Closing gala of the "Information vs manipulation. How not to give in to propaganda?" project
In a few days, POLIN Museum will host a gala presenting and concluding the activities of school students from Poland, Czechia and Hungary who participated in the project Information vs manipulation. How not to give in to propaganda? Young people will present the fruit of their work (developed projects) to experts in the subjects in question. Next, it will be the experts who will present students’ projects to wider audiences.
29-30 May at POLIN Museum
The two-day meeting will also provide an opportunity to sum up the activities realized as part of the project as well as to get acquainted with the POLIN Museum’s temporary exhibition Estranged. March ’68 and Its Aftermath. The project participants will be given a guided tour of the exhibition by their peers – students of Warsaw high schools. The POLIN Museum Education Department decided that the temporary exhibition is an excellent tool in educational work with students as it presents events from the recent history of Poland and, using their example, demonstrates the role and effects of propaganda on the lives of ordinary people.
March 1968 was a uniquely Polish event, so were its causes, course and aftermath. However, the mechanism of using prejudices in power struggle is not unique for Poland. It was particularly widespread in the countries which had fallen under the Soviet influence and their system was not democratic. Ressentiments were used there very often, and to a similar effect.
That is why we decided to invite partners from Czechia and Hungary to participate in the project Information vs Manipulation. How not to give in to propaganda?. As a basis for our educational activity we have used, respectively: the 1968 Prague Spring in Czechoslovakia and the Hungarian Revolution of 1956.
Our partners from the Hungarian Zachor for the Social Memory Foundation, from the PANT Association of Czech History Teachers and from the Emigration Museum in Gdynia recruited high school students to participate in the project. Their task was to develop a project over the course of a year, in order to present it to a wider audience. The subject was the effects of propaganda and how important it is in today’s world to differentiate between information and manipulation, and how vital critical approach to media reports is.
Thanks to the financial support secured from the ‘Europe for Citizens’ EU program we were able to organize meetings in all of the three partner states. During the meetings, we focused on the particular historical events and their impact on the societies of the countries they took place in. In Ostrava, Czechia, we planned all the activities together, and two months later, in Budapest, students learned about the role of propaganda during the 1956 Revolution and the role it plays in today’s Hungary, during the ongoing refugee crisis.
In March 2018, all of the project participants, i.e. students of three Hungarian schools, two Czech schools and five Polish schools, met in Gdynia at the Emigration Museum, and found out what are the effective and successful methods of presenting the activities they had undertaken.
We do hope that the knowledge and competence gained through participation in this project will allow the youth from the three partner states to approach the information they are being fed with full awareness, to reflect on it and to judge its reliability.