Love Your Neighbour | ARTE

A Pole by Carlos the Portuguese

And you, how do you picture a Pole?

Petr the Czech

When I hear of Poland, I picture a large farm in the middle of wide open spaces. The sun shines brightly. In a field that stretches indefinitely, a young woman around 25 is working. She may be blonde with a round face, in a skirt and tee-shirt. She is picking fruit in a greenhouse – beautiful strawberries. Before putting them in a basket, she checks them one by one to make sure that they are ripe enough, with no trace of rot. She is happy with her harvest, with her work, with her whole life.

Collected in Brno

Sona the Slovak

He is an average-size Pole. He is 22, dressed ordinarily in a pair of jeans and tee-shirt. He is dark-haired and wears glasses. He is not very good-looking, nor ugly – just ordinary, like a Slovak. He is in his teacher’s graphic studio, showing him drawings that he made. He is a headstrong and stubborn Pole, hotly defending his point of view. Poles are known for creating fabulous posters, and that is why I decided to do my professional internship in Poland.

Collected in Bratislava

Rokas the Lithuanian

I imagine a young man preparing for a soccer match. He slips on his team’s jersey and shines his baseball bat so perfectly that his shaven head is reflected in it. The match is about to start, he drinks a shot of Zubrówka with his pals, talking about girls. He’s got a girlfriend, but likes to go to bars to meet other girls. There are nationalistic ideas hovering inside his head – he’d like to get the Northern territories back. His dream is to open a car-tuning garage. He’d like to show off in a BMW, but for the moment he rides around the rutty roads of his village on a bike.

Collected in Vilnius

Hubert the Luxembourger

Hubert the Luxembourger

I picture a rather sturdy 40-year-old blond man. He is a freelance gardener. He comes to Luxembourg in the spring to maintain gardens, then returns to Poland. Here, he is seen as a “Polak,” a worker living on very little and saving out so that his family can  have a better life in his country. He is very open and learns new languages to be able to interact with people. He is driven by a yearning for freedom and independence. I’m just slightly sorry that he hasn’t taken the step to settle in our country with his family and completely assimilate. He would be welcome.

Collected in Luxembourg


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A Pole
A Croat
A Luxembourger
A Latvian
An Italian
A Swede
A Portuguese
A Dane
An Estonian
A Hungarian
A German
An Englishwoman
A Greek
A Slovene
A Maltese
A Belgian
An Austrian
A Bulgarian
A Czech
A Lithuanian
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A Romanian
An Irishwoman
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A Finn
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fresco - Love your neighbor

How do you picture your European neighbours?

This is what we asked to nationals from the 28 EU countries. Drag the missing pieces into the fresco to discover the films. Stereotypes? Truths? Fantasies? It's for you to see.

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