4 November 2014 (10.30-12.30) - Apollonia Art Exchanges, 23 rue Boecklin, Strasbourg - Sponsored by the City of Strasbourg


Neighborhood level democracy has great potential for the political socialisation and influence of young people. However, youth are not really attracted to neighborhood committees and meetings, and when there, often not trusted with decision-making roles. Can a participatory process be designed as a model for making real space for youth in neighborhood democracy? 

Young Democracy Creators, France, Apollonia, Local Mission Haut-Rhin North, Association Meinau Neuhof 

Rethinking democracy in favor of youth necessarily involves using new tools for citizen relationships and participatory methods. Apollonia illustrates this with two examples: Firstly, in Colmar, the Local Mission Haut-Rhin North, with the active partnership of the city of Colmar and the Regional Council of Alsace, has mounted two remarkable actions, reconciling training, integration and creating a public space for art. Secondly, the city of Strasbourg began experimenting with creating participatory techniques, where young people co-decide not only the form of the work but also its urban location and its social integration in the neighborhoods Meinau - Neuhof. This has been achieved through exchanges and dialogues between artists, operators, trainers, companies and local elected officials.


Mr Dimitri KONSTANTINIDIS, Greece, Founder and Director of Apollonia

Dimitri Konstantinidis holds a phD in Archaeology and History of Art from University of Strasbourg II. He has been the Director of the FRAC Alsace from 1991 to 1997 and is head of the "European artistic exchanges with the countries of Central and Eastern Europe" of the Council of Europe. In 1998, he founded Apollonia, European artistic exchanges, and is the director since then. With Apollonia he established a platform of European artistic exchange focusing on the discovery, dissemination and sharing of expressions of contemporary artists with the public. Artecitya, the current project, aims at enhancing the economic and social dimension of creation, while emphasizing the integration and professionalization of youth through their involvement with artistic approaches.


Discussants are invited to make critical comments during the lab on the impact, transferrability, sustainability and risk of the initiative.

Ms Elisabeth BERNARDINIS, France, Director of the Local Mission Haut-Rhin Colmar Nord/Guebwiller

Elisabeth Bernardinis is Director of the Local Mission Haut-Rhin Colmar Nord/Guebwiller and holds a Master’s degree in Urban Social Development. She has a 30 years history of being professionaly committed to and an activist of social and professional integration with an adult audience, and, now for six years, also with a young audience. She designs and conducts projects with a broad range of different partners and is guided by the goal to promote the employability of young people who are experiencing difficulties and to awaken their curiosity through culture.

Mr Alexander FOUTI, Angola/France, ‘Young Democracy Creators’ Project Participant in Colmar

Alexander fouti arrived in France from Angola in 2011. After getting the opportunity to work, he went to the Local Mission Haut-Rhin Nord in October 2012. The councillor of the North MLHR offered him to participate in a project integrating art and metalwork training. Thus, from 2013 to 2014, he fully contributed to the success of the work of the project team and received his SKODA CCP (certificate of professional competence) in metalwork. His motivation and professionalism have allowed him to be recruited from March 2014 for 12 months by the company RAUSCHMAIER in Colmar.

Mme Cristita Marie L. GIANGAN, Philippines, Présidente, Association philippines des jeunes du Centre-Démocrate

Cristita Marie L. Giangan est titulaire d’une maitrîse de l’Université San Carlos P. del Rosario St., Ville de Cebu, en gestion et développement publics et d’un diplôme (magna cum laude) en Sciences poliituqes. Elle est gestionnaire de projet à la Fondation Konrad Adenauer depuis 2012 et a géré et coordonné les travaux de la fondation dans les domaines de la  création de partis politiques et du renforcement de la démocratie aux Philippines. Elle a également apporté ses conseils pratiques pour des questions administratives et financières à des organisations politiques. Elle a été la Secrétaire Générale de 2012 à mars 2014 puis la présidente nationale de l’Association philippines des jeunes du Centre-démocrate depuis avril 2014.


Ms Françoise SCHOLLER, France, President of Club de la Presse

Françoise Scholler is a reporter in the European Editorial department at France Télévisions. She has realised news magazines, such as for example "Avenue of Europe”, a weekly magazine dedicated to Europe. Since her career started in late 1979, she has been devoted to Europe. As freelance journalist, she did some investigative work, reporting and drafting of European news and activities of the various institutions (e.g. as special correspondent of the national daily "La Libre Belgique”, the international news agency "Associated Press", and Radio Suisse Romande).