Online – 4 meetings in the period 14 June – 9 July 2021
Advocacy is any intentional act aimed to publicly promote, defend or object a political cause/policy or its implementation. Sounds beyond your reach? Well, it is not. Citizens and communities take-up political causes across the world every day. More often than not, these causes first look unimaginable to attain. But as power grows, hope and pressure to the other side rise too. And then… everything is possible. Advocacy is not about specialised knowledge or sophistication. It is about self-awareness, personal relations, determination, good planning and organisation.
Inter Alia seeks to include 5 youngsters (18-30 y.o.) and 1 youth leader (without age limitation) in the upcoming Youth Programme “A for Advocacy” revolving around intersectional causes and common struggle of oppressed or marginalised groups.
The Youth Exchange builds on the previous activities of the “Through the Lens of the Other” project; these were related to exploring intersectionality as a framework for connecting groups that face diverse kinds of discrimination, building solidarity, and using film as a way for these groups to narrate their experiences.
The Youth Programme “A for Advocacy” will focus on the next step: how to use film and other media as tools for visibility and advocacy. The participants will have the chance to organise campaigns and public actions, according to their interests and goals. Through this process, the participants will develop strategies to claim their rights and advocate for intersectional struggles and causes.
The youth programme foresees the involvement of 60 youngsters from 11 European countries (Italy, Malta, Germany, Sweden, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, the UK, Spain, Turkey and Greece). After this programme, participants will be in the position to:
- communicate more and better with their peers,
- understand motivation for action;
- design and implement advocacy campaigns for causes they believe in.
This project especially encourages youngsters with fewer opportunities, who identify as belonging to minority social groups, facing discrimination or experiencing oppressive structures (e.g. racism, xenophobia, sexism, homophobia, ableism, etc.), to apply and join as participants. The youth programme aspires to create an environment that all participants can share their experiences, learn from and empathise with each other.
ABOUT THE PROJECT
Context and Background
The project “Through the Lens of the Other” aims to introduce and explore new ways of understanding and addressing discrimination in Europe. Critical theories in social sciences explain, through the concept of intersectionality, how oppressive social beliefs and structures (racism, xenophobia, sexism, homophobia, ableism etc.) are interconnected; systematic oppression cannot be understood or addressed with single-issue approaches as they tend to accentuate a specific part of the target groups’ identity and, thus, perpetuate otherness. Co-existing multiple identities demand an approach to integration that is holistic and sensitive to different experiences.
Discrimination due to gender, sexuality, race, culture, physical ability, ethnicity and nationality are the main aspects that the project centers upon; its influence is in the social, economic and behavioral development of the people affected and can be expressed in different terms. Apart from the marginalization, which is the main influence on their social development, discrimination can be detected in the exclusion of the aforementioned people from equal treatment by institutions (e.g. unequal access to democratic rights, discrimination in the workplace, access to the labor market).
The common element is the process of othering, that is, of viewing people around you as inherently and essentially different, based on their belonging to one certain group. Shedding light onto this structure, outlining how it is a common process in all discriminations and operationalizing the analytical framework though non-formal learning activities will work as a step towards tackling it.
Aims & Objectives
The “Through the Lens of the Other” project aspires to:
Empower individuals and reinforce the agency of marginalized groups thus enhancing their representation;
Raise awareness on the victimization of vulnerable groups thus fostering empathy;
Promote positive attitudes towards discriminated groups thus embracing diversity as an asset in a society;
Reduce prejudice and promote social integration thus fostering inclusion of marginalized people; Promote integration and cohesion among EU member states regarding rights and freedoms.