EUSTORY France: Human Rights Proved To Be a Significant Topic
The 2020/21 French EUSTORY History Competition ended on 16 June 2021 with a virtual award ceremony, completing an edition organised entirely online for the first time. "Europe on the Move – Citizens and Human Rights in Europe" proved to be a significant topic.
After the welcoming address held by Bernhard Schaupp, President of the Federation of Franco-German Houses, Tobias Bütow, Secretary General of the Franco-German Youth Office, underlined the importance and topicality of the subject of human rights in Europe. The competition organisers chose the topic to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the European Convention on Human Rights, adopted in 1950 by the member countries of the Council of Europe.
Mr Bütow also mentioned the current challenge of how a culture of remembrance that has developed over decades can be passed on to the next generation, the “Instagram generation”. All competitors addressed that issue in their work, Mr Bütow said.
For the first time since the competition was launched, the jury found it impossible to decide between first and second prize in the "Middle Schoool" and "Tandem" categories, and they only chose one winner in the "High School" category. As a result, all the winners won either first prize outright or tied for first prize.
The two secondary school classes were awarded for a contribution in the form of a virtual newspaper on the history of women's rights in France and Germany, and for a contribution in the form of a poetry slam on the freedoms acquired in the construction of Europe and undermined by the current pandemic.
The award in the "High School" category was given to a German Studies class from the Lycée La Prat's in Cluny for a short film comparing the history of human rights in Western and Eastern Europe during the Cold War years.
A special feature of the French EUSTORY Competition is that young students are encouraged not to work only in France or in a French peer group, but to work with their peers from Germany on a bilingual basis.
Two of these Franco-German tandems were awarded first prize. The first entry was submitted by a group of high school students from the south of France and a Bavarian class and focused on three articles of the European Convention on Human Rights, while the second submission by four students from Brittany and Cologne compared the evolution of the rights and perception of LGBTQI+ people in France and Germany in a detailed and critical work.
The French EUSTORY History Competition is organised, among others, by the Federation of Franco-German Houses and the Franco-German Youth Office with the support of the Goethe Institutes in France and the French Association of History and Geography Teachers.