ANTIGONE - Information and Documentation Centre on Racism, Ecology, Peace and Non Violence (ANTIGONE)
Evosmos, receiver of migrants in other moments of the 20th Century, is today the home of the newly arrived refugees who live with little connection with the neighbourhood’s civic fabric. The project empowers multicultural youth develop a community-based approach enabling local community discover the district’s refugee collective memory going back over journeys and cultures. The aim is to overcome dichotomy among population stressing on the importance of everyone’s “living cultural heritage”.
Municipality of Evosmos-Kordelio (Thessaloniki metropolitan area), Central Macedonia, Greece.
The project aims to abolish distance between locals and newcomers that undermines the integration process of refugees in Evosmos. Through a community-based process of intercultural sensitisation and exchange the aim is to overturn the local/foreign dichotomy that causes exclusion and sever lack of opportunities to refugees. This xenophobia and hatred is reflected in various non-collaborative and hostile attitudes at schools, public services, working spaces as well as among local families, groups of friends etc. Through intercultural interaction and collaboration citizens are approached to develop sensitization and empathy as their means to replace scepticism against a population which has been deprived of their rights by governmental policies that failed to provide an integration path.
Project broadly addresses all residents of Evosmos of any cultural, social or economic background motivating them perceive their neighbourhood as a welcoming space of various cultural groups that successfully co-existed since the 1920’s, mainly the Greek Minor Asian refugees as well as Balkan refugees from the 1st Balkan war. Evosmos residents are approached through an awareness raising and sensitisation campaign built step-by-step by the core target group of the project that is the region’s multicultural youth of 14-25 years old. To deploy to its most the “living cultural heritage” exchange educational program and campaign that will be designed and implemented under the project, the group of youth will be created by students of the Intercultural Secondary School (Gymnasium) of Evosmos.
The main goal of the project is to foster linkages among the diverse local community members of Evosmos, as well as to boost social integration and active civic participation. In order to achieve this, the project is divided in two phases.
The first phase consists of an experiential educational program (E.P.) on intercultural heritage with a target group of 15-20 young participants of various ethnic and cultural backgrounds aged from 14-25 years old. The Municipality of Evosmos, the Intercultural Secondary School of Evosmos (Gymnasium) and active associations in the region could help in the formation of the focus-group after the relevant communication procedures. The E.P. will be a series of training workshops (total duration: 20 hours), based on non-formal education, using participatory and experiential educational techniques, individual or interactive work in sub-groups. Some indicative activities could be: creative writing, story-telling, cooking, research projects, fieldwork in the neighborhood (interviews, articles) etc.
The second phase of the project entails the development and implementation of an awareness raising campaign with a topic relevant to the project, organized by the participants of E.P. It could include: intercultural music and food, photography exhibitions, living libraries, cultural identity tours, collective video/book etc.
The project enables local and refugee populations to interact, experiencing the "living political heritage" as a meeting point. Special emphasis will be given on embedding the experience of ancestors’ refugee past into the learning process, aiming the present refugee population’s integration. Project’s activities will provide a rich local bottom-up approach of history and the acknowledgement of the present experiences of the refugees to create empathy linkages. This procedure alongside with the target group’ s chance to share their work with the local community will contribute to social integration strengthening, active civic participation empowerment and the emergence of a collective civic spirit based on tolerance, respect, collaboration and togetherness.
A socially and politically engaged citizenship is normally born from existing civic linkages built within the civic fabric. This project more than directly promotes an active citizenship by offering a fruitful ground for dialogue defined by the collective memory of a refugee cultural heritage of Evosmos meeting with today’s refugee’s experiences. The educational participatory methods embody in themselves co-decision and are designed to empower civic skills and consequently complement perfectly with the refugee cultural heritage background. In practice, this means debating, learning how to construct arguments, sharing and retrieving stories while learning about Evosmos and the culture of the newcomers.
ANTIGONE approaches all issues in its field of expertise under the prism of human rights and social justice. This project will be supported by professionals with previous experience on working with diverse groups of locals and refugees that have already worked with the youth of Evosmos making good use of methodologies of non-formal education, peaceful conflict resolution and democratic decision-making. ANTIGONE extensively works with the school community of Evosmos continuously since 2012 in various human rights related projects. Also, there is continuous communication and efforts to build up collaborations with the municipality for fostering the sustainability and inclusion in the local community. We developed this project idea building on existing knowledge and needs assessment.
Funding requested from Civic Europe
-Project manager 7500
-Trainers to prepare and realize workshops 8400
-Historian-cultural researcher/political scientist for the historical background to support the workshops 1100
-Communication expert to support all communication activities of the project and to organize and support campaign 5000
-Project's visual identity 1000
-Video making 1000
Materials for campaign and workshops (food, printing of photographs for exhibition, room etc) 5000
Happy to receive feedback especially from groups who have planned projects on intercultural education, youth campaigning, education and arts for inclusion etc. and would like to share their experience. This exchange could also serve the purpose of establishing alliances for future projects.