece, Hungary and Portugal, met to explore and to learn more about media, mobility and employability. The starting point was a dinner, which gave participants the chance to get to know each other. The menu was really empowering, since they engaged fully for the intense programme of the week. The schedule from Tuesday to Friday was quite tight. Participants were divided into five small groups and every morning they had team work in order to discuss and exchange ideas on the proposed issues. Groups were culturally mixed in the sense that they were composed of at least one participant from a different nationality. Consequently, one could be informed of what is happening in other European countries, and to compare this reality with their own. Afterwards every small group exposed and commented in front of the other ones their results. Some participants brought materials from their country such as newspaper articles and books, which helped to understand the situation in different parts of Europe. In the afternoon they enjoyed exploring Berlin. There was a city rally and three visits: one to the German History Museum, focused on media issues from 1930 to recently times; one to the social start up “Photocircle”; and the other one to the office of the magazine “Der Spiegel”. Here the participants had a round table of questions with Sven Böll, editor of “Der Spiegel” in the section of Economy. They were particularly interested in the relation between crisis and media, for instance, which aspects of the crisis media usually highlights. After such hard days of work participants could continue their conversations in the hostel, a camping ground next to the former site of Tempelhof Airport. The programme was completed with a barbacue and two dinners at typical German restaurants.

So much deep and active work ended up in original five projects. There was a virtual presentation, showing through caricatures and photos many statistics about youth employability; one video, which contained street interviews to Berlin citizens about their perception on the mobility and employability. Furthermore, there were a magazine and a song called “Berlin is a paradise”, written and interpreted by some participants, which referred to the experience they lived during the seminar. A creative ending for a powerful seminar!