AFRICAN-EUROPEAN NARRATIVES is a project about the links of European citizens with African countries and cultures, rooted in their personal and family stories and the History of Africa and Europe. Participants are invited to share stories about African descent and colonial post-memory, about diaspora, homecoming and migration, and also about the everyday rich interplay of African and European cultures in today’s Europe. The aim is to raise awareness and foster appreciation of a diverse and multicultural present, especially among younger generations.
Telling stories deepens our memory and imagination and helps us making sense of who we are. It broadens our horizons by uncovering the cultural diversity of contemporary societies and multiplying the voices that can be heard. That is why stories are powerful artefacts in the fight against dominant narratives and ideology. They allow us to rediscover the complexity of History, to relate personal experience to collective memory and to open up a transindividual space of experience.
AFRICAN-EUROPEAN NARRATIVES is also a project of Digital Arts and Humanities. It fosters new forms of activism and cultural critique as well as creative use of media and the Internet. The goal is to gather a Digital Atlas of Stories told in words, images and sounds that will be shared on a collaborative web platform. Telling stories in an intermedia environment unlocks the diversity of cultural expressions allowing, at the same time, for their contamination. Sharing them across digital networks disregards national boundaries, connects communities, and reveals new cultural geographies.
The collaborative production of a digital atlas of stories is a challenge at once creative and analytical. On the one side, It invites each participant to find their voice as an author and to rediscover the love for the learning value of stories, contrary to the dominant role of doxa in other social uses of media and the internet. On the other side, it generates a significant amount of heteroclitic data, based on the interweaving of the real and the imaginary. However, the mapping of these stories may lead to the discovery of new connections between past and present, facts and affections, memory and imagination. Furthermore, It fosters new ways of representing and thinking about our collective experience while safeguarding the integrity and accessibility of every individual story.
AFRICAN-EUROPEAN NARRATIVES is an invitation to re-imagining Europe and contribute to its postcolonial cartography. Its goal is to transcend the circles of national narratives, dissolve their imaginary homogeneity and disrupt the politics of identity and otherness. It is an invitation to enter a shared space of enunciation, to navigate the complexity of the post-colonial condition and contribute to the emergence of the new configurations that must follow.
AFRICAN-EUROPEAN NARRATIVES is a project of the Europe for Citizens Programme that also joins the proclamation of the International Decade for People of African Descent (UN, 2014-2025).