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The Long Way Home
Start date: Aug 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

With the reference to one of the primary purposes of the European Union which is to promote peace, its values and the well-being of its peoples, this proposal aims to encourage reflection on what happened in the years of the Second World War by commemorating the Zivi Miller’s trip. He was a Jewish painter born in Bucharest who was deported with his family to Auschwitz, from which he escaped, with the help of the Soviet Army, and went to Santa Maria al Bagno in Italy. Here, he and his friends and familiars spent few years and painted graffiti and murals which are nowadays collected in the National Museum in the town of Nardò. When they left Italy, directed to Palestine (today State of Israel), were intercepted from an English military boat, they had to spend 6 months in Nicosia (Cyprus) as prisoners, before the arrival to their Promised Land. The main stages of his trip towards the so called Promised Land were Bucharest (Romania), Zivi Miller’s hometown, Auschwitz (Poland), the Desplaced Camp n° 34 in Santa Maria al Bagno (Italy), Nicosia (Cyprus), and finally Haifa (today State of Israel). The project “The Long Way Home” intends to give the opportunity to 20 young people 18-25 y.o. (+ 4 group leaders) mainly facing geographical and economic obstacles, from Italy, Romania, Poland and Cyprus to reflect on what makes the European project so special: the common history with its inglorious moments on one hand, and tolerance, intercultural dialogue and reconciliation on the other. With the use of formal and non-formal methods, as ART, they are going to follow the four stages of Zivi Miller’s journey. This Jewish Romanian painter reached the Promised Land after having escaped from Auschwitz and living in Italy and Cyprus. The youth in the project during 6 months are going to take part in 7 days activities, as following: after visiting the local museum and historical site (in S.M. Al Bagno), attending seminars, public debates and round tables concerning the Shoah and the life of Zivi and other Jewish Romanian people, they are going to be encouraged to transfer their reflection on peace, tolerance and democracy by painting murals or graffiti on removable panels, thus commemorating the Zivi’s art. Their works will be exposed during the last day in an Educational Center in Taurisano (IT), which will be opened to the public. A round table with some local authorities and simple citizens will give the opportunity to the youth to better express their vision of a future Europe and the politicians will explain them how thier voice could be heard, starting from their small communities. As a final result a DVD will be produced with the video of the exposition of the paintings ad murals of the youth, who will explain exactly their final reflections and the meaning of their works.
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