What if it all was just a very good story? Half true, half made up, reflecting our memories, experiences, and those of the communities we live in. Like in a fairy tale. With the project “Once upon today…”, we would like to invite you to think about history, memory, and identity in this different way. Not as something fixed or stable, but as a stories…. good stories though.
“Once upon a time…” – these words sound so familiar to most people as fairy tales have been passed on from generation to generation, told and retold, with each storyteller adding his/her personal flavour to the story. When people think and talk about history, memory and identity, something very similar happens. They constantly tell a story about themselves, the communities and states they live in. These so called narratives help people make sense of reality and they are made up of diverse facts, myths, official commemoration and personal memories. Like any other story, they are constantly shaped and reshaped through communication and reflect the values, interpretations and political objectives of the communities and people who share it. Thus, any narrative could start like a tale in present: „Once upon today…“
We invited young people at the age of 18-25 to discover, tell and rewrite their stories together with participants from Ukraine, Israel, Poland and Germany. During the seminar from September 21-30, 2012, we discovered official and untold stories in Berlin, Wroclaw, and the little village of Krzyżowa. We met experts and worked with creative methods. During the seminar, we constantly updated this project blog, documenting impressions, ideas and stories collected in different places and encounters with diverse communities. After the project, participants took these ideas to their organisations and home towns, looking for untold stories and historical experiences in their neighbourhoods. Find out more about these activities in the projects section.
Please also have a look at the project documentation containing impressions from the 10-day seminar and detailed information about the programme, methods, and results.