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The core of the great Solidarity movement was the dream of freedom and democracy, understood as an innate right of every human being to decide his or her own fate and to share responsibility for the fate of the nation.

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Prof. Bronisław Geremek Laboratory of Ideas

A new project - the Prof. Bronisław Geremek Laboratory of Ideas -  saw its inauguration on 2-5 July 2015. Its co-organizers and partners are the Prof. Bronisław Geremek Centre Foundation, the Centre for French Culture and Francophone Studies of Warsaw University, the Bronisław Geremek Institute of European Cultural History in Lunéville  and the Royal Łazienki Museum in Warsaw.

The laboratory of Ideas is an educational workshop addressed to university students and faculty from Poland, France, Turkey and Germany. Over several days the participants and invited experts met at the Royal Łazienki park and palace complex in Warsaw. Seeking to exchange ideas and observations – with the ultimate goal of building an intellectual platform – they delivered short introductory lectures on issues specified in the project’s framework program. This was followed by typical workshops  aimed at the elaboration of joint solutions. The unrestrained workshop formula, distant from the traditional model of academic scientific conferences, enhanced a deeper understanding of the core issues  and appreciation of the need for  an innovative approach to reflection on European culture. The project also provided for discussions and undertakings in city space (e.g. the participants attended culinary workshops devoted to the traditions of Polish cuisine).

The first edition of the Laboratory was devoted to “European citizenship” in the context of the multicultural, diverse socio-political fabric of the continent – since the identity and awareness of participation in the European community is realized at different levels. On the other hand, attempts are made to reject culture as a  unifying  perspective. The ongoing debates on politics, religion, cultural concerns and democratic values point to an acute need for new instruments of reflection and the  elaboration of methods permitting common assessments.

In essence, the Laboratory sought to analyze personal experiences of European culture and to visualize them in the form of individual  maps of Europe,  with the use of such simple tools as symbols, diagrams and proportions.

The participants in the Prof. Bronislaw Geremek Laboratory of Ideas  praised the results of the meeting  and expressed hope that the project would be continued in the future.