During the past 3 years, Backslash has been actively involved in the implementation of a project “European Living Library for Young Citizens”. The project was supported by Europe for Citizens Programme of the European Union and executed by an international consortium led by an International network CONNECT International (Belgium), and comprised of NGO Libero (Serbia), NGO Backslash (Spain), NGO TiPovej (Slovenia), NGO Interkultura (N. Macedonia), National Association of Youth Offices (Serbia), NGO Out of the Box (Belgium), Alumni Mandoulides (Greece), Municipality Quart de Poblet (Spain), Municipality Butel (N. Macedonia), City of Bijeljina (Bosnia-Herzegovina), and Public institute Young Dragons (Slovenia).
The main goal of the project was to bring European living libraries to various cities around Europe and involve citizens from all socio-economic groups in lively discussions on the future of Europe and the values that define it, thus contributing to the dismantling of barriers, prejudice, and stereotypes between them. The European living library represents a non-formal educational methodology in which readers interact with books that are actually people with unique identities and life stories ready to be shared with everyone who shows a willingness to listen. The living books that were involved in the project are representatives of four thematic units of people that are often facing discrimination or whose voice is not heard enough – migrants, the elderly, young people, and women.
The “European Living Library for Young Citizens” has visited six cities around Europe, including Thessaloniki, Bijeljina, Skopje, Valencia, Ljubljana, and Belgrade. The citizens of these cities, being of all ages, genders, and backgrounds were eager to “rent” our books and have fruitful discussions with them. These activities also enabled the representatives of municipalities and civil society organizations involved in the project to link up and arrange future cooperation on transnational actions and projects.
The main product of the project is a series of educational films where the living books share their opinions, views, and values. These films will be distributed to schools, youth centers, public institutions, and online so everyone will be able to learn from the stories of our living books. The full-length version of the film can be accessed by following this link.
You can learn more about the events organized within the project by accessing this PDF.