From Jarrett, in Lisbon

image.pngForte de Santo António da Barra – Cascais, Portugal. Holiday Residence of the Portuguese dictator Salazar.

What the picture that I took means to me is how Portugal has embraced, from its closed dictatorial inward looking past, the opportunities both culturally and economically  of being a member state and how I feel that the UK is going in the opposite direction.

– Jarrett

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From Mark, in Germany (2)

Mark in GermanyThis “postcard” is a photo I took of the “Refo” church in Moabit, Berlin. Originally this was a congregation I visited for the purposes of my research, but since then I’ve become a regular visitor, and they’ve welcomed me into the community, invited me to play music for some of the events, and even let me sleep in the church building when I need somewhere to stay in the city. Living in East Germany, I often find it hard to relate to what seem very “German” institutions and groups. This is a place which seems to welcome difference, which reaches out across different boundaries and provides a space for a whole range of people to come along without having to assimilate into specifically German ways of doing things. This is one of the places in Germany that I hate the feeling of losing post-brexit. It’s a symbol of the side of the country that I love, and where I’ve formed relationships that are important to me.

– Mark

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From Andrew, in Italy

From Andrew in Italy (October 2018)

This is a view of Piazza Maggiore, the central square of Bologna, the city which I have called home for the last twenty years. I came to Bologna on a short study visit after finishing university and was struck by the beauty of this town, particularly by this square, and vowed to come back again. A few years later with the help of an EU grant I did and this time I stayed. Many other Europeans, thanks to similar grants do the same, in Bologna and other cities in Europe. I am British but Bologna, Italy is my home and to me that appears perfectly natural. I guess that many others living outside their country of birth would agree. It is so sad that to those who voted for Brexit clearly do not.

Andrew

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From Lin, en Bretagne (2)

Brexit Brit postcard.jpg

 

16th September 2018

 

The most important place to me is where my life is
My Home of 8 years. Where my work as Gardener is based
Where I live with Bertie my soulmate, frugally but happily I’ve fought near death experiences with Cancer, House fire, pneumonia
But now with Brexit….I could loose it all….and I’ll have nothing to keep fighting for…

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From John, in Belgium

John Brown postcard

4th September 2017

This isn’t exactly where I live, but it’s a big part of my life here in Belgium. This is the International Chorale of Brussels, an amateur choir of about 50 singers, which I direct. We have at least 15 nationalities who sing regularly, mostly European but a few Americans as well. Being part of an international community was an unexpected benefit of living close to Brussels, and one which I very much enjoy. Some people seem to think that internationalism means a loss of national character, but I find the opposite. People here are proud of their nationality, and national differences often become emphasised in such an international environment. We acknowledge the differences, even the stereotypes, and learn from them. People are interested to know about other countries’ customs and food, for example, but also differing attitudes to international events or political figures. People are of course happy to sing in their native language, but equally happy to learn how to pronounce someone else’s language (Danish was a challenge for most of us!). The reaction to Brexit of everyone I have spoken to in the choir is one of shock and disbelief. But then I suppose it’s a group of people who have an open, international mindset: no surprise that they find it difficult to comprehend why a country would choose to leave such a powerful group of nations.

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From Lin, en Bretagne

CP076 Lin in Brittany postcard

My favourite photo of my friends and neighbours, taken at our annual commune BBQ. A small commune (Hamlet) but 7 languages spoken, 6 nationalities, ages 2-92 years! The true spirit of the EU living, supporting, helping each other, living in Peace. Sadness and disbelief followed the UK advisory referendum.  I’m so lucky to have their full support during this difficult time #StrongerTogther #InLimbo.

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From Mark, in Germany

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4th September 2017

I took this picture on one of the early trips I made to Germany almost five years ago now. I’ve built up my connections with this country slowly over time, making friends, coming to visit them, exploring gradually step by step. Stuttgart was one of the first places in Germany that made me fall in love with Germany – the beauty of the southern landscapes, a welcoming community that was willing to host me and show me something of their life in the city, a new land to discover and explore.

Mark Continue reading →