Young Contributions to the European Year of Remembrance 2018

The Editors’ Team of 2018 (left to right): Phillip Landgrebe, Taras Oleksyn, Jonas Ravn, Gregor Christiansmeyer, Adelina Fendrina, Maria Krylova, Milena Tatalovic, Camilla Crovella | Photo: Körber-Stiftung
The Editors’ Team of 2018 (left to right): Phillip Landgrebe, Taras Oleksyn, Jonas Ravn, Gregor Christiansmeyer, Adelina Fendrina, Maria Krylova, Milena Tatalovic, Camilla Crovella | Photo: Körber-Stiftung

The end of World War I, women’s right to vote, the Prague Spring – these are only three of the many anniversaries in this European year of remembrance 2018 which will be featured on the History Campus Blog. Eight young people from all over Europe forming the History Campus Editors’ Team will approach these historical and also current events from their own fresh perspective.

"History exists very much in parallel to the present and not, as some would have you believe, in some distant corner of our existence", Maria Krylova (22) states during her visit in Hamburg for this year’s Editors’ Workshop, "It is particularly traceable in the construction of my identity." Born in Russia and growing up in Russia, Hungary and Sweden, where she went to a German school, Maria is truly multi-national. Her diverse background is a direct result from her grandmother’s tumultuous life during and after World War II and her parents’ life during the times of the Soviet Union: "Their personal stories are so tightly woven into the fabric of history that it is impossible to tell one without the other."

For the 2018 Editors’ Workshop, the eight young Editors from all over Europe met at the end of February in Hamburg and received training by journalist Clemens Schöll in text editing, conducting interviews and producing high-quality blog posts. Together they build on the work of last year and discussed which topics and formats they want to further develop in the upcoming year.

In the coming year 2018, which is marked by so many historical commemorations, the editors set the agenda of the History Campus blog to include the 100th anniversary the end of World War I and what young Europeans make of these memories and challenges. They will also reflect on 100 years of women’s suffrage, remember the Prague Spring of 1968 and the end of Czechoslovakia 25 years ago in 1993. In doing so, the authors do not shy away from discussing controversial topics and commenting on current conflicts, on the contrary, they sometimes purposely go where it is uncomfortable: The increasing gaps within states and regions within Europe are analysed by looking at the situation of young Europeans living in Great Britain in times of Brexit. In addition, the ever-increasing intensity of the conflict in Eastern Ukraine and its effects on the young generation from this region will be documented. The authors of the History Campus will question the tension between the various national interests within Europe and develop ideas for Europe from the perspective of the young generation of internationally minded people.

Thus, the History Campus makes an important contribution to the breaking up of national echo chambers and overcoming a monoculture of thinking. The multi-facetted perspective of young Europeans is truly at the heart of the History Campus, which assembles young voices from 30 different countries, and focuses on representing the diversity on current issues that are related to history and identity in Europe. This variety is also reflected in its authors and editors, who are students at school and university studying in various fields as well as young professionals. This is what fascinates Maria, who studies history and spatial theory at Huddersfield University, UK, the most: "We code texts through the lens of our own inclinations and experiences. The History Campus allows young people to narrate history, and this adds another facet to the multidimensional subject which history already is. This is why it’s so important that the History Campus represent these different voices."

This multi-facetted and very personal approach to history found a home on the History Campus, the space for young debates on history and identity. After Maria participated in her first EUSTORY activity in 2014, at the European youth encounter »Europe 14/14« in Berlin, where she worked alongside 400 other young Europeans on a personal answer to the question what World War I means to her today, she now joined the History Campus as an editor. The editors’ group is a peer-to-peer programme run by the Körber Foundation for young Europeans who curate the History Campus blog and are at the heart of the agenda setting, recruitment of young authors and of the editing process.

Every generation of editors sets their own priorities along their specific interests, experiences and competences. In 2016, for example, the group argued in favour of a new and more balanced discussion about the controversial remembrance of the Srebrenica massacre in Serbia. Additionally, they also looked at the catastrophe of Chernobyl from various national perspectives and with the format »History to Go«, they focused on the stories happening on the streets you are passing by every day. Last year many »#Call Europe«-posts reflected crucial policy decision from the perspectives of young people who explained and commented on the alternatives which were available on the occasion of national elections in different European countries.

This year’s editors’ group consists of Maria Krylova (22, Sweden), Phillip Landgrebe (22, Germany), Jonas Ravn (19, Denmark) and Taras Oleksyn (26, Ukraine), who are joining Gregor Christiansmeyer (21, Germany), Camilla Crovella (24, Italy), Adelina Fendrina (20, Bulgaria) and Milena Tatalovic (31, Serbia), who have already been part of the editing team in the past years.

"We consider the History Campus and the Editors’ Programme an important activity to foster international understanding among young Europeans", says Katja Fausser, the head of the EUSTORY international office and the project director of the History Campus. "The real-life History Camps and the digital History Campus are laboratories of international understanding and innovative civic education."

Young people who are interested in publishing a post or want to get in touch with the editors can reach the editors group under The editors are constantly looking for young authors with fresh perspectives on questions related to history and identity in Europe. Every year in autumn new members can join the editors’ group: Watch the History Campus Blog for the new call in November 2018. The exact dates for the call and more information will also be announced in the EUSTORY-Newsletter, subscribe here.

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