Since the Communist era, as pointed out in the short film from Bucharest, Romanian society has had a hard time practising tolerance. A number of non-governmental initiatives agitate there – with substantial popular backing – against non-traditional family structures, the LGBTQ community, and abortion and adoption rights. For the Freiraum project the Goethe-Institut intends to work with political science students to find ways to boost social empathy – and to show how tasty and wholesome a mixed fruit salad can be.
Bucharest wants to know how to promote tolerance in such a way as to render diversity a positive experience. To set an example, the Jugend debattiert Alumni Club in Lithuania, partner to the Goethe-Institut Vilnius, travelled to the Romanian city of Timişoara for the Plai Festival in mid-September 2018. Under the motto “Humans for Tolerance”, the club invited festivalgoers into their tent to take part in arts and crafts activities as well as discussions about tolerance. These casual debate formats encouraged people of all ages to join #TeamTolerance, to listen to diverse views and express their own, to recognize the inherent value of tolerance and to learn how to defend it.
These Freiraum partners are political science students form the University of Bucharest
, led by Assistant Professor Oana-Valentina Suciu. Suciu graduated from the universities of Bucharest, Oxford, New York and Budapest, and has worked as a researcher and activist for various NGOs and institutes. Her research focuses on electoral behavior, cultural diplomacy and the history of ethnic minorities in Eastern Europe and their representation.
Film: Children of Freedom
Directed by: Ruxandra Țuchel
Camera and editing: Silviu Andrei
Sound Editing: Valentin Bartolomeu
Production assistent: Mariana Ioniță
BelgradBarcelona & Madrid Is happiness possible regardless of or despite existing social conditions?
OsloMilan Who are you and how can we shape the present together?
ParisLjubljana If we had the Freiraum – the time and the space – to do exactly what we want to do together, what would we do?
RigaLyon How can we build a society that perceives diversity not as a threat, but as an enrichment?
HelsinkiSofia How many rules are necessary at the very least to live together?
SofiaHelsinki How can our society get back in touch with itself and overcome its internal rifts?
TiranaBudapest Is freedom a burden or an opportunity?
Milan OsloIs identity coexistence or conflict?
LyonRiga How can we pass on freedom?
Barcelona & MadridBelgrade Do the Roma embody the spirit of a Europe without borders?
AmsterdamNaples How do we construct our individual and collective identity around the concept of freedom? We can we use freedom as a tool that includes without excluding and challenges our habitual ways of thinking?