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Unlearning Talks Webcast

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

16.00 GMT / 17.00 CEST / 18.00 EEST

Culture, Education, and Engagement in the era of social distancing

Confinement measures around the world and in the region of South Eastern Europe in particular have shown the importance of culture in order to connect, learn and entertain. Schools have modified their curriculum, whilst cultural institutions such as galleries, museums and theatres have rapidly developed new digital cultural products and educational materials and made them available online. These initiatives helped local communities to build resilience and supported the cultural sector with a new portfolio of activities. During this talk our speakers will reflect on the conditions of this transition from physical to digital, the unlearnt lessons they took, and will share their input of whether this crisis could lead to a transformative change.


Featured Speakers

Maria Asteriou, The People Behind, Greece

Milena Berbenkova, Intercultura Consult, Bulgaria

Valentina Socratous, Emerge, Greece

Jennifer Tharr, Neustart, Germany


Moderator: Maria-Louiza Laopodi, Project Manager START


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Maria Asteriou

The People Behind

Maria is co-founder of the non-profit organization People Behind, which aims to activate people 65+ through lifelong learning, digital education, volunteering and intergenerational activities. Main areas of responsibility for Maria are Communication & Fundraising.​ She holds a Masters degree in Strategic Communication and Public Relations from Deree The American College. She has studied Social Entrepreneurship at the Athens University of Economics and Business and Event Management through the e-learning department of the University of Athens. She has graduated from the Department of Theatre Studies of the University of Athens as well as from the Higher Drama School "Delos".

Milena Berbenkova

Intercultura Consul

An audience analysis and development specialist. Executed research on the effects of COVID-19 on artists in Bulgaria and their work. In the period 2018 – 2019 took part in three audience research projects for cultural organisations in the fields of popular science, theatre and music. With experience in audience development for non-profit performing arts organisations as well as for cultural enterprises and museums. She is a Fulbright graduate student of the Arts Management MA programme of Columbia College Chicago with experience in fundraising and sponsorship. She has organised and managed diverse types of events (company events, gallery openings, festivals etc.) in Bulgaria and abroad and is experienced in festival production and grant writing.

Valentina Socratous


Valentina lives in Alexandroupolis and is a cultural manager, museum educator and facilitator. She works at the Ethnological Museum of Thrace as Coordinator of the museum and the Department of Museum Education. Her studies in Education and Non-Formal Learning (Bachelor & MSc), her fellowship in START-Create Cultural Change program, as well as her philosophy for lifelong learning gave her the necessary tools to create methods specifically tailored to each context and theme. She is the creator of Emerge methodology, a prototype creative process to address pertinent sociocultural challenges by creating pop up participatory museums with non-expert participants. She successfully emerged the first pop up participatory museum nurturing mental health through art in the city of Alexandroupolis.

Jennifer Thaar


Jennifer Tharr studied German literature and theater sciences in Berlin. For multiple years, she worked as a cultural mediator and has founded a participative Greek-German youth theater group. She was the Project Manager of START – Create Cultural Change in Germany for 5 years. She is now leading the NEUSTART program for corona-related investments in cultural institutions, a pilot program by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media to support up to 1500 institutions all over Germany to continue their offerings. Beginning this year, Jennifer represents the German Association of Socioculture on the board of the European Network of Cultural Centers.