Coming Closer to Home: weeding out cultural stereotypes.

"Look what I've got!" Eamon triumphantly pulled out a glass sugar dispenser from the inside of his voluminous flak jacket. "It's from the hotel!" His acquisition was met with near-universal approval in the packed minibus of 15 young trainees and not so young tutors.  Anything that could be liberated from the German hotel was fair game it seemed … Continue reading Coming Closer to Home: weeding out cultural stereotypes.

Coming Closer to Home: after the communism…

I've often wondered whether EU funded adult education projects are not just about their alleged subject matter - but much more about sharing languages across our difficult and contentious continent. A few years ago July we participated in an EU funded programme, Forests for All. As well as taking a day trip around the Mersey Forest … Continue reading Coming Closer to Home: after the communism…

Coming Closer to Home: The EU ‘Jolly’.

"It's like you've got to get to know each other at 60mph!" Monica wryly observed as we all piled into a minibus at midnight at Vilnius Airport. We were truly a motley crew: Brits, Portuguese, Greeks all gathering for an EU funded Adult Learning Project in the Creative Arts with a couple of stray Estonian old … Continue reading Coming Closer to Home: The EU ‘Jolly’.

Coming Closer to Home at the Liverpool Everyman Theatre: it’s not me, it’s EU.

"Take the fucking money! Why don't you take the fucking money?" The Chairman of the Liverpool Everyman Theatre had me with my back to the wall in the little kitchenette attached to the theatre's most prestigious rehearsal room, The Red Room. He was clearly irked and my unwillingness to accept some kind of pay off from … Continue reading Coming Closer to Home at the Liverpool Everyman Theatre: it’s not me, it’s EU.

Coming Closer to Home: the Prospect of the UK becoming a EU free zone.

So, we're under starters orders; and we're off. The rumours are starting to circulate already at work. If we opt for Brexit, there's a possibility that the very large EU contract we are about to have signed off by DCLG may be delayed until after the referendum. Meaning not only that over 350 creative and … Continue reading Coming Closer to Home: the Prospect of the UK becoming a EU free zone.

Francis Keith Aitken: A Life of Quiet and Steadfast Influence.

In February 1932 a young architect made a remarkable journey by boat and train from Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, up through Central and Eastern Europe to a large naval port, Stettin, in Pomerania, North Germany. This journey was taken at a time prior to a period of extraordinary upheaval across the continent: the rise … Continue reading Francis Keith Aitken: A Life of Quiet and Steadfast Influence.

Coming Closer to Home: what it’s like to live upside down.

When we were kids we'd occasionally get perplexed about how people could live upside down in Australia and not fall off the planet. Having two European guests, Anton and Srdjan,  take root in your home town, courtesy of a Youth in Action Grant, makes you realise that up-side-down-ness isn't about gravity at all but much … Continue reading Coming Closer to Home: what it’s like to live upside down.

Charlotte Margarette Elisabeth Louise Aitken Née Petri: Rage Against the Dying of the Light

Imagine the scene.  It’s 1930.  The German port of Stettin on the Baltic. The docks once heaving with international trade and traffic have an air of desolation. You can see the idle grain silos, the cranes waiting in vain like herons for their next catch from the sea, a few tankers float un-easily on the … Continue reading Charlotte Margarette Elisabeth Louise Aitken Née Petri: Rage Against the Dying of the Light

PASCO: animating communities through the creative industries (Introduction)

The PASCO (Performing Arts Scene in Obrenovac) project has had significant effects on the cultural infrastructure in the Obrenovac municipality since the project started in 2009. Due to generous support both locally, Buskerud County in Norway and the KS funding programme of the Norwegian government, PASCO has had demonstrable economic, cultural and social impact on … Continue reading PASCO: animating communities through the creative industries (Introduction)