The main aim of “Excuse me, is this hate yours?” is to develop capacities of youth from (post)conflict areas to act as multipliers in their local communities in processes of peace building, intercultural dialogue and struggle against all forms of hate speech in neighboring regions.
Objectives of the programme are:
- To promote cooperation of youth activists from (post)conflict areas for improving intercultural dialogue and respecting the differences of Others; To promote theatre as creative method for combating hate speech situations among youth;
- To motivate youth to act as role-models for neighborhood/regional cooperation;
- To develop competences and encourage young people to use creative and innovative approaches for promotion of active democratic participation of youth on local and international level, To promote sustainable conflict prevention at the community level through a participatory theatre methodology.
Activity 1: International training course “Hate will tear us apart – Confront it!”
Venue: Vukovar, Croatia
Training Course “Hate will tear us apart” will be a first activity of the programme and will set the grounds for the whole process.
The idea is that, during a one year process, organizations selected strengthen their capacities for cooperation with neighbouring countries and in Europe on initiatives related to peace-building, conflict resolution and against hate speech. The training course will gather up to 24 young activists in Vukovar, Croatia for a 7 days programme on human rights, conflict resolution and hate speech.
According to Human Rights Watch report for 2013 (http://www.hrw.org/world-report/2014/country-chapters), regions that programme is tackling have in common: intolerance, discrimination, lack freedom of expression, treatment of minorities, LGBT and gender inequality and, specifically for Balkans, Accountability for war crimes. 2014 is not giving hope that these issues will improve, actually, in some of the countries situation is getting much worse (Ukraine, Turkey, Russia for instance).
Vukovar has been symbolically chosen as, before the war, town with more than 30 nationalities living together, completely destroyed in war in 1991, during the civil war in ex-Yugoslavia. It is also sometimes called a phoenix city as it grew again, in re-building process that took more than 20 years (it was destroyed in less than 3 months to the ground) but the trust among its multi-ethnic citizens has never been fully rebuilt.
Objectives of the training are following:
- To reach mutual understanding about the concept of human rights, specifically freedom of expression, hate speech and terminology used
- To increase participants’ knowledge on the topics: human rights, hate speech, hate crimes.
- To define role of youth work in peace-building, conflict resolution and no hate speech activities in (post) conflict regions
- To stimulate inter-cultural learning among participants
The training will be based on NFE methodology, using different approaches to tackle cooperation among countries experiencing or which are still affected by conflicts. In order to build bridges for the future steps in the process, we will start from the basics: how to show appreciation to “your kind” (nationality, ethnicity, for example) without harming or insulting, hating ‘Others’.
Activity 2: International Training Course “Building bridges (in divided cities) – theatre as a tool for overcoming hate and prejudices”
Venue: Nicosia, Cyprus
Training course: Building bridges (in divided cities) – theatre as a tool for overcoming hate and prejudices will gather 24 youth activists from 12 countries in Nicosia, Cyprus to work on developing of theatre performance, by using the methodology of theatre of the oppressed, as a tool for tackling the hate speech, conflicts and human rights violations in (post)conflict countries involved in the process.
Objectives of the training:
- To introduce participants to methodology of the Theatre of the Oppressed as tool for social change in communities
- To develop performance on hate speech, human rights violations and conflicts by offering spect-actors to interfere and develop solutions for hate related situations
Why did we choose Nicosia?
Nicosia is a divided city since 1974 and a border line goes straight to the city centre. Buffer zone is protected by UN. Although the situation is much calmer, and people are commuting on daily basis from one side to the other, the division is still there. Both sides (Turkish and Cypriot) have refugees, displaced people from both sides, and both claim that the other part belongs to their side. This is one of the rare cities in Europe still divided.
The training will be held in Nicosia and the performance will be played there for the first time, if possible, in the buffer zone. The training will be held in June when Cyprus is already fled with tourists, but we would like to take advantage of this and get the both local and international intervention in our performance. Also, if possible, the play will be partially played in both sides of the border.
We are expecting that this Activity will develop capacities of youth activists involved/representing youth organizations or groups to work on fighting against hate speech as well as on human rights education by using different tools, such as theatre of the oppressed (including image theatre, rainbow of desire, forum theatre). Theatre can be a powerful tool when working with youth on different levels: local, national and/or international.
Theatre performance will be prepared based on the online survey results (the most common issues will be chosen to be tackled) and played for the first time in preparation for the Train of Tolerance Tour.
Performance will be based on personal stories, situations of hate, experienced by participants, which will give a new experience and skills to participants as results.
Activity 3: I’ve sent you a message – virtual is real
Venue: virtual space
Activity 3 will be a virtual contribution to conflict resolution and fight against hate speech. We want to hear our participants’ opinions before and after. What were their opinions/attitudes towards Others, nations their nations had conflicts with, minorities before they met them “in real” and started working on this process. Participants will be sending not necessarily personal messages to specific persons, but in general to youth not of their origin. This way, they will potentially tackle the prejudices, stereotypes, tell stories or make comparisons. Some of them might use opportunity to tell their own story.
The idea of this activity is to show how opinions and attitudes change after personal encounters which usually show that we are all, more or less the same: we have same problems, similar interests, first loves, choices of profession, problems finding job…
To emphasise the importance of youth work in dealing with the past and conflict resolution among youth from (post)conflict areas
To contribute to overcoming prejudices/stereotypes about “Others” – from the other side of the conflict To emphasise the importance of personal contact in building bridges among young people
To impact participants’ local communities with personal and simple human stories
Participants, but also other members of their organizations, or their friends, family members will be leaving messages to others, from countries participating in the process. Also, participants will have a task to make photographs related to topics of the process. All of these will be posted online, on YEU web site (www.yeu-international.org) and shared on social media. This period will be used, apart from local preparations for Activity 4, for communicating virtually and showing that it is all about understanding and learning about each other.
Activity 4: Train of Tolerance Tour
Venue: Balkan countries
Activity 4 will be the most important activity of the process as we will show our work and results to local communities and “leave” it to them to use them afterwards for resolving the hate speech situations or improving the intercultural dialogue with their neighbours. The idea of the activity is to show that all border and boundaries can be crossed and overcome, that we are not born with hate and that it is just a work of an uneducated and closed mind.
This activity will be promoting youth mobility. All young people in Europe should have opportunities for mobility, it is developing skills and competences and improving employability, but also it is broadening horizons and opening minds. As part of this Activity, we will organize a theatre performance tour through ex-YU countries.
Why do we want to tour?
The performance will be prepared by the young people coming from 12 (post)conflict countries, from different regions of Europe. The topics, scenes and problems tackled will be based on the results of the survey (Activity 2) but also common for all the regions (intolerance, discrimination, prejudice as well as other forms of hate speech). By organizing a performance in 5 different countries, we will be able to reach very wide audience on local level, to see different solutions offered to the same topics, reactions as well as discussions (which will follow after the performances).
Why did we choose Balkans (Ex-Yugoslavia)?
Yugoslavia was a huge country of many different nationalities and cultures living together for more than half a century. When the wars started and destroyed not only buildings, but human lives, families, hopes and dreams, the nationalism, xenophobia and hate towards others grew tremendously. Hate was spread everywhere: from political discussions to sport manifestations. It took over 20 years to reach the point where traveling will be possible again, communication as well as economic, cultural, educational and political cooperation in the end. However, the hate still exists as young people, who have never met their peers, hate each other, or at least have prejudices. When they meet, the story is different. Also, this is the only region that is so geographically connected but still far apart. Slovenia and Croatia are now EU countries, while others are still struggling with burdens of the past (such as war crimes or huge inter-ethnic intolerance) In a way, we want to make a point: it was easy to start the war, but it is difficult to bring peace.
- To play the theatre performance in 5 different countries with same topics (5 plays in 11 days in total)
- To tackle hate speech and violations of human rights and search for potential solutions together with local communities
- To promote the idea of peace and conflict resolution around Balkans with 12 countries representatives participating in the performance
Financial aspects of the project:
Food and accommodation will be covered 100%.
Travel costs will be covered 70 %.
Profile of participants:
- Youth leaders very motivated to act in their sending organization
- Are over 18 years old
- Have an interest in the topic
- Willing to learn & motivated to share experience with others after the event
- Are able to work in English
- Are committed to attend for the full duration of the project
Applicants must be ready to attend all 4 activities mentioned above!
Sending fee: 300 MKD for each event
Deadline for application: 10.02.2015