Accepted paper:

Bridges to the European Utopia

Authors:

Jurij Fikfak (ZRC SAZU)

Paper short abstract:

The paper is focused on small NGOs that are creating a different understanding of the common, problematic past. These NGOs are building bridges between cultures and can greatly contribute to a understanding of Europe and European identity, based on cultural diversity and general humanist ethics.

Paper long abstract:

Among the most significant positive features of Europe today are its numerous and diverse cultures, as well as the impulse to integrate all of Europe, including its former communist East, into a large single economic market with established democratic rules and respect for human rights. On the other hand, extremely violent armed conflicts and genocides have taken place in Europe, especially during the WWI and WWII. However, in many places the memories of the past are still too vivid. An unprocessed past can be the subject of subcultural, public, and even official discourse and debate, while internalizations of various memories can bring mutual understanding in Europe into question. The intention of this paper is not to investigate these negative discourses, but to focus on numerous small NGOs that are creating a different understanding of the common past and a different acceptance and understanding of migrants. These groups and agencies are building bridges between cultures, and also make up essential resources that can greatly contribute to a different understanding of Europe and European identity, they contribute we can say even to a European utopia, based on cultural diversity and general humanist ethics.

panel P008
Realism, imaginary, and ambivalences of utopia