Changing words changes the worldSilence Hate, Changing words changes the world is co-funded by the Rights, Equality and Citizenship (REC) Programme of the European Union. The general objective of the project is to combat and prevent online hate speech against migrants and refugees by developing new and creative counter-narratives. The countries that are involved are: Belgium, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Poland, United Kingdom.
Online hate speech is a worrying and complex phenomenon, which has deep cultural and social roots and brings new questions and challenges to the issue of freedom of expression on the web. Many recent studies show that manifestations of hate speech against migrants and refugees are increasing in Europe. Not only the quantity of comments that undeniably violate the boundaries of freedom of speech, but also the intensity of visible online hate has reached a point where it is necessary to find solutions and instruments that would help to prevent or control this form of destructive public discussion.
Only a collective commitment at the cultural and educational levels can be the basis to counter it, while promoting at the same time freedom and participation. It is necessary to foster an environment where everybody is able to express their opinions but it is crucial that the media and the people take a stand and show that hate speech cannot be tolerated.
The general objective of the project is to combat and prevent online hate speech against migrants and refugees by developing new and creative counter-narratives. The most effective way to tacklehatred is througheducation and debate. Schools and media have a vital role to play in challenging hostility and prejudice, encouraging social solidarity and helping to promote understanding and empathy with others. Instead of focusing only on the possible negative consequences of the use of the internet, the idea is to explore the opportunities offered by modern technologies and innovative media productions for intercultural dialogue.
Media literacy has a crucial role, because media portrayals influence public perceptions and attitudes and, especially for sensitive topics such as migration, it’s important to be aware of the effects of the information flow. In the era of social media the need forpromoting a critical approach and correct use of the media is even more urgent. Part of the solution is giving people the tools to bring about change themselves.
Under the Silence Hate program, on the 24th and 25th of November Karpos organized a training workshop for teachers and educators. The workshop’s main aim was to provide a theoretical framework regarding hate speech as well as to introduce tools for the participants to use in their class in order to address hate speech issues. Furthermore, an additional aim was to connect the outcomes of Media Camp to the training. Our methodology was based on introducing a variety of media, alternative variations and a choice in technological equipment, while at the same time keeping a balance between analogue and digital means.
During the first day the focus was on analysing hate speech, its causes and different types. For the second half of the day the journalists that took part in Media Camp attended the workshop for a discussion and a presentation of their podcast. The latter became the stimulus for creating audiovisual outcomes on the subject of immigration. During the second day we selected to address 3 key areas: Point of View, The Complete Picture and Stereotypes. Each of these areas was investigated through practical tasks and further audiovisual outcomes were created.
To measure the impact of this training, Karpos gave out a form of intent at the end of the 2nd day as well as an online evaluation form. In the form of intent the participants were asked to choose two workshops in which they took part during the workshop, one analogue and one digital, which they would like to implement in their class. In the evaluation form most participants thought the strongest aspects of the training were the focus on practical involvement (doing instead of listening), the variety of the modules, the divert means with which the topic was tackled and the team working. Furthermore, what was interesting was the fact that quite a few participants noted a difficulty in implementing modules from the training due to lack of equipment in their school.
ITALY-GREECE: A CONVERSATION BETWEEN TWO COUNTRIES
Education as a response to racism
Karpos organized the event on Sunday 9/12 at K44. We were very happy to hear Francesca Cesarrotti’s intervention on the legal framework concerning the education of refugees and migrants in Italy the last few years. From Greece our guest speaker Mrs Elena Karagianni who has extensive field experience spoke on the conditions of education in the refugee camps, the positive results and the problems they face as well. Mr Kostis Papaioannou spoke on the subject of education in relation to racism and integration placing it in a sociopolitical context. Mr Nikos Meggrelis coordinated the conversation.
After the the very interesting debate, two interactive workshops followed with the general title «One image, many narrations». «Painting your f’eelings» led by Alessandra Falconi gave the opportunity to the audience to use paint and colors to express themselves and their feelings on an image projected on the wall and thus create a new narrative. «The blind painter» led by Maria Leonida paired up the audience, where one person is describing a photo using non-stereotypical phrases and the other one ‘the blind painter’ has to paint it as realistically as possible and in the end the put the painting and the photo side by side.
THE PHASES OF THE PROJECT
European Media CampA 5-day training for journalists, audio visual professionals, and social activists. The main objective is to bring together a wide network of creative minds to generate content for building a counter-narrative on migration.
Training CoursesTraining for teachers, educators, and activists on how to counterhate speech through media literacy and intercultural dialogue. Workshops forschool students and young peopleaimed at identifying and reacting to hate speech manifestations with web tools and positive actions. Training courses for journalismstudents aimed at proposing a reflection on the role of media in tackling online hate speech.
Media production(cc Marilena Grispou)
Investigative reports, digital initiatives, social media campaigns, and audio/visual productions by young people, journalists and activists about alternative narratives onmigration in Europe.
Online campaignWebsite and social mediafor an online campaign open to the widerpublic.
Public eventsSeven national public events and a final conference in Brussels.