Νέα και Παράξενα-Σελίδες εναλλακτικής πληροφόρησης και ειδήσεων-alternative informations


Posted by satyrikon στο 20 Ιουλίου, 2007



ΕΦΗΜΕΡΙΔΑ Christian Science Monitor ΣΤΙΣ 14-03-2007



To avoid ‘us vs. them’ in Balkans, rewrite history

By Nicole Itano, Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor Wed Mar 14, 4:00 AM ET

ATHENS – The year was 1453. Ottoman troops under Sultan Mehmed II captured the Byzantine city of Constantinople – present-day Istanbul – and changed the region forever.

Ask a Greek student of history, and you’ll likely hear of the event as the tragic fall of a great Christian city. Ask a Turk, and you’ll probably hear of the glorious conquest for a rising Muslim empire.

In this still-fragile region, history is often served up as a nationalistic tale that highlights the wrongs perpetrated by others. Now a group of historians from across the region is trying to change the way the past is taught in southeast Europe – from Croatia to Turkey – in an effort to encourage reconciliation rather than division.

«History plays an important role in shaping national identity,» said Christina Koulouri, the editor of a series of new history textbooks and a professor of history at the University of the Peloponnese in Greece. «We want to change history teaching because we are concerned about the joint future of the Balkans and we think mutual understanding can be promoted through better history teaching.»

More than 60 scholars and teachers from around the Balkans have joined to create a new series of history books that tackle some of the most controversial periods in the region. The books, which are being translated into 10 regional languages, present history from various perspectives and excerpt historical documents to challenge interpretations of key events like the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople.

Most students, Ms. Koulouri says, know little about their neighbors, despite the region’s intertwined past and the relative youth of most of the countries that exist today. Schools typically use government-issued texts in which wars – and there have been many in the region over the centuries – are portrayed in «us versus them» terms with ancient wrongs visited again and again.

The Joint History Project, run by the Greek-based Center for Democracy and Reconciliation in Southeast Europe (CDRSEE), has translated the books into Greek, Serbian, and Albanian, and has begun training teachers how to use them.

Dubravka Stojanovic, a professor of history at the University of Belgrade, has witnessed first hand how history is used for political means. Under  Slobodan Milosevic, the country’s textbooks were changed in 1993, during the Bosnian war.

«The aim of that change was to show that the peoples in ex-Yugoslavia lived in constant conflict since the 12th century or so,» she says. «The intention was to show that the war was something normal; that it was the normal state of things for Serbians and Croats to hate each other.»

Now, says Dr. Stojanovic, who is editor of the Serbian editions of the series and who helped organize some of the first teacher-training efforts in Serbia, the texts are being changed again, this time to vilify communists.

Government support withdrawn
The Serbian government originally supported the CDRSEE’s books, and the minister of education appeared at their national launch. But after critics accused the books – and their editor – of being anti-Serbian, the government withdrew its support.

Stojanovic and others are now waiting to see what will happen when a new government is formed, a process that has stalled as political parties negotiate new coalitions in the wake of recent elections.

For organizers, though, the project is not just a matter of putting better books into teachers’ hands. It requires them to begin teaching in an entirely new way.

Across much of the region, history is taught largely as a series of facts that students are expected to memorize and regurgitate. The joint history project wants students to analyze the past for themselves. With its focus on cultural and social history, it tries to humanize groups who may have often been thought of as enemies.

«We also like to include children and women in history, not just soldiers and politicians and big men,» explains Koulouri. «We try to show that these experiences are not exclusive to one nation.»

Not everyone is ready to listen to that perspective. In Greece, a debate is raging over a new history textbook for 12-year-olds, which some groups accuse of softening the atrocities of the Ottoman Empire. The powerful Greek Orthodox Church and nationalist groups want the book removed and say that the CDRSEE’s books – which have been approved but are not the official curriculum – are guilty of the same sins.

Waning interest in region hurts funding
One of the project’s biggest barriers is finding funding to complete translation into the region’s remaining languages and providing enough training. Nenad Sebek, CDRSEE’s director, estimates that it needs an additional $1 million in funding. But, she says, donors are losing interest in the region, even though many of its conflicts still simmer: Cyprus remains divided; Kosovo’s final status is still uncertain; and tensions occasionally flare between Greece and Turkey, who are both members of NATO but share a land-mined border.

«The international interest, specifically the American interest, has shifted elsewhere,» he says. «It’s too early for the donors to pull out…. All you need to do is look at Kosovo, or even Bosnia.»


  1. Swell said

    It takes one to know one…

  2. Ange-ta said

    Να γελάμε ή να κλέμε;;
    Εγώ έχω επιλλέξει το δεύτερο.
    Ο Κάστρο σε ένα λόγο του φώναζε στο πλήθος.
    – Θα περάσει ο Μπατίστα στην ιστορία;
    – Όχι, φώναζε το πλήθος
    – Θα περάσουν οι συνεργάτες του στη ιστορία;
    – Οοοοοοοοχι
    – Και όμως θα περάσουν στα σκουπίδια της ιστορίας!

    Γραφει η κ. Κουλούρη: Θέλουμε να συμπεριλάβουμε γυναίκες και παιδιά στην ιστορία, όχι μόνο πολιτικούς ή μεγάλους άνδρες. Και σας ρωτώ: έχετε ακούσει πιο φαλοκρατική, πιο αντιφεμινιστική, πιο σεξιστική άποψη από αυτήν;;;;;
    Δηλαδή στην ιστορία που δεν είχε γράψει η κ. Κουλούρη, οι γυναίκες και τα παιδιά είχαν πάει για τσίτσα;

    Ευτυχώς, και αναρωτιόμουνα και γω, όπως η Μάρλεν Ντίτριχ,
    sag mir wo die Mäschen sind
    wo sind sie geblieben (πες μου που είναι τα κορίτσια, που έχουν ξεχαστεί):

    μουσική μαέστρο

    Sag mir, wo die Blumen sind,
    Wo sind sie geblieben?
    Sag mir, wo die Blumen sind,
    Was ist gescheh’n?
    Sag mir, wo die Blumen sind,
    Mädchen pflückten sie geschwind.
    Wann wird man je versteh’n,
    Wann wird man je versteh’n? Sag mir, wo die Mädchen sind
    Männer nahmen sie geschwind.
    Sag mir, wo die Männer sind
    Zogen fort, der Krieg beginnt.
    Sag, wo die Soldaten sind
    Über Gräbern weht der Wind.
    Sag mir, wo die Gräber sind
    Blumen weh’n im Sommerwind.

  3. SHMITHS said

    Μα τι ψάχνεστε και χάνετε το χρόνο σας. Δεν υπάρχει συνέπεια ιδεών και πράξεων στα όσα ξεφουρνίζονται απο το σημιτολιακοκουλουρορεπουσέικο. Ξεκάθαρα αγώνας για την προστασία των φράγκων που έβγαλαν, γίνεται, κάνει το προαναφερόμενο ισνάφι… (από το 75% Κ.Π.Σ. +25% ΕΘΝΙΚΟΙ ΠΟΡΟΙ).

    Γιατί αν αφαιρεθεί το βιβλίο από τη διδασκαλία (που για αυτό πληρώθηκε), το επόμενο βήμα απο μια οποιαδήποτε προσφυγή, οποιουδήποτε ΕΥΡΩΠΑΙΟΥ πολίτη , είτε μένει στη Φινλανδία, είτε στην Ουαλία, είτε στην Κύπρο …. είναι η επιστροφή τω χρημάτων + το πρόστιμο από την Ευρωπαϊκή Επιτροπή.

    Επομένως, αυτό που πρέπει να συζητούν – να κατευθυνθεί η συζήτηση- είναι τα νομικά ζητήματα της επιστροφής των χρημάτων, να περισώσουν ότι μπορούν.

    Κατά τα άλλα, τους πιάσανε… κι όπως ο σημίοτης στο γραφείο του με τις νυχτερίδες & αράχνες, έτσι κι όλο το συναπάντημά του (έχουν φτιάξει και σιτε πολιτικού προβληματισμού και διαλόγου… αμφιβάλω αν έχουν – αν τολμούν να βάλουν μετρητή επισκεπτών 🙂

    Στα σκουπίδια! Στη χωματερή της ιστορίας!


Εισάγετε τα παρακάτω στοιχεία ή επιλέξτε ένα εικονίδιο για να συνδεθείτε:

Λογότυπο WordPress.com

Σχολιάζετε χρησιμοποιώντας τον λογαριασμό WordPress.com. Αποσύνδεση /  Αλλαγή )

Φωτογραφία Twitter

Σχολιάζετε χρησιμοποιώντας τον λογαριασμό Twitter. Αποσύνδεση /  Αλλαγή )

Φωτογραφία Facebook

Σχολιάζετε χρησιμοποιώντας τον λογαριασμό Facebook. Αποσύνδεση /  Αλλαγή )

Σύνδεση με %s

Αρέσει σε %d bloggers: