3. EVENT, TITLED:
NATIONALITY AND EUROPEAN IDENTITY IN THE LIGHT OF ACCEPTANCE AND FRIENDSHIP
MEDINA DEL CAMPO (SPAIN)
MONDAY 13/8/2018, LOCATION REALES CARNICERIAS)
In the evening hours of August 13th, after a busy trip – most of the partners arrived by plane, train, and bus – and after staying at the hotel – we attended a friendly introductionary dinner for us, and for all the participants of the project Heart of Europe, HE-ART, and for the international participants of the Renaissance Week festival of Medina del Campo, hosted by the hosting partners: the Medina del Campo Municipality and the organization Medina 21. The meeting was held at Reales Carnicerías and featured pleasant, heartwarming speeches, conversation, and gourmet presentations of Spanish delicacies, and notably the delicacies from Medina del Campo.
TUESDAY 14/8/2018, DAY 2 (CITY HALLO AND THE INTEGRATION CULTURAL CENTER ISABEL LA CATÓLICA)
In the morning, we organized a signing the attendance list in the city hall, the registration of all partners, and then Lovro Lah staged the basic morning connective activity, which we at GEOSS call “The magic, through which all wishes are realized”. Considering our group reactions, this is also the “Magic of the Heart Points of the Project Heart of Europe, HE-ART”.
Speaker: The project manager of Medina del Campo and Medina 21, David Muriel Alonso, presented the history, and the modern heartbeat of Medina del Campo, based on it. Medina del Campo already has its own cultural tourism, which involves the whole city with every one of its citizens, as well as the surrounding areas. The Heart Point of Spain will be strongly linked to the important castle of La Motta, and to Renaissance week Medina del Campo, which is every year the biggest event. During the Renaissance week various activities take place which highlight the important renaissance history of this region, including the festivals “In vino veritas” and “Mapping me”. At »Mapping Me«, we would witness the powerful ties between modern technology and the past.
Loretta and Marta, the representatives of the EU Direct for Spain, started the conference on European guidelines with a video clip. The main current topics of the EU were presented: about the rights of European citizens, their duties, connecting, involvement, major worries, support for the EU, economics movements, stability, emigration, democratization, identity, respect, and the importance of cultural heritage in the European year of cultural heritage.
Subsequently, members of the partner organizations of the Project Heart of Europe, HE-ART, discussed the main subject of the event. They discussed the importance of cultural heritage in connection to the European identity. Almost unanimously, they thought that the identity of all nationalities in the European community should form the European identity. It is found only in the framework of respect, admiration, and acceptance of the diverse identities of the European people. Anka Kolenc emphasized that this is also the main goal of the Heart of Europe project, He-art, to which the 3rd meeting in Medina del Campo was dedicated to.
During the coffee break, Anka Kolenc and Lovro Lah gave an extensive interview about the content and goals of the Project Heart of Europe, HE-ART, for the local newspaper.
The main points of the conversation were about the meaning of knowledge, love, and acceptance of cultural heritage for a hearty future of European citizenship.
There was a conference in the city hall titled “Heritage, New Technologies, Theatre, and Community”. Fran Nuñez provided extensive information on new technologies in theatre, and about community, for the presentation and the life of heritage with which we must stay connected. He presented some of the contemporary authors, whose works can serve as an example; for example, Bob Wilson playing with the light, and the versatile Slovenian director, the late Tomaž Pandur. The peculiarity of many modern approaches is in that it is possible to do without professional players, without top artists, it is possible to simply invite interested people to cooperate in for a project, and, although they are not artists, do a superb expressive work with a good director.
During his break from the official reception and during the press conference, Stefano Delia continued with the Faces of Europe project. Many from Medina del Campo joined those from Slovenia.
That day, at 13.00 the official reception was held at the City Hall and simultaneously a press conference as well. It was led by the project manager for Spain, a member of Medina 21 – David Muriel Alonso. Also participating were: Anka Kolenc, Lovro Lah and Janja Srečkar.
Firstly, both the Mayor and Project Manager David Muriel Alonso welcomed the public and journalists that had gathered. They presented the Renaissance Week and the events that will take place during the festival. They also expressed their joy that the project Heart of Europe, HE-ART, would also take place at the same time, as well as the opening of the Heart Point in Medina del Campo. Anka Kolenc and Lovro Lah were invited to speak.
Anka Kolenc welcomed all that were present, and afterwards, despite her great love of her native language, she passed up further description of her organizations and project, saying that they don’t need a trilingual presentation, since many activities were planned for that day and so with the lack of time it would be too difficult. Thereafter the word was given to Lovro Lah in English.
Lovro listed the participating countries, and then mentioned all the Slovenian organizations that participated in the project. He also described their characteristics, because they were known only by the partners of the Heart of Europe, HE-ART, but not the public of Medina del Campo. He described the content and goals of the project Heart of Europe, HE-ART, networking of Heart Points, which take their example and the noble energy for connection and love in the heart of Slovenia. In Slovenia, the project is also supported by the Municipality of Litija and the leading Slovenian organization, the Association Theatre Kolenc, which takes care for promoting the awareness of love and compassion and the supporting of diversity while preserving one’s own identity as the only possible way for creating a common European cultural heritage, which is also the foundation for any cultural tourism.
Before the screening of the film “Here Comes Jemima” open to the public, Janja Srečkar presented Anka Kolenc’s initiative for the production of the film, which was created in the production of the association Theatre Kolenc. She underlined the positive pedagogical attitude, which is the starting point for the film approach to some of the issues that we are currently looking at in the European Community, where we seek especially rational answers and solutions. The film aims to encourage us to incorporate both heart and reason into solving these problems.
After an excellent Spanish lunch at the Lisboa restaurant, a workshop was held in the Town Hall – preparing for the “In vino veritas” festival, which was supposed to be the next day. The workshop was lightly led by Fran Nuñez.
Followed by fun relaxation exercises after which we were divided into two performing groups that prepared two different few-minutes-long programs. The first group was led by Lovro Lah, the other group by Anka Kolenc and Janja Srečkar. The group, led by Lovro, was to be a street theatre, while the group with Anka and Janja was meant to perform in a wine cellar. Each group had 8 members and in each group there were members of 4 different nationalities. We started working in accordance with the basic instructions.
Lovro’s group thought about new theatrical approaches to the presentation of the heritage, which we adopted to know at the morning conference under the leadership of Fran. Their ideas led them to the performance about obtaining wine, from the beginning stages to the “in vino veritas” part.
Anka and Janja’s group found the project’s connection with wine with Zdravljica, the Slovenian anthem, a toast, on which the main goals of the project Heart of Europe, HE-ART, are based. We translated the Slovenian anthem into English, Spanish, Greek, and Italian and equipped it with the national choreographies of the participating nations.
We visited the centre of Medina del Campo, then the City Museum. The director of this institution welcomed us in, presenting the Renaissance life in Medina del Campo, with numerous exhibits that are internationally important. Mr. Juan Jose Galindo, whom we knew as a friendly gentleman from the Spanish partners collective, suddenly turned into unrecognizable serious marquis from medieval Medina, which ultimately remarkable contributed to our experience of Medina del Campo.
After the Spanish dinner, the program continued with the parade in the Renaissance week festival, that came to a halt in front of the town hall, enchanted by the “Mapping me” festival, until the late hours of the night. In the main square in front of the city hall huge colorful projections unforgettably glowed, and narrated its renaissance castle stories in its most diverse forms. It was unforgettable.
WEDNESDAY 15/08/2013, DAY 2 (ISABEL LA CATÓLICA INTEGRATION CULTURAL CENTER)
We also had a nearly by-the-minute plan for the second day, but we took the time for the Magic, led by Lovro Lah. The energy effects were immediately present.
For the event in Spain, the lead Partner organized a connections-building task: each partner was to think up, prepare, and present the positive historical links of their town, city, nation or country with the host country, such as songs, historical, friendship, literary, artistic, or any other content that links them to our current host country, Spain. The leading partner, the Association Theatre Kolenc, – under the direction of Janja Srečkar – presented their work first. For example, one such link for the Slovenians is the Spanish civil war in which the Slovenian volunteers joined the republican forces. Out of 536 volunteers, over the course of this war, more than 200 remained in Spain forever. Those who returned – people in Slovenia named them the Spanish Fighters (in Ljubljana, we also have a concert and event hall with that name), brought with them a heartbeat of Spanish culture and heritage, which was than transplanted onto the Slovenian ground. One of such wonderful songs, with a Spanish melody and a Slovenian text, is the song “Na oknu glej obrazek bled” ( eng.: See the pale face up on the window). It is a melody from a folk song from Spanish Asturias, adapted during the Spanish civil war into a sung story about a girl who goes to the barracks where the communists have been imprisoned. The original Spanish title is “Dime, Donde Vas, Morena”. The beautiful melody inspired the Slovenian partisan, Mitja Ribičič, to write a text that accompanied the melody that was adopted into folklore. Janja presented the Slovenian and Spanish version.
Certainly there are many and similar links between each of our partner countries – with each other and also with the current host country. France Prešeren wrote a wonderful Spanish romance titled “Turjaška Rozamunda” (eng.: Rozamunda of Turjak), which is in form and content of Spanish origin.
The presentation of the Slovenian partner was followed by the presentation of Italy. Much like members of other nations, Italians also go to seek their fortune in other lands. Many come to Spain. The most famous representative of the Italian “brain drain” from Italy is Christopher Columbus. He was born in Genoa, where he got no recognition or support. His ideas were supported in Spain, where he is known as a great conqueror.
The French partners found quite a few links with Spain; First of the civil war in Spain (1936), as like the Slovenians. At that time, many Spanish people fled to western France. They situated themselves in smaller towns and were well received. In their new surroundings, they added to the culture of the place, together with the locals they organize a wide variety of events, mostly in music; they care about each other and get along well.
Many Spanish artists were first famous in France. Valentine Cohen’s forefather was a Spanish man who fled to Tunisia due to the inquisition. That is why Valentine was especially interested to visit Medina del Campo, where there are many monuments dedicated to the events of the inquisition. The surrealism that connects poetics with politics and shines in the Mata-Malam theatre connects the French nation to the Spanish. The Mayor of Paris comes from a Spanish town near Medina del Campo. Picasso lived and worked in France for a long time. There are many of his works on exhibition there.
Bulgarian partners are connected to Spain with sport. Hristo Stoichkov, the Bulgarian football giant, who played in the 1994 and 1998 world championships, he also played for the Spanish football club Barcelona.
Greece has, in a sense, a similar history to Spain. The Greeks also had a dictator they fought. During their war, the Spanish fled to France and the Greeks to Germany. As a mediterranean country, like Spain, they cultivate much love for olives. The Last tango in Athens connects the Greeks with a Spanish performer.
Albania was, as many other countries, also involved in the Second World War. Like Spain, Albania was also a kingdom after the Second World War. In the period of socialism, cultural isolation existed in Albania. One of the first foreign works that the then authorities allowed for public consumption was the work of the Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra; Don Quixote, from the 16th century. The novel was translated by the then president of Albania. The link between Albania and Spain is also in some word similarities.
The Swedish partner group found connections in the Spanish Civil War, where several Swedish soldiers joined the side of the rebels against the dictatorship. One of them was a writer who wrote several works that are thematically related to these happenings.
Spanish language is the second most popular language that people learn as a foreign language. When Spain re-opened its borders to the world in the 60’, it suddenly had many visitors. Among them there were also many Swedes. Because of the physical differences, a lot of romantic interests were awakened, especially among the Swedish women and Spanish men, and they have remained up to this day.
In the time following, we reviewed a thematic film Valentine Cohen prepared for the project Heart of Europe, HE-ART, titled “Naked Hearts”. The film talks about compassion and presence. “Here I am, for you. I see your pain, your happiness, your exceptionality, uniqueness … “.
The festival “In Vino Veritas” took place in two locations, on the street in front of a wine cellar and in a wine cellar, with two repetitions.
There were about 100 members in the audience at each repetition. We combined our international powers to great effect and presented our shining national diversity as the only true and connecting European identity with acceptance and friendship.
After lunch, we continued with the meeting and activities for the implementation of the project Heart of Europe, HE-ART, in front of the castle of La Motta.
Anka Kolenc, as an introduction, repeated the information about the establishment of a Heart Point that has been working in Slovenia for 37 years, that has already relayed several times. For the technical installation of the Heart Point we need:
A location where it is possible to work, exhibit, inform, have workshops (in Slovenia, this location is GEOSS) and which can be called the Heart Point of the project Heart of Europe – HE-ART, Medina del Campo, Spain.
A workplace (at first a few hours a week, then at least one post) – in the municipality, initially attach tasks for the functioning of a heart point to a similar workplace, where they deal with culture, tourism, heritage….
A hearty program, with content that will be suitable for the functioning of the Heart Point, all of what which were talking about all this time. From the very beginning, we must be aware that we are creating a national Heart Point.
We must base ourselves on our culture, natural and cultural heritage, and on all aspects of creativity and life that arise from them.
On this basis we should also research, educate ourselves and, through art and nature, build our own cultural tourism on – personal, – local and regional, – national and international level. We are talking about our material and immaterial (spiritual wealth) inherited from our ancestors, and we create it ourselves. In accordance with the project Heart of Europe, He-art, we will build our common European identity, which can only be derived from the connection to and respect of all of our diversities.
The members felt that all systematic solutions presented to them were a mere lecture, where they did not sense the actual truth of the project. They could only feel it when discussing and personally confirming the facts.
We found that we did not spend enough time on activities meant to implement the project and the current problems in understanding the establishment and functioning of the Heart Points. So we decided that only a few members of partner organizations would partake of the visit to La Motta castle. The rest of us had an exhaustive meeting, and a workshop on the implementation of the project.
All members of all partner organizations gave their opinions, doubts, questions, and suggestions. Each of the participants described their understanding of the Heart Point. In the end ANKA KOLENC expressed her satisfaction and happiness, because when she listened to everyone, she realized that despite the diversity of descriptions – we all know and feel well what a Heart Point is. It is a common point, which is also the point of our heart. Something we need to do from the heart. The key problem is awareness. Awareness of what we are. Awareness of the causes, why are we what we are. The basis of this is our heritage. Everything that we have gotten from it, the process of our growth, we must be grateful for, and accept it. Accepting yourself is the first and foremost thing.
When we can accept ourselves, we can accept, and pass our heart beat to others, for them to receive, understand, and admire us. And this is the main point of Heart Points and of our project. It is our duty to spread this, based our self-awareness and love, in our immediate environment, in our country, and internationally. And it is our duty to strive to be more and more interconnected, since this is our project, where nobody can advise us better than we ourselves can – among each other, because we know the project the most as we see it grow.
At the conclusion, Valentine Cohen expressed her conviction that conversation is of particular importance for such an ideal oriented subject as our project. Clear translations are also important, as the translation by Janja Srečkar, who translated the explanation of Anka Kolenc with clarity, understanding, and additional value.
In this way we managed to clarify the uncertainties, and agreed to spend more time on socializing and implementing the project at future meetings. Since the partners have so far only received the project documentation related to their organization, we agreed that the lead partner will provide the entirety of the documentation for the project after they arrive back home.
After dinner, where we carried on the friendly conversations about hearty activities for the implementation of the project, we arrived at the final event of the “Mapping me” festival. In the late hours of the night, with the interweaving of glittering light effects, film presentations of architectural landmarks of the past and present, and various events, the colourful and shining heritage of Medina del Campo revealed itself to us. The square in front of the city hall was full of visitors, who watched the videos with fascinated comments, and hundreds of them were dressed in historical Spanish outfits. Some also danced, and our hearty groups beat in time with the pulse of the atmosphere, and internalized this Spanish magic as a mutual unforgettable memory.
DAY 3 (INTEGRATED CULTURAL CENTRE ISABEL LA CATÓLICA)
In the morning we performed the necessary connective activity, the magic, with which the positive effects of the project implementation experiences of the previous days were magically revived. We have felt a powerful interconnection and a desire for cooperation that goes beyond all national, state, and social constraints.
In the time following, Ilina Jakova presented the program framework of the of the 4th meeting, which would be held in Sandanski, wishing to be aligned with the plan of the project to the greatest extent possible. We also discussed the various experiences and problems both of travel and with the implementation of the project in the partners own locales. Quite some time was devoted to give our impressions of the Valentine Cohen’s film Naked Hearts, that she filmed for our hearty project. We evaluated it for such a subtle hearty and compassionate messenger, that we would present it to the public at next meetings of the project as well.
Before we parted ways, however, Anka Kolenc offered further thoughts on final designs of the final design of the logo. She suggested that, given that the design of the logo in the project was not time-limited, we would discuss the logo together again. As we have stated before, in the process of graphic design, we found that the logo should be symbolically well-rounded, so the inscription labeling the project title was put in the lower part, and the upper semicircle consists of the 12 European stars.
In the second version, Anka made an symbolically significant suggestion that in the lower part of the palm, the overview outline of GEOSS, which symbolically combines all the values that are promoted with the project – affiliation, mutual friendship, loving acceptance of diversity, regardless of nationality, colour, religious, political or any other affiliation, love… – should be placed. The inclusion of the ground plan of GEOSS is extremely important first because of the values it symbolically exemplifies, and especially because it symbolically represents a continuous positive activity in the logo, the decision for the loving connection that, in the face of all the challenges of today’s time, should be taken again and again. This is in fact the foundation of our joint sustainable project. Our joint, sustainable and sustainable project work will consistently seek and express connectivity and acceptance of diversity through its culture and cultural heritage. Concerning the layout of GEOSS logo, which should have been present in the project logo, we would jointly decide on the position to place it.
The partners confirmed the proposal on the inclusion of the outline of the overhead view of GEOSS in the logotype of the project Heart of Europe, He-art, but we also agreed that in the logo instead of the cupped palms there should be one open palm. The initiative has been taken to draw up several proposals in connection with these basic starting points, which would be rated by voting by e-mail.
Being aware of the duty and the many activities that await us for the preparations for the next event in Bulgaria, the partners expressed hearty gratitude to their hosts and parted ways with an industrious mindset.