Looking back 100 years to understand the present we face and build the future we yearn
Although memory is personal, remembrance is a constructive experience. And the process can be biased, as the same events are analyzed with different approaches. The narrative we get from the WWI is a remembrance focused on war and soldiers. We have hardly heard about those who stood against the war, against any fight of any kind. They fought for us too without any violence. In SCI we think that the remembrance is missing a past we want to bring out, more focused on human stories, founded not only on the artefact but also on the logic and connection with today; seeking the positive aspect of the story in a more horizontal approach.
What’s beyond the rhetoric? What’s beyond the poems and the poppies? Is there courage and honor or mass-destruction and violence? There is an important lesson not to be forgotten and big mistakes not to be repeated. And there is also the seed of the pacifism movement and the origin of SCI.
This is the reasoning behind SCI’s new international project, Memory beyond Rhetoric. A project focused on WWI and the growth of the pacifist movement in Europe. With it, SCI aims to promote a mature idea of peace, anti-militarism and non-violence. SCI’s remembrance project critically analyses the image of soldiers-heroes and wants to contribute to a real understanding of the history and diversity of the European Union, which was created as a peace guarantee.
SCI’s remembrance project includes the organization of seminars and activities in some of the most meaningful scenarios of the First World War, such as the international seminar in Verdun, France, where the “Battle of Verdun” was fought in 1916 and where Pierre Cérésole organized the first SCI workcamp.
The first meeting of the project took place in Bulgaria, with the support of the No More War Team and the International Archives of SCI. During four days, the coordinating team of the project shared expectations and experiences, discussed the future project plan and set up the first steps to follow.
The next activity will take place in May 2015 in Northern Italy. It will consist of a “Trainer for Multipliers”, that will have 25 peace and remembrance messengers as participants. You can see the complete agenda here.
Different Study camps will take place during the summer in Germany, Belgium and Austria. And after the International Seminar in Verdun, the project will end with the “Memory beyond Rhetoric” final visibility event in Barcelona on February 2016.
We are very pleased to work on this important part of our history, which is too often forgotten. SCI is putting all its enthusiasm and ability to achieve great results from “Memory beyond Rhetoric, WWI and the growth of pacifist movement in Europe” a remembrance project with a different focus on peace.