Georgian newspaper '24hours', 13 February 2004

Caucasian heroes for new Europe
European Union calls Georgian Youth for activity

by Madi Serebryakova

"Local Heroes come together" - in April-May the Netherlands will host young Georgian, Armenian, Danish and Dutch musicians and clip-makers (Dates have changed, project will take place in August or September 2004- Falkor ). With funding of European Commission young musicians from all four countries will meet each other in Groningen and work on collaborative music/video projects during ten days. A presentation of the outcome of their work will take place on one of most important Dutch anniversaries - Day of Liberty (This plan unfortunately can't become reality now the dates have changed.- F). Organizers, participants and donors met each other in the regional office of the European commission yesterday.

The project "Local heroes come together " in the Netherlands is initiated by three non-governmental organizations. One of the major role has played the organization Falkor, which works on cultural and ecological programs in the Netherlands and several other countries. Falkor has sent volunteers to Georgia, who taught English in the regions. Moreover, they shot a documentary film about local ecological problems. The Dutch organization Goningen One World will provide the participants of the "Local Heroes" project with accommodation and working space in Groningen, this would be Groningen Youth Center (in youth centre 'Simplon' -F). And the organization Groverpop, which organizes music and youth festivals throughout the Netherlands (Concerts in the north of the Netherlands. -F), is currently workings on a project "Friendship among cities" (Not Groverpop is working on city-connections, but our city Groningen has ties with different foreign cities, among others in Denmark. There is no connection with Tbilisi and Yerevan. -F). So far only Danish and Dutch cities had the opportunity to "become friends". Now Georgia and Armenia will also join this friendly circle.

The project is sponsored by the European commission. The Georgian office of the European commission does look forward to the "Local Heroes": "there are a lot of organizations, working on youth projects - tells the representative of European Commissions Tomas Lege -sometimes ten of similar kind of projects are taking place in Russia just in one year. We are to promote this idea in Georgia, so that an increasing number of youth will be involved in similar kind of activities, make contacts. We will support similar projects as much as we can".

Eight participants from each presented countries will be involved in the project. Workshops and concerts will be arranged for them, they will get familiar with the infrastructure of Dutch organizations, working on youth projects. There are also several meetings planned with local musicians and representatives of mass media. One of them seemed to me exceptionally interesting: "In the Netherlands we have academy of pop-music, and a professor of pop-music too. He is very popular and interesting person in Netherlands. That's why we decided to arrange a meeting with him for the participants of the project." - tells Falkor project coordinator Janita Top. (In the program is planned a visit to the Academy of Pop-music, about a meeting with the professor I'm not aware.-F) Besides the interesting program, most important is, that musicians gathered are all working in different styles and in the course of the project they will make a collaborative music/video project and play jam sessions together. Georgian participant's group leader is a popular musician Bakur Burduli: "Our aim is to involve participants in the event and develop contacts - tells Janita Top - all the events will be filmed and recorded, and at the end, we'll make a documentary film. Also, the project will be covered by local and international media".

"Local Heroes come Together" will take place in the Netherlands on 28 April - 8 May. Project's dates were planned so that they fall with the dates of a well-known music festival. This will be the first year when Georgians participate in this festival. Besides purely musical reasons, the main aim of the project is to support better understanding and good relations among young artists and in general to support youth activity. "Unfortunately nowadays Georgian youth becomes active only when the political situation calls for. - Told the representative of press and mass-media office of European Commission in Georgia Tamar Mikadze - we want to introduce this project to Georgian youth as an experiment and encourage them becoming active and developing contacts together with European partners."

If the project "local heroes come together" is successful and "Caucasian heroes" fulfill the mission, the project will continue. As for the Danish-Dutch-Georgian-Armenian music project - we believe it will be interesting for all listeners.