Democracy and participation, Migration

Let’s flourish!

Participatory crafts(wo)manship for inclusive local community

Creators

Who is behind this?

Anka Pintar

Zavod Tri / Tri Institute

http://www.zavod-tri.org

Slovenia

Idea

Idea pitch

Let our community flourish in its diversity! Our main objectives are to raise awareness on integration as a two-way process, to empower immigrant women to take an active part and to build inclusive welcoming community. Our participatory craft(wo)manship action ‘Let’s flourish!’ tackles the challenges of increasing cultural diversity, encourages creative community engagement and invites people to co-create inclusive and tolerant and healthy local community.

Where will your project idea take place?

Our project will take place in Škofja Loka, including participants from wider Škofja Loka region.

What is the local challenge?

In Škofja Loka area in the last few years the local industry is employing more and more men workers from ex Yugoslavia countries and family reunification is the main reason of immigration. Local community is facing challenges of cultural diversity. Migrant women are meeting the problem of integration as both migrants and women.Taking care of family, with (as a newcomer) having no wider social network, no extended family or friends’ support, makes learning language and accessing the labour market (as two basic steps of integration process) even more difficult. Most of them are stay-at-home mothers, with not many opportunities for social activation and participating in civic engagement activities. The language and cultural barrier is even more obvious with Albanian speaking newcomers.

How does your idea strengthen democracy and active citizenship at a local and community level?

In times when politics and media are polarising people we find creative ways of facing social problems even more important and efficient. With our project we are tackling the challenges of intercultural coexistence and integration as a two-way process, encouraging tolerant dialogue/cooperation and moderating it through creative socially engaged participatory action. With participatory discussions, handcraft workshops and community events we are going to bring people together and support them in co-creating more cohesive and tolerant community. Our engaged graffiti messages, created in this participatory process, will reach diverse publics. And most important, through project activities we will empower immigrant women and encourage them to take an active part in the local community.

Who are you doing it for?

We will engage different groups and perspectives – immigrant women and local community as two main target groups, and different beneficiaries - municipality, local schools and kindergartens, local employers, who employ immigrants, cultural institutions and NGOs.
We will reach diverse audiences – with the support of our participants and beneficiaries and on our public events mostly wider local community, through (social) media also audiences from other parts of Slovenia.
Key figures of reaching out our target groups are kindergarten and school teachers, who are in constant contact with immigrant families. We will reach wider local community and encourage cooperation through our knitting intercultural community Breja preja, which already is an important social inclusion initiative.

How do you plan to get there?

- Moderating communication between different stakeholders
- Engaging different perspectives: Through different channels (complementary activities of our organisation, our network, social and other (local) media) we will encourage people to share their ideas/messages about living cultural diversity. We will build the bridge between our participants (immigrant women) and wider community and include them already at the stage of inspiration and brainstorming. In a moderated process in a democratic participatory way we will build and choose engaged messages that will raise awareness on interculturality in the local community.
- Community participatory crafting (participatory workshops of engaged handcraft), creating messages - crochet graffiti
- Graffiti intervention - yarn bombing

What are the expected results?

One part of the success would be that women from our target group are being supported to be included and empowered to fully participate as members of the society, plus they are equipped with a crafting skill which can be essential to keep their mental health in good condition. Another part of the success would be the established feeling of safe space in our community to express oneself either through art and craft or in other means of communication.
A success would be if people in our community would stop talking about how afraid they are to speak out and they would engage themselves in respectful and tolerant dialogue. Another success would also be if our graffiti gets involved in the dialogue. For us success would also mean that our diverse knitting community grows in quality.

How does your initiative contribute to strengthening democracy in Europe?

We would like to enable people to take part in safe, open and functioning civic spaces and to be active citizens in our community and at other levels. We believe this could be one of the ways to overcome polarization and deep political division. One of the issues of polarization in our society are also migrations which in our organisation we address in creative ways. Our experience is that with crochet graffiti and yarn bombing as innovative ways to work with/for/by people we are reaching broad audiences and we can put diverse positive messages through. By our experience this action doesn’t spark hate speech. We have the participants and to audiences it also gives a message that we can co-create our own future and have agency to influence our collective lives.

What is your story?

We would like to live in a tolerant and solidary community. At the moment we feel that we can’t express our opinions and lead a democratic discussion. We feel like we are living in a divided society and we would like to overcome that. Our connection is that we are a group of women and that we have to continue our fight for equity in our society. That our voice is heard and our roles recognized. Our mission behind the idea is to encourage democratic dialogue in the community, where constructive debates sprout. We would also like to encourage people to think, to respect other opinions and to raise their voices in respectful and democratic ways.

€ 14000,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

€ 14000,-

Total budget

Major expenses

office expenses: 400 EUR
personnel: 7800 EUR
public relations: 3800 EUR
materials: 1000 EUR
other expenses: 1000 EUR

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

What are we missing? Are we having good channels to reach out? Would you be a part of such project? We had troubles in explaining all the advocacy activities that will go on around this initiative - do you maybe have an idea, how to include them better?

Team

Anka Pintar

arnusnina

Idea created on May 27, 2020

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