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Home arrow newsitems arrow Tomi Ungerer Starts his 1st Year in Eternity : a Franco-German European to revisit USA on 2020 ?!

Tomi Ungerer Starts his 1st Year in Eternity : a Franco-German European to revisit USA on 2020 ?!

Written by ACM
Sunday, 01 December 2019
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*Strasbourg/Hilton/Angelo Marcopolo/- Invited by the Secretary General of the International Association of Tomi Ungerer's Friends, (AIATU in the Original in French), Robert Walter, Experienced former Long-Time Director of the Franco-German Cultural Center at nearby Karlsruhe, for the presentation to the Press of the very Serious, Annual "TomiScope" Review, naturally Focused on the Actuality of the Famous Humoristic Cartoonist and even CoE's PanEuropean"Ambassador"'s Brillant Work, "Eurofora" didn't expect to be, suddenly, propulsed at a Global, World-wide Horizon, in a more Topical Context than one could usually imagine, inviting to Travel accross Continents and throughout History, with a Spicy, Emotional and Imaginative Art.

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Naturally, when the AIATU's President, Constant Reibel, gave us, smiling, as a Gift, that precious "Collector's Item", which really is the "Number 20" TomiScope, due to Jump from 2019 to 2020, everybody expected -or, rather, Hoped- that it would Meet the Exceptional Challenge to gather, in its almost 100 large Pages, a lot of Interesting Data, pertinent Reminders, Revelations and/or News, that Inspired to his Best Friends,

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(including even the Young French President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron, who had Welcomed him at Elysée Palace), the Last "Joke" that Tomi played on Earth, by suddenly Jumping into Eternity, after More than 88 Years of a very Active and Creative Life, between 1931 and 2019.

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Earlier this Year, when the sympathetic Mayor of Nearby Kehl City at Neighbouring Germany, (Now Linked to Strasbourg not only by the "Europa Bridge", recently reinforced for High-Speed Trains, and even Bicycles, but Also by a Splendid Rhine River's "2 Shores Garden" and, at last, a popular Direct "Tram" Connexion, as if it had really Started to progressively Become One City for a foreseable Future), Tony Vetrano, (almost an Homonyme with Tomi !), a real Italian turned into a convinced Deutsch, and Ambitious enough as to try to Learn also French, as a Good European, had Welcomed the "Press Club" of Strasbourg in a well prepared Press Conference on the New, "Post-Tram" Era that was just Beginning for the 2 Cities, it's some Highly Symbolic Drawings of Ungerer on Franco-German Friendship and EU's core Integration, that Robert Walter, offered him as a Gift.

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Seated aside "Eurofora", Walter let us Notice the Fact that he had Offered, in Fact, 2, quite Different Ways to Imagine and Design a Joint Franco-German Future in Europe's Heartland : Both Interesting and Positive, one looked, however, even if equally ambitious, also a little-bit more ..."Techno" than the Other, which, on the Contrary, Focused on a very Simple but deeply Human Symbolic Image of 2 Friends rowing Together in 1 Boat through a splendid Nature... Curious to Find out which one Vetrano was going to Choose and show us all, or not, "Eurofora" soon saw that he had, indeed, chosen what looked as the most "Human" and SImple Version, (But Strong in Meening), almost at the Same Time that he Replied to one of Our Questions, during his Press-Conference, by, unexpectedly Pleading for what he named as the ..."Emotional" Character of "Border-line" Neighbouring Regions, which Share one and same Natural Border, (f.ex., here, a River, elsewhere, perhaps, a Mountain, etc)... Tomi Ungerer's Simple but Profoubd "Music" had worked just fine !     

But, Later this Same Year, we were genuinely Surprized to "Meet" anew Tomi Ungerer, this time Well Surrounded by Numerous among his Long-Time Friends, look at us all with a Kind but always Spicy Smile, High from the Top of Strasbourg Cathedral's Giant Roof, thanks to a Huge Image that himself and/or his Family and Pals had Chosen for the Ceremony of his Public Funeral, with the participation of several Confessions, and attended by a lot of People, clearly indicating his Popularity :

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Soon, the well known, Traditional Song for "Freedom of Thought", ("Die Gedenken sind Frei"), with the eternal Schieffer, echoed its Music in that emblematic, Historic Christian Monument. It was for a Protestant, who Liked that Catholic Cathedral, even added to some Jewish Yiddish, etc, amidst a Visible Franco-German participation : A Real "Alsacian" in the Middle of Europe...

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- However, when, during Today's 3rd "Meeting" that we had with Tomi Ungerer and his Friends, during this Same Year 2019, at AIATU's Gathering in Strasbourg's "Hilton" Hotel, "Eurofora" asked Walter and Reibel whether it was feasible to have, more or less, a Digitalized Catalogue uniting together a Full Overview of all the Huge List of various and Numerous Works Created by the Artist during all his Life, in a way which would Facilitate also People's and Experts' Research of the most Pertinent Artworks, among Tens of Thousands of "Pieces", (roughly separated between his "Museum" in Strasbourg's superb Republic Square, aside CoE's Secretary General's House, which is also an Internatiobnal Center for Designers, and those still Kept by his Family, living in Ireland since a long time ago, added also to a 3rd Group reportedly assembled by the German art collector Würth, etc), the Reply, given by Walter, was, basically, that, while something like that Already exists, somehow, inside at least a Part of Strasbourg's Museum for Tomi, nevertheless, a Fully-fledged, Scientific and systematic, overall Work of that Kind, might, Probably, be undertaken, sooner or later, "by the University of Cork", in Ireland, as he guessed.

+ And, then, suddenly arrived the Real "Surprize" :  - During the Next Year of 2020, "a Big Lot", more than 500 Pages-long, is due to Emerge, "with Tomi Ungerer's ArtWorks on America !", Walter announced Today. I.e., by a Timely Coincidence, during the Same Year of the forthcoming Crucial USA's Presidential Elections...

- Indeed, Ungerer had Left Europe during the 1950ies, in order to Work in the USA, at New York, and didn't Return but Only during the 1970ies, Walter Reminded to "Eurofora". During all that Period of Time, he was Living and Working there, even if he personaly was Against the residues of Maccarthysm and Cold War, Racial Segregation, Vietnam War, etc., and, on the Contrary, Favorable for Detente, Civic Rights, and Peace, he observed.

Inter alia, it will be certainly Interesting to see, whether, Tomi Ungerer's best Artistic Creations, mainly at the World-Famous Times of the "Sixties" inside the USA, would Help Inspire and ReVive also in Nowadays Europe a Similar "Magic" ambiance, mutatis-mutandis.

Even if we know, Nowadays, that, by having Left from the USA on 1971, he did Not have yet the Time to experience there Nixon's Recognition of China, Detente with Russia, Peace Treaty with Vietnam, End of Segregation, etc : Richard Nixon, indeed, was Not Only the "Watergate" impeachment scandal, But much More in World's History !

Let's cross fingers, and see what will happen, in that regard...

 

 

(.../..)

 

("Draft-News")

 

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Facing a 70% Abstention threat in 2009 Election, EU endorses EuroFora's idea for Citizens' debates on crucial EU decisions !

- Different views on "Europe's Future", should be debated among Citizens at June 2009 EU Elections, thanks to political Parties' "Manifestos", says EU Parliament's Report


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
A main idea, initiated and promoted by EuroFora's founders since 1997: the vital need to develop European Citizens' democratic right to actively participate in multilingual debates on EU decisions, is formally endorsed by the EU from 2009 !

The move is a key attempt to overcome "catastrophic" Polls which warn that only ...30% of Citizens are ready to vote in the forthcoming June 2009 EU Election !  This was revealed by EU Commission's vice-president, in charge of Communication policy, Margot Wallstrom, during a "hot" meeting of EU Parliament's Committee on Culture and Education, during the December 2008 Strasbourg session.

Wallstrom faced criticism, but also suggestions from various MEPs, naturally worried by Abstention threats which herself found even "worse" than in 1999 or 2004...

A Report on "Active Dialogue with Citizens",examined at the same time, presented some useful practical tips, on "facilitating Interviews"; etc., but also a  potentialy important call to "incorporate the conclusions of ...debates...into (EU) policies, and take into consideration the expectations that Citizens have of the EU when deciding". An amendment even implies that Citizens' participation in debates on EU decisions is a democratic "Right".

More importantly, it finds that  a Debate "on the Future of Europe", (as French President Nicolas Sarkozy has asked since 2007), would be a good idea " for the 2009 European parliamentary Elections", because "clarifying the political differences between the EU political parties would help citizens to identify themselves with, and choose between various concepts", for which "all parties (should) present their Manifesto".

A "Joint political declaration on Communicating Europe in Partnership", co-signed by "the European Parliament, Council and ... Commission", confirms that they "attach the utmost importance to improving communication on EU issues", by "enabling European citizens to exercise their right to participate in the democratic life of the Union, in which decisions are taken as openly as possible and as closely as possible to the citizens, observing the principles of pluralism, participation, openness and transparency".

This should "enable Citizens to exercise their right to express their views and to participate actively in the public Debate on European Union issues", while also "promoting the respect of multilingualism". In this regard, EU confirms its "wish to develop synergies with national, regional and local authorities as well as with representatives of Civil Society".

    It's since 1997 that a group of EuroFora's founders have officially presented a pioneer Project (then called "EIW", for "Europe in the World"), which aimed to develop Strasbourg's "Polyphonic music", by providing "Interactive information", on "main issues ... during the Decision-making process of European Organizations which engage in Transparent and Public Democratic Debates"

    This should be done, inter alia, by "exploring the potential of New Communication Tools (mainly Internet)", as well as classic-form debates, the 1997 EIW pioneer project's anounced in its "Synopsis". It was formally "accepted for evaluation" by EU Commission in Brussels in order to be examined for a grant in the framework of the "Research/Technology/Development (RTD) Programme in the field of Information Technologies", then called "ESPRIT", as a "Best Practice Pilot Project".

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        But the vital, urgent Political need for EU to search new, efficient ways to reach the People and interact with European Citizens, was really felt in Brussels and elsewhere only after the unprecedented in History 1999 and 2004 Majority Abstention in EU Elections, followed by 3 "NO" in Referenda in France, the Netherlands and Ireland, on 2005 and 2008...
    In this New Political Landscape, we prepared a new, actualised and more developed version of our initial idea, in a simplified and more efficient form, thanks also to a large Experience accumulated during many years of EU/CoE/UNO Press work and Multi-lingual debates, with the New project "EuroFora" :

    On 2006 we presented in Public its main lines during Questions/Replies that we raised at two Press Conferences by EU Commission President, Jose Baroso, and mainly EU Commission's vice-President, in charge of Communication policy, Margot Wallstrom, together with EU Parliament's vice-president, Alejo Vidal-Quadras, in Strasbourg, (Videos available), and we reminded it at various brief contacts with Commissioner Wallstrom in 2007 and 2008.

    Meanwhile, a new Text was also presented for "EuroFora" Project mainly to certain Political and other personalities, at European, National or Regional/Local level, mainly in 2007, but also in 2008..

    Now, after the unexpected 2008 Irish "NO", and before the 2009 EU Elections, which are due to be of exceptionally crucial importance for Europe's Future, the moment has obviously come to launch that project, progressively, but in real practice.

    Whoever really cares for Europe and its Citizens is welcome to join, in one way or another. Only anti-European, anti-democratic, obscure or ignorant groups might oppose or attempt to "steal" and deviate the main idea.

    But European Citizens, incited by enlightened political leaders, are those who will finally write the real History.

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