IBTS Prague was the setting for the first SICRIE Project Workshop.
The International Baptist Theological Seminary was the location for the first SICRIE Workshop. The Seminary is set in the beautiful Sarka Valley on the North Western edge of Prague and provided a wonderful venue for the first of four workshops planned to take place over a two year period.
SICRIE stands for 'Social Inclusion on the Cultural and Religious Interfaces of Europe'. The purpose of the project is to provide an opportunity for adult learners to explore and challenge the stereotypes and prejudices that militate against social inclusion and integration in the European context. The workshops provide the four partners of the project with the opportunity to share together the stories and images gathered from within their national contexts which illustrate both the problems and the successes of integration along cultural and religious interfaces.
The SICRIE Partners
The four partners in the project come from Northern Ireland, Czech Republic, Bulgaria and Lithuania. They bring a wide variety of experiences of cultural and religious interface contact and conflict to the project. Each partner has a different focus within their context and the richness of the diversity is a key element of the project.
Prauge Old Town Square
The Prague Workshop
The Prague Workshop ran between the 5th - 8th November at IBTS. THis was the first opportunity for the partners to come together and engage in the exchange of ideas and experiences.
Over the period of the workshop the participants provided an introduction to their own national settings outlining some of the historical and contemporary fault lines within their society. The sharing was both enlightening for those of the other partnerships and at times emotional as people retold and relived some difficult experiences.
One afternoon was spent in the heart of the city of Prague visiting the Museum of Communism and walking the streets of the Old Town and Jewish Quarter. The artifacts and video material in the museum coupled with the architecture and the history behind it of the Old Town provided a great deal of material for discussion and reflection.
Present at the workshop were people of from seven different nationalities resident in the four partner countries. There were six different first languages within the group and a number of non- English speakers. All sessions had two simultaneous translations into Bulgarian and Lithuanian with four translators sharing the work.
The workshop laid the foundation for the ongoing work of the project over the next eighteen months. The partners have agreed to meet again in May 2010 in Belfast for the second of the project workshops.