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Pubblicazione 04

EATGA study day Prague 16.3.2019

The past, the present and the future

observer’s report

Bettina Fink


The small group was conducted by Marlene Spero. The task was the in-depth-analysis of the activities of EATGA and the understanding of major issues EATGA has currently been faced with.


It was discussed that one intention of previous WS organizers was to attract more young people to join EATGA as was the case in Marsala, but the presence of students and their professors caused some problems of hierarchy and power. The specific interests and issues of the younger generation were questioned.

In Ischia, those papers which mobilized affects and emotions and open access to unconscious fantasies e.g. de Bono’s were considered particularly helpful. Generally there were a lot of interesting papers in Ischia, however participants felt that the overwhelming quantity of papers on the one hand and the lack of time for in-depth-discussion on the other, enabled them to feel the difficulties Italians were facing with a huge influx of refugees and not enough support by other countries. There was consent that EATGA could provide training for people who work with refugees.

Antonio was very ambitious and successful in bringing back the French colleagues. The conflicts between French, Germans and British, also expressed by different theoretical approaches of founding members were important issues present in the matrix of EATGA since its inception. The disappearance of the use of German in EATGA reflected underlying conflicts and the drop out of some important members. The importance of keeping the multilingualism was stressed by some members as well as the necessity of holding scientific meetings and study days twice a year beside the WS. The lack of transparency concerning payment in the staff was criticized and expressed underlying conflicts. Participants consented that unsolved conflicts in EATGA could hinder further development of the organization.

There are several important topics EATGA should continue to work on considering the current political situation where Europe is closing its borders to confront migration from Africa. There was a question of the political role of EATGA/group analysis – is that something we need to consider and how does this all link in with racism? The question remains which setting could be the best to attract also young people to join the dialogue? Participants agreed that discussing and analyzing the past was necessary for better conceiving future strategies of EATGA as was well reflected in the introductory papers.