Engaging young people around the European elections to counter xenophobic speech, promote diverse viewpoints, and encourage inclusive attitudes.
The Our Elections – Our Europe! project brought together various CSOs in Greece, Hungary and Italy alongside with Media Diversity Institute to engage young people on issues that were key to the 2014 European Elections, including migration, inclusion and the need to counter xenophobic speech.
The project was a response to the concerning rise in xenophobic attitudes and statements by politicians across the three countries. It addressed the danger that such attitudes are presenting, especially considering their increasing popularity among young people due to high youth unemployment, the lack of opportunities and a general disillusion with traditional politics. From February 2014, the project partners run a four-month media and social media campaign targeting, young people across the three counties with the aim to engage them to participate in the elections, promoting inclusive and positive attitudes towards migration, and exposing the misrepresentations and manipulation of xenophobic politicians through humor and drama.
Through an extensive social media campaign, the project spread the message of rejecting xenophobic discourse and supporting migrants as part of the open values of the European Union.
- Media monitoring to identify discriminatory discourse against migrants and ethnic minorities by politicians and other figures, which can influence public opinion during the run-up to the local, national, and European elections.
- Social media campaign as a mobilisation tool for the young people that the project is targeting.
- Article production of positive stories that counter the claims and attitudes of xenophobic politicians.
- Dedicated project website to disseminate key outputs by the national partners, using the project social media accounts, and to have trans-national support, discussion and collaboration.
- Video and radio stories that bring together the views of both migrants and Greek-ethnicity residents of similar areas of the cities, to talk about the same topic, in each audio/video story.
- Satirical cartoons and humorous caricature to expose negative rhetoric and ridiculous claims by politicians.
- Official complaint to the Editors’ Forum whenever media monitoring reveals any offensive or defamatory content against migrants that violates the Editors’ Forum’s code of ethics.
- Theatre laboratories to make puppets of different dimensions and with different techniques.
- Six street performances all across the city of Milan, using migrants’ own stories, satire and humour as direct responses to cases of xenophobic statements from politicians.
- Video production of labs and performances, and dissemination through the web.