Who took the initiative for ‘Here in Europe’?

The ‘Here in Europe’ project is an initiative of Studio Europa Maastricht, research agency Dear Hunter and journalist collective Are We Europe, and is sponsored by the European Union as part of the EU Protects campaign.

Studio Europa Maastricht

Maastricht as a place to work and meet for a debate, to bounce ideas around and to develop a vision around European themes – that’s the ambition of Studio Europa Maastricht. Studio Europa was launched in 2018 by the province of Limburg, the municipality of Maastricht and Maastricht University.

We conduct ground-breaking and socially significant studies on Europe and organise inspiring activities for a broad public. We don’t do this alone – we bring together various initiatives and various parties, with a special focus on involving European residents.

Dear Hunter

Dear Hunter is a ‘cartopological’ research agency, which means that we record our figures and findings in new and specially-designed maps and atlases. Not geographical maps, but maps with specific, anthropological and symbolic information. These provide new insights for spatial, economic and cultural developments, telling the local stories to be found on that spot.

As ‘hunters’, we survey in the field, diving deeply into the material to be found on a research site, usually by simply living and working on the ‘hunting grounds’.

Are We Europe

Are We Europe stands up for no-boundaries journalism created by a new generation of storytellers. We’re a pan-European media organisation which looks beyond the national perspective to tell the story of Europe. Our cross-border collective reports on little-known issues, people and places from all parts of the Continent. Are We Europe brings together more than 750 young journalists examining what brings us together and what sets us apart in a continuous search for what it means to be European.

As part of the Heer in Europe project, Are We Europe is using a newly-developed and innovative method – the Story Design Sprint – to create compelling multimedia stories, but to do so within just one week. It’s a fixed formula with workshops, inspiration sessions and production days focussing on storytelling. Are We Europe works with a completely local team of people who live or were brought up in Heer and will be producing a publication which brings together those different types of storytelling – video, photography, sound, text and design. Click here for examples of previous projects.

EU logo

Sponsored by the European Union

‘Here in Europe’ is sponsored by the European Union’s EU Protects campaign which focuses on the ‘ordinary heroes’ of Europe. People from different European countries working to protect us in four sectors: security, health, the environment and society. The EU supports, brings together and helps these heroes to work together and to protect us within and across our borders.

‘Here in Europe’ demonstrates how the themes of the EU Protects campaign is experienced in the Maastricht community of Heer and the surrounding Euregion. We’re out to find the local stories behind the major themes – the stories to be found on the town square, in the local supermarket or the football canteen and which are therefore relevant and of interest to a broad public: from the residents of Heer to the policy-makers in Brussels.

How do we work together on ‘Here in Europe’?

Marlies Vermeulen and Remy Kroese of Dear Hunter will be living in Heer for four weeks; this will be their hunting ground in June. In order to engage with local residents as much as possible in their own settings and from their own base. But before they do that, they'll be busy collecting digital insights into the role of Europe in Heer and Maastricht.

Once Remy and Marlies have been on site in Heer for a few weeks, they'll be joined for a week in June by a local and diverse team of journalists, photographers and videographers from Are We Europe to 'harvest' the stories. Those stories are the insights, solutions and answers for the European problems facing residents and entrepreneurs. We'll be shaping the stories into special productions for on the website and as a mini-exhibition in Heer.

Together with various entrepreneurs from Heer, Studio Europa is organising ‘bitter ball debates’ for locals from in an around Heer on three Fridays in September. We'll be talking about Europe's role in daily life in Heer and how this affects the locals. Or doesn't. There'll be interesting guest speakers - ‘local European heroes’ - with whom you can talk yourself.

‘Here in Europe’ inside but also beyond the borders of Heer

The findings from ‘Here in Europe’ will interest not only Heer, Maastricht and the Euregion, but also other Europeans, policy-makers, politicians, academics and journalists. Not just from the local area, but also elsewhere inside and outside the Netherlands, as these are issues relevant to Heer as well as to other parts of the country and Europe. This innovative project is designed to contribute to the knowledge and experience of the role of Europe at a local level.