Towards a Deeper Understanding of Rural Europe is an interdisciplinary and multiplatform research project, which was initiated by the European Union Commission for Culture and Civil Society Dialogue Program. The project aimed to build and institutionalize mutual research, multimedia production, and scientific cooperation opportunities between universities within the European Union. The project engaged academic, artistic, and rural communities in Turkey, France, and the Netherlands, utilizing methods drawn from the fields of visual anthropology, human geography, ethnography, documentary, visual art, and rural policy management as means of research and communication. The project engaged 2 rural communities from each respective participating country: Papenveer and Lierderholthuis (the Netherlands); Ammerschwihr and Ranrupt (France); and Kefken and Soganli (Turkey). The project included collaborators from the following institutions: Bilkent University, Leiden University, University of Strasbourg, ArtEZ Hogeschool voor de Kunsten, and NIHA (Netherlands Institute for Higher Education Ankara). The project resulted in the successful cross-pollination of interdisciplinary research and production methods, across disciplines and geographic borders. The newly enabled research and documentary materials addressed and explored issues such as: economic trade policy, agricultural resource management policy, human migration patterns, and language replacement. Project content was assembled and presented throughout the European Union at conferences and screenings- the materials of which now form an interdisciplinary archival collection, held by the Dutch National Museum of Ethnology. A joint document, detailing project results, was prepared and offered to the European Union Parliament. For this project, my research and artistic work addressed the practice of ritual in the closed village of Lierderholthuis (the Netherlands). A documentary film entitled ‘18’ was produced, and later screened in Turkey, the Netherlands, and Canada.
A documentary art film by Monika Berenyi