“Lost in Transition?” is a multinational project of historical-political education with a focus on the collapse of the Soviet Union and the years of transition that followed. The focus is on multi-perspective work with contemporary witnesses from Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Poland and Ukraine. We want to make marginalized experiences visible in the context of history – beyond popular narratives and well-known historical data. We focus on countries, people and stories that were on the periphery of world history and are still directly affected by its events today.
On this website you will find a contemporary witness database with interviews, information on the historical context and teaching materials for educators – both on the historical epoch and on working with contemporary witnesses in general.
The project “Lost in Transition?” ties in with the work of the project network “Transition Dialogue”, with which Austausch e.V. and its partners have already been providing key momentum for a local reappraisal of the transition years in several countries in Eastern Europe since 2015.
Within the framework of “Lost in Transition?”, Austausch e.V., together with its partners intend to:
The following materials provide context to our collection of eyewitness testimonies and enable them to be used more easily as an educational resource. They consist of teaching modules on the post-soviet transition of the 1990s in four selected countries, focusing on marginalised groups and their increased vulnerability before, during and after transition. Teaching modules are available for each country, as well as on five international topics.
By clicking on a country, you will be directed to a teaching module consisting of: a short article on the main historical events around the fall of the Soviet Union in that country, including the circumstances for vulnerable group; 1-2 tasks that can be used by educators; video interviews with eyewitnesses from these countries. You will find printable materials on the bottom of each site for easy use in an educational setting.
Transnational Teaching modules: Each topic provides background on social vulnerability during transition from five different perspectives. This creates the opportunity for new points of view on historical events, as well as for reflection on how marginalized groups are dealt with or created by different political and economic systems. Each module consists of:
These eyewitnesses represent different communities of civil society actors in the late 1980s, early 1990s. They attended a preparatory seminar, where they were trained in biographical narration and the recalling of personal memories.
The videos are suitable for preparing a meeting with eyewitnesses or for lessons on the topic of transition and civic engagement in general. They have been used by educators from Ukraine, Georgia and Belarus within the “Lost in Transition?” project.
The project is funded by the German Federal Foreign Office and the German Federal Foundation „Aufarbeitung“ and implemented by Austausch e.V. in cooperation with Congress of Cultural Activists (Ukraine), Sovlab (Georgia), SIQA (Georgia), Hazarashen (Armenia), Human Doc (Poland) and Perspektive3 (Germany).
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