STALINGRAD IN THE HISTORY OF GREAT BRITAIN, 1942-1945
307 cities and settlements of Great Britain sent humanitarian aid to Stalingrad during the war. Who? How? Why? The project invites residents of these cities to find an answer to these questions together.
"Stalingrad in the History of Great Britain, 1942-1945" international project continues successful practice of the Stalingrad Battle Fund in implementing projects in the field of public diplomacy.
This practice is distinct for the combination of traditional forms of people's diplomacy (exhibitions, round tables) and innovative forms of "electronic people's diplomacy" relevant and effective in today's conditions. The Internet and social networks create limitless opportunities for direct dialogue with citizens of foreign countries, for their active involvement in joint Internet projects aimed at establishing and developing friendly contacts through civil society. The project reviews the history of relations between Stalingrad and British society in 1942-1945 as a history of solidarity, friendship and fruitful cooperation between the two nations.
The project aims to remind citizens of Great Britain on the role and significance of the Battle of Stalingrad, enthusiastic assessment of the results of the Battle of Stalingrad by British society, "Stalingrad" humanitarian initiatives of British politicians and public figures, public diplomacy of British civil society and large-scale campaigns to collect humanitarian aid to Stalingrad by residents of 300 British settlements and decision of Coventry citizens to become a twin city with Stalingrad. For the first time in the history of international relations, a basis for such a new instrument as the "people's diplomacy" was created and the concept of town twinning appeared.
DIALOGUE IS ALWAYS MORE INTERESTING AND EFFECTIVE THAN A MONOLOGUE
How did you come up with this idea?
Project ideas come with experience. You need to look for it. Sometimes it takes years. Collecting historical evidence about the Second World War in foreign archives in search of a project idea, you still understand that the team should also mature for it. We must know how to make arid scientific results more interesting for the audience.
What hidden pitfalls should be kept in mind?
To intrigue, cause interest, draw attention to the project is a difficult PR task. In order to solve it, we created a special website and announced an international contest where our British volunteers participated. The prize was a free trip to Volgograd.
Why do we need projects like yours? What is their value to people?
Our project is about ordinary British people who collected humanitarian aid for the residents of Stalingrad. Sympathy and admiration, fellow-feeling and desire to help the victims of the war forced them to take actions in order to make their own humble contribution to the restoration of the heroic city that turned the the war around. Disregarding the humanism of this mission, this page of the "people's diplomacy" was torn out of the history book during the Cold War and forgotten. Nations' ideas about each other are often false, stereotyped and politicized, while intercultural projects allow people to be closer and understand each other better despite the differences in languages, cultures and political systems. This allows us to assess each other's past and present more objectively, to consider the history of our city and country on an international scale, without subjective distortions or falsifications. . It is important to keep reminding people that there are many points of shared interest in our common history of wars, i.e. the reasons to start a dialogue. A project that brings us together is worth making, because dialogue is always more interesting and effective than a monologue, and understanding that you are actually solving an important social task will inspire you in difficult times.