Postcards from the Province

Stay in touch – across closed national borders. With “Postcards from the Province" the project office Hi2025 is producing a podcast for the regions of Europe.

It is only three months ago that the Province Lab took place in the Hildesheim region. Experts from eight European countries were invited. The topic: Development of rural areas through culture. Together they went on a trip through the region in a fully occupied tour bus. In the evening they sat together – at a long table in a restaurant. It was a different time. A different, taken-for-granted Europe.

“We are witnessing just how precious this exchange is. This is especially true for the regions of Europe – we can learn so much from each other", emphasises Sabine Zimmermann, who organised the Province Lab for the Network for Culture & Local Traditions. After all, the challenges many villages and small towns in Europe have to face are similar – the withdrawal of social structures, abandoned village shops, too few doctors, ageing. “That's why we didn't want to stop our exchange – just because the borders between us were being closed temporarily."

This is made possible by the podcast “Postcards from the Province", actively supported by Radio Tonkuhle. Sabine Zimmermann talks again with the experts who visited Hildesheim in March. Very relaxed. Mostly half an hour, sometimes longer. For example with Froukje de Jong-Krap, a farmer from Leeuwarden in the Netherlands, who talks about the diverse landscape around Hildesheim and the possibilities of making art from it. Spela Težak, youth social worker from Slovenia, describes the difference between geography and lifestyle. How far the journey is – over 1000 kilometres from Ptuj to Hildesheim – and how similar the small towns and villages here and there are in spite of that. And Viktoras Bachmetjevas, a philosopher from Kaunas, even sees Sibbesse, where he was a guest in March, as the archetypal European setting. “If you're looking for the DNA of Europe, it's these small towns somewhere in the midst of Germany, Belgium or France."

“With our 'Postcards from the Province' we are addressing a European audience," says Max Balzer, responsible for public relations at the project office. “That's why the podcasts are published in English." After all, especially in these times, a European public and strong networks between the regions are essential.

“At the same time, our podcasts from the province should also show the diversity of the Hildesheim region," adds Anna-Lena Schotge. For this reason, the project office's designer travelled through the region with her camera and took very special postcard motifs that are being published with the podcasts.
“After all, the DNA of Europe can be discovered in our region," laughs Sabine Zimmermann. “If that's not a reason to write a postcard!"

The first episode of the podcast “Postcards from the Province" with Viktoras Bachmetjevas:

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