Photo: The War or Peace festival in Berlin dedicated to the centenary of the end of the First World War

From 17th to 21st October in Berlin took place War or Peace festival dedicated to the centenary of the end of the First World War.

In the festival participated over 300 young international participants from all over the world. Selected participants take part in a three-day workshops to investigate how notions, expectations and reality of War and Peace differed throughout space and time and how memory and mutual understanding have strong effects on current political and civic activity.

By combining different identities, diverse perspectives, as well as ideas of memory and utopia, the participants spoke about their views on the past, present and future in unexpected and creative ways.

1918 is essentially linked to the end of the First World War, the “Great War” that had upended Europe and the world. While some were mourning losses and defeat, 1918 marked the rise of new nations and identities for others. Hopes and visions for a brighter and peaceful future collided with continuing violence in various shapes and forms. Entirely different notions of coexistence, peace and democracy were deliberated both peacefully and with violent or suppressive means. Ambiguities like these are symptomatic not only for the time after the First World War, but for many crossroads of global history.

This in mind, the festival “War or Peace?” aims to capture the variety of different – sometimes competing – narratives and to explore their consequences for today’s reality.

War or Peace festival is organised by the Federal Agency for Civic Education (bpb) and the Maxim Gorki Theatre Berlin in cooperation with the German Federal Cultural Foundation, supported by the Federal Foreign Office.

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