The children of the founding fathers of Europe were awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in 2012. They were proud that Europe has managed to further peace, reconciliation, democracy and respect for human rights for the past sixty years. Today, their children stare fearfully towards the borders of that self-same Europe. They see war, hate, dictatorship and repression. That pride has now made way for fear.
Europe is the Promised Land for outcasts from the south and east. However, Europe is closing off its borders with barbed wire and hard-hitting slogans. The shining example for the whole world is in danger of becoming a fortified stronghold. And the drawbridge is slowly but surely being raised.
Europeans cling to their shaky certainties and are afraid to lose their prosperity. And for that, they even appear to be prepared to sacrifice a share of peace, reconciliation, democracy and human rights.
Has the belief in a European Union that can be an example for the whole world disappeared forever? Will the new generation carry the torch passed onto it by the older generation and will they continue to tread the shining path. Or will they take up arms to ensure that those less fortunate than them in the world are kept at a safe distance?
BOZAR’s idea behind the ‘Next Generation, Please!’ project is to get today’s youngsters to join them in writing a new European story. They are doing that in their own, new language that they are developing with artists, thinkers and politicians. Perhaps they will come up with fresh ideas and write a new chapter. Or maybe they will stay behind, unable to find the right words. Perhaps they’ll whisper… or shout themselves hoarse.