Artistic Director, Mary Moynihan, has been invited to speak about Smashing Times’ Comet Lines: Freedom Trails of Europe project at the Citizens for Europe: Success Stories event, Wednesday 3 February 2021.

For 7 years, the EU Programme ‘Europe for Citizens’ has supported projects in the fields of town twinning and networking, remembrance, and civil society. As we near the end of this Programme, Europe for Citizens would like to take a look at the lessons learnt from it and have invited funded projects and Europeans who took part in Europe for Citizens activities to close and celebrate their successes.

Comet Lines: Freedom Trails of Europe

 ‘Escape lines’ were secret World War II networks set up to assist Allied soldiers and citizens leave Nazi occupied territory during WWII. Today the Escape Lines are remembered as ‘Freedom Trails’ where citizens from across Europe and beyond, including the children and relatives of those who worked on the escape lines and those who were saved, come together to walk parts of the routes of the original lines especially over the Pyrenees. The aim is to remember and honour those who risked and in many cases lost their lives to help others be free.

The Comet Lines project gathered a range of stories of those involved in the escape lines and freedom trails of Europe, remembering the stories of ‘helpers’, escapees and evaders – those who either organised or used the escape lines of mainland Europe during WWII. The stories were used as inspiration to create a theatre workshop, performance and creative arts symposium, using the stories and activities as a catalyst for bringing people together to raise awareness of the power of European solidarity and the role of the EU to promote peace, democracy, and gender equality today. 

See more on the project here.

The project was lead by Smashing Times International Centre for the Arts and Equality, in partnership with Iniciativas de Futuro Para Una Europa Social, Spain; University of Humanities and Economocs (AHE), Lodz, Poland; and Theater & Reconciliation, Belgium.