From October to December 2019 LFTP project partners held local events with young people to launch our completed peace heritage map.
The events were planned and run in partnership with our local adult volunteers who had together researched and written nearly 50 map entries. These entries present a fascinating array of stories: from individual peace activists and anti-fascists to events such as anti-war demonstrations, to the activities of church, school and youth groups as well as other organisations such as Esperantist societies that worked to promote peace and international cooperation.
Our multiplier events were held at schools, youth and arts centres with volunteers sharing their stories as the stimulus to discussion and reflection about what we can ‘learn from the past’ about the importance of working for peace and internationalism. Partners organised a range of creative activities with the young people as a way to explore this learning including drama, textiles, creative writing, music and mural making. One event involved a simulation exercise where the young people were invited to imagine they were in a near-future world on the brink of war and come up with ways to prevent conflict from starting; another group explored the meaning of xenophobia and the relevance of the stories for thinking about attitudes towards refugees and asylum seekers in Europe today; one group was invited to walk in the shoes of people from the map stories, considering how they would feel then and now – including both fear and hope; another group were asked to identify who are today’s ‘activist heroes’.
Feedback from the young people was positive at all the events. Participants commented on the events being ‘inspiring’, ‘eye-opening’, and ‘surprising’. One young person said, ‘This is the most interesting history class I’ve ever attended.’ Another observed, ‘If [Girl] Guides was able to do it in the past we can do EVEN better now and build more bridges between countries even continents.’
Creative work with young people at our LFTP multiplier events