The Future of Europe

When I think about the future of Europe I don’t think of a hundred years from now. I don’t think of tomorrow. I am thinking of today.

I am Vanessa from Berlin, Germany and part of the Make Film, Make History Project. I am part of one of five film groups. My group will produce a short film about “the Future of Europe”.

It sounds like it is far away from now, but to me the future of Europe is right in front us. I see it almost everywhere I go: In the grocery when the checkout girl smiles at me, across the streets when the kindergartner is cautioning the children or in the campus library when the guy on the other end of the table starts to snore. At times I imagine the future to be very promising; at other times I imagine it to be quite harsh. Certainly I am not capable of describing clearly what the future holds. And I could say that things will be all bright and shiny for us, but we all know (remembering the history of Europe) that it might not. There is no good future or bad future for Europe — there is always both. I try to remind myself of that and tell myself that things aren’t always easy to handle. That goes for the process of planning and making our film as well, of course.

Thought bubble of various ideas from Future of Europe Film group

The Make Film, Make History project is definitely a challenge for me. I am sure our group will have disputes, there will be discussions and misunderstandings in our film group. This is because we have different ideas about the future of Europe — but that is actually what MAKES the future of Europe. These ideas are diverse in many ways which makes this project an even greater challenge. But it’s up to US to shape the future the way WE want it to be like. And we are shaping it right now, even in this very moment that I am writing. With every step we are taking throughout the project we are creating our very own future. So let’s see how the end of our film looks, and how our group collectively imagines the future of Europe.

Vanessa, in Ypres, Belgium.

I have made up my mind about our future. I have got my own ideas on it, so now I am really excited to hear about my group members ideas! It might be that I become more convinced of my own ideas. It might be that I change my mind about the future completely based on ideas I am exposed to. But I know that I will not change my mind about the past. I don’t want to forget about the past. And I believe that we must not forget about the past. Just like George Santayana once said:

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” (The Life of Reason, 1905)

I am sorry if you have been waiting for a Star Wars remake or a new Battle of the Somme. This is not what our film will look like, I will warn you now. The Future of Europe film will deal with conflicts, definitely. But these conflicts won’t look the same as the conflicts of the past (though there are many similarities, I am sure). These conflicts will come in a different shape, a different time and different space. I guess most of the conflicts we will have to deal with will take place rather in our very own minds than at any country border. To me these conflicts are the most difficult to deal with, whether it is between film makers or how we engage with these questions, but I know that it is necessary to make a dynamic film. It isn’t just a film about the Future of Europe, but THE future of Europe maybe, as we will be the bankers, the leaders, the film makers of tomorrow. We are making a film — and maybe even making history. I can’t wait.