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Europe defined by its people

By Florian Mueck • Oct 27th, 2009 • Category: My Europe

The “Send an update to your fans” function in Facebook is a great tool. One click only and you are right in the center of attention of all your followers… In the light of our daily tsunami-like information overload, it is still a good way to communicate directly with a multitude of individual opinion leaders.

In the preleminaries to our video launch I’ve been scrutinizing this function. I tried the geographical filter, and - not that I had really expected it - found no option for “Europe”.

It’s not about excluding someone, it is about integrating others. But then again… what would be the definition of Europe in Facebook’s filter? The European Union? Europe, the continent? The European Council?

Two years ago we had long discussions in our core team about The Festival’s definition of Europe. We didn’t want to be too political, thus we skipped the EU definition. We wanted to keep it a manageable project, so we didn’t go for the Council definition. In the end we found a neat compromise: EU, candidates and EFTA states.

But then, in one of the comments on this site, Anjum Amirtham made a strong point: “I hope this European festival is also for the people living in Europe, feel very European but are from other parts of the world. I am an Indian,  very proud of my heritage, but also live in Europe for a long time and feel very European. I am not alone in this but a whole community who have the same feelings.”

Wouldn’t Facebook’s potential “Europe” filter option - and also our own definition of Europe - have to include Anjum as well?

It is opinions like Anjum’s which made us give up on any geographical or political ways to define Europe. The Festival is a platform for all those out there who feel European.

At The Festival Europe is defined by its people.

Florian Mueck is European, initiator and co-founder of The Festival: "Passion for Europe maybe does not exist in the media. But it does exist in many hearts of many people."
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