International Conference “Europe Connected” was held in Bosilegrad, from 24th to 28th of August 2021, under the auspices of the European Commission, within the frame of the “Europe for Citizens” program, led by the Executive Agency for Educational, Audio-Visual, and Cultural Policies EACEA.
During the five-day conference, young beneficiaries, 15 – 20 years old, had the opportunity to enjoy diverse activities prepared by MOTO, as a leading organization, and partner organizations: Serbian Cultural Centre “Danilo Kiš” and Andragogy Institute of Human University Velenje from Slovenia, as well as the Foundation for Entrepreneurship, Culture and Education and “Bratstvo 1869” Culture Centre, from Bulgaria.
The main goal of the project was to motivate young people to connect, learn, develop tolerance and fight prejudice through workshops, debates, lectures, and educational theatre performances. Partner organizations prepared peer-to-peer education, performances, lectures, and workshops on some of the basic values of the European Union: freedom, democracy, human rights and fundamental freedoms, integration of vulnerable groups, but also about the stigmatization of migrants, discrimination, and prejudices, as well as Euroscepticism vs. Eurointegration.
In addition to various project activities, the real curiosity was the performance of the first Serbian opera “Na uranku” written by Stanislav Binički, based on a libretto by Branislav Nušić, performed by a young emerging opera artist. This was the first time that an opera was performed in Bosilegrad. Concert “Music made with Magic” was part of the program for the youngest. The Added-value of this project was to give equal opportunities to the undeveloped and rural communities, by organizing cultural and educational events.
The closing event in the “Europe Connected” project was a concert “Impressions from Bulgaria” performed by the Folklore Art Ensemble from Kyustendil. Mural painting across the Cultural Centre, painted by the project’s participants, remains as a souvenir and reminder of the importance of equality, tolerance, and understanding.