News from the Past: Acquiring relevant data on war times


EAEA GRUNDTVIG AWARD 2014. EAEA hands out the yearly EAEA Grundtvig Award to a successful European learning partnership. This year´s theme for the award was "Remembering World War I for the Future – Adult Education promoting Peace and Cohesion in Europe".

The article series spreads good practices by introducing the nominees of EAEA Grundtvig Award 2014.

News from the Past project's purpose was to contribute to the change of attitudes of the wider public by inducing a wide circle of persons to start thinking about history and historical events in a rational manner, i.e. to view historical events in light of tested results of historical study. The project competed in the category "Adult education projects that promote peace and conflict resolution".

Changing the present

The main goal of the project was to contribute to the reduction of mythical elements in understanding the past and thereby eliminate the "curse of history" which has been affecting Serbia and its neighbours in the 1990s and has dominated much of political thinking and decision making thereafter. The target groups and the beneficiaries of the project were officials in higher levels of the executive, legislators, media, history teachers, representatives of churches and religious communities in Serbia.

The work on the project made it possible to reach the decision makers, people responsible for the development and future of the society and to reach the widest circle of citizens. It was important to acquire relevant data on knowledge and information of the events and developments in the distant past, not only to study the prevailing attitudes, but also making serious efforts to change the latter.

Understanding the past

The activities involved a group of renowned historians, political scientists and social psychologists who established a list of suspected misconceptions shared by the wider public. This served as the basis for a questionnaire, distributed to a sample of citizens, who were invited to indicate which version of an account of an historical event they considered to be true. The result, accompanied by critical analyses was published as a book. Before the final publication, the findings of the survey were discussed at a number of conferences to test their validity in the eyes of the representatives of other relevant professions, such as educators and persons dealing with young people.

The result was creation of different attitudes and better understanding of the society in Serbia which contributed to the establishment of "zero point", a new starting point to change the prevailing attitudes.

News from the Past project

Project partners

Collaborators of the Belgrade Centre for Human Rights

Contact the coordinator

Belgrade Centre for Human Rights

More on this topic

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Mainstreaming Peace Education: Inclusion by exchange
Team up for Youth: Experiencing WWI through videos
Discover peace in Europe: Peace trails
WOI in perspectief, Europa gezien door de lens van de camera: Intergenerational and intercultural learning
Vygonoshchi Fortress: raising awareness on the consequences of war
The Book of Plans, Hopes and Dreams: a remembrance activity
EAEA Grundtvig Award 2014 goes to Book of Plans, Hopes and Dreams and Vygonoshchi Fortress projects