International Youth in France to Learn About Remembrance and European Identity

previewYFU France will organise (in partnership with EEE-YFU) the international youth exchange Not Too Young To Remember, which will be held in Paris and Reims from 17 to 23 April 2016.

More than ever, there is a need for young people to remember the past and be critical of multiple conflicting narratives about it, in order to be empowered as active European citizens.  Young people today grow up in a world of globalization, increasing individualism and post-modernism where there are decreasing common reference points.  As a consequence, there is a growing importance of the intangible values of heritage and memory on personal and collective identity formation.

Thanks to the Erasmus+ funding, Not Too Young To Remember will give the opportunity to a group of more than 40 young people (aged 15-18) and group leaders from all across Europe and beyond, to explore the issues of remembrance, heritage and identities.

YFU, a well-reputed leader of intercultural exchange programs, advances intercultural understanding, mutual respect, and social responsibility through educational exchanges for youth, families and communities. YFU France organises long-term exchanges with more than 50 YFU partners around the world.

Taking advantage of the expertise of the organisers, the exchange will combine field-visits, workshops, team-building activities, reflections in sub-groups, and other experiential learning methods.

Visits are one of the educational tools used in this project, in view of combining knowledge and experience. Participants will visit the Fort de Cormeilles-en-Parisis who played a role in both World Wars and represents a good example of war architecture.  Another visit will be done out at the Memorial of the Marne’s Battles in Dormans, close to Reims. Both visits will be carried out in collaboration with the Tourism Office of the Reims Department and with trained guides. Participants will visit also the some memorials in Paris, from the most well-known to those that can offer a different perspective on conflicts (like the Great Mosque, which was built in honour of 70 000 muslim people who died while fighting for France).

Young participants will move physically and through time from WWI and WWII monuments to a discussion on media and conflict in the 21st century, also thanks to the collaboration with the European Youth Press.

The exchange will increase participants’ knowledge and critical sense of underlying issues that connect past conflicts to today’s challenges, as well as their capacity to look at issues through different perspectives and to be more critical to narratives about use and abuses of history.

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