Almost three weeks after the festival, we still feel overwhelmed. It was a pleasure to have you join us in Berlin for “WAR OR PEACE. Crossroads of History 1918 | 2018”. Kicked off by the opening ceremony in the Maxim Gorki Theatre on Wednesday night, we all witnessed four days full of intense discourse and lively debates, of traditional narratives and new perspectives, of deconstructing and reconstructing historical developments. In the evenings, many of you made use of the opportunity to see plays by the Maxim Gorki Theatre. On Friday, you made the most of a wide range of side activities: Exhibitions, guided tours, theatre workshops, talks, board game sessions, virtual reality experiences and the possibility to speak to people on the other side of the world… and the warm Berlin autumn sun!
The centrepiece of the festival, of course, were the workshops: Over the course of three days, you got to know each other and covered topics ranging from propaganda in visual arts to peace negotiations and the history and nature of borders between states. Most importantly, despite the tight schedule, you all managed to actually create something. The outcomes of your work we were able to admire in the final exhibition. Posters, sculptures, theatre performances, interactive mindmaps, impressive exhibits made from use-and-throw things…You definitely gave your fancy full scope. It was fantastic to see how much you all had bonded during the festival at the party after the festive closing ceremony.
Currently we are working hard on a way to visualise summaries of the workshops and their manifold results as well as impressions of the festival in film and picture on the website. Please allow some time for that to happen and check out the website regularly. Maybe you will even be able to use some of the materials during future projects.
Even though the festival is in the books now, we have high hopes that its spirit will live on: We encourage you to spread the word in your home countries (or villages, as we learned during the closing ceremony). We would love to see you keep trying to get to know new perspectives, challenge common narratives and make your contribution to a peaceful future. And maybe – we will meet again at the next event by the Federal Agency for Civic Education.
PS: As a first step, please remember to fill out our survey to help us make the next event even better!