Sound in the Silence – teaching history through art

Core features of the practice

  • Organisation:

    Institution name: European Network Remembrance and Solidarity
    Institution type: The purpose of the ENRS is to document and promote the study of European 20th-century history and how it is remembered
    Institution URL:
  • Format:

    Workshop, Extra-mural site visit, Exhibition
  • Target population:

    Young people, Educators in formal settings, Educators in non-formal settings, Other
  • Cost (per practice):

    More than 1000 euros
  • Setting:

    Other institution
  • Themes:

    Remembrance education and/or history education
  • Core activities:

    Creative activity

Additional information about the practice

    Target population

  • Number of participants:

    Not applicable
  • Age of target population:

  • Additional specifics:

    National/local specifities (e.g. activity targeted to Swedish school students), Other:, Artists, teachers, young people, school community
  • Components of the practice

  • Topics and objectives:

    Sound in the Silence is an international interdisciplinary educational project delivered annually to make the young people from different countries familiar with some difficult aspects of Europe’s past in a way that matches their emotional sensitivity. The project is designed to encourage exchanging ideas, strengthen tolerance and mutual understanding and prevent discriminatory attitudes among youth. It stimulates their sensitivity and curiosity.
  • Materials used:

    Material culture, i.e., physical object or setting, Craft supplies
  • Material produced:

    Public performance which combines various genres of art: dance, theatre, music and stage setting.
  • Sequence of activities - methodology:

    Guided by artists and educators, the participants visit memorial sites where they explore selected events from the history of totalitarianisms in EastCentral Europe. Then, referring to their own emotions and experience, they process the newly acquired knowledge during art workshops. Their work finds its culmination in a public performance which combines various genres of art: dance, theatre, music and stage setting. Emotions and feelings related to visits at memorial sites – particularly those marked with violence and pain, giving rise to emotions sometimes hard to express in words – become thus externalised in an artistic message.
  • Length of activity:

    More than 15 hours
  • Is the activity digital?:

  • Accessibility and replicability

  • Language(s) in which activity can be delivered:

  • Is specialist knowledge or professional training required?:

  • If yes, which type?:

    Other, Artist and teachers

Qualitative Details

  • Has this practice been evaluated?

  • How many times?:

  • By whom?:

    Formal external evaluator
  • By what means?:

  • Core content knowledge and transferable skills:

    Critical-thinking and sensitivity; using art to process historical understanding and emotions
  • Indicators of success:

    We believe that our methods and ideas can be transferred and replicated (on a smaller scale) by teachers around Europe, and thus can support and complement the formal learning process within schools.
  • Educational coordinator contact details:

    Name: Weronika Kann
    Email address:


The RETHINK project is concerned with bridging formal and informal education. This section explores the factors that make a practice adaptable.

  • Key factors for successful implementation:

    Subject expertise of presenter/instructor
  • Main challenges to teachers adapting this practice for their students:

    Due to its sensitive nature, it is essential to introduce the students to the methodology of the project, as well as to explain the reasons why art can support the process of understanding complex historical issues. It is very important to find a proper balance between educational and artistic workshops. The teacher should devote enough time and energy to the careful preparation of the project (educational workshops, guided tour, invitation of an appropriate artist/art teacher, etc.), as well as to its implementation.
  • Availability of guidance/training/replication materials (and in what language/format currently):

    There is an activity plan in English and there are two documentaries on the performances for the Sound in Silence project: 2016 documentary: 2017 documentary:
  • Other comments or details: