Dissent, Conscience, and the Wall (DCW) is a project run by the European University College Association and Netherhall Educational Association between October 2014 and March 2016. The project marked 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, on 9th November 1989. The project consisted of three symposia, two in London and one in Brussels, culminating in a plenary conference at the end, held in Brussels.
DCW built the symposia around three key themes:
Tolerance of dissent and freedom of conscience on both sides of the Iron Curtain;
The role of conscience and dissent in bringing about the fall of the Berlin Wall;
The changing role of conscience and dissent in Europe since 1989.
The symposia included inputs from academics and other public intellectuals. A key focus was to encourage undergraduate and postgraduate students, and other young adults, to research and present their own papers on the key themes.
A selection of the papers presented at the symposia has been used as the initial basis of a permanent journal dedicated to freedom of conscience and dissent in public, now available online.
DCW encouraged dialogue and cooperation between young people from more than 10 EU Member States, as they explored the history of their freedoms before and after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
DCW sought to identify key features of public dissent and the public role of conscience before and after the fall of the Berlin Wall, and looked for ways in which the appreciation of these key values could be enhanced as the European Project progresses.
DCW emphasised the roles played by both public bodies, and individual citizens, including victims of totalitarian oppression in bringing about the fall of the Berlin Wall, and their continued role in supporting freedom of conscience and toleration of dissent in public.
This blog was an important part of the project. Articles, film clips, poems, art, and news stories were posted regularly, to give food for thought. Summaries of papers were also posted. The blog was a place to learn about the themes, get updates about the symposia, and provide space to comment and discuss ideas.
After the project conclusion, it remains a valuable source of information on the DCW project, its results and the topics it addressed.