European Identities

Our continent is - as our school - multifaceted and this is what makes it so incomparably rich. Even if we join together as Europeans, we will still remain different. The aim of this four-year ESM project is to explore our local, regional, national, European, but also ideological, ethnic, social, female/male identity.

Even if after the end of the Cold War, a quarter of a century ago, Europe is no longer neither divided into East and West nor into North and South, the unity of this indivisible continent - as sometimes considered - faces new challenges, which may only inadequately be described as economic and financial crisis, Ukraine, refugee problem and terrorist threats and which also affect the coexistence in the European Union, that meanwhile consists of 28 members states with more than 500 million citizens. Against this backdrop, geographical and cultural focus is on all directions, easily skipping the present European horizon. A look at other continents or from there to Europe is also envisaged as part of this project.

This project was conceived without any predefined notion as to the results, however, it draws on the networks of the "Fall of the Wall" project (2009 - 2011) and will bring well-known speakers from "all over the world" to the ESM.

It consists of educational projects, readings, exhibitions, workshops, theatre and music performances, European Hours, roundtable and film screenings, roundtable and panel discussions, cross-border encounters, including those with well-known contemporary witnesses. The project started in the Secondary School, but encourages the entire school, especially the Primary School, to participate.

One of the guiding principles of the European School is multiculturalism as it is constantly and intensely being practiced and experienced in our school. This European cultural diversity is based not only on the various nations, languages and cultures, but finds its own expression within many families. Our students, who frequently come from such an environment, are inherently cross-cultural and bilingual or multilingual. For these children and teenagers, the situation of "being caught between two sides" by the difficulties of defining their identity may be a source of doubt and uncertainty, while, at the same time, this versatility can also be a great opportunity in a multipolar and globalised future.

Certainly, the particular family culture is crucial to the development of a young person's identity, but our school is a predestined institution to tap into this potential by focusing on an interdisciplinary theme such as "identity" and to constructively develop it further, not least to strengthen the specific profile of the ESM.