With the initiative of the Local Network we organised the following events within the C4i in Lublin:
FOOTBALL GAME “FOOTBALL IS FOR ALL”
In cooperation with amateur female tootball team Perły Lublin and the Municipality of Lublin football team, thanks to generosity of Lublin Arena stadium, on Sunday, 29th of March, an unusual event took place. The teams played in T-Shirts prepared during stencils workshops, presenting slogans of the C4i campaign: DIVERSITY ENRICHES and WE ARE ALL FOREIGNERS SOMETIMES. Amasing atmosphere of the game, the spirit of sports rivalry and anti-discriminatory message were noticed by the local media – who also contributed as players in the male team!
Photos by Oksana Tsymbaliuk
was a series of meetings organized in cooperation with Municipal Public Library in Lublin to create the opportunity for the residents of local neighbourhoods to get together, sit at one table with foreigners and talk to them about their experience of living in Lublin. Moderated meetings are a chance to talk and get to know each other ‘s culture, traditions and history. In a friendly space of libraries arranged as a coffee place, such exchange of thoughts and questions becomes much easier than in every day life! Three Cafés were held: two at library No 35 and one at library No 34 in Lublin.
To the first edition of CaféDialog, which took place at Bursztynowa Street in Lublin, we invited Ms Marina Belokonova-Shiukashvili from Georgia, Ms Olesya Malyugina from Russia and Mr Yulian Hofman from Ukraine. The fantastic story about their lives in Poland, the way that lead to it and tastes they miss here was listened by a large group of local residents and sociology students. The atmosphere of the meeting was captured by Oksana Tsymbaliuk.
On the 20th of February 2015 we met over coffee, lemonade and cookies at library no 34 in Lublin to talk to Carlos from Spain and Brygita from Latvia to discuss their experiences in Lublin. The second CaféDialog was possible thanks to Sempre a Frente Foundation. Many thanks to the guests, organizers and hosts for a wonderful time. Meeting was photographed by Oksana Tsymbaliuk.
The third edition of CaféDialog was brought to Czuby neighbourhood thanks to hospitality of Library No 35 again. This time we invited Kamen and Elitsa Rikev from Bulgaria to share their story. The audience was absolutely enchanted and many nostalgic memories from Bulgaria were told, not only by our foreign guests!
Since workshops were definitely “our thing” during the C4i in Lublin, we decided to go for it again when we needed t-shirts for players in “Football is for All” game. Two days before the game we spent the entire afternoon and evening preparing the t-shirts with the stencils done by participants of the workshops. The idea, of course, was to engage different crowd than people usually showing up at anti-discrimination workshops and use the stencil as a tool to spread the anti rumour message.
LUBLIN RUMOURSEATERS MEDIA WORKSHOPS
was a series of workshops that took place between 14th of January until 27th of February, 2015. Participants not only got to know the situation of foreigners in Lublin, defined the biggest challenges when it comes to intercultural community, but also were able to creativly tackle them in short videos they made themselves. The videos produced durign the workshops are available in the Multimedia. There were 3 groups of participants: two of them consisted of high school students, the 3rd one of persons working and studying in Lublin. The effect of workshops was presented during the official Lublin Rumoureaters Gala on the 27th of February at the Centre of Culture in Lublin.
Lublin has been a home for Golden Anteaters Short Videos Festival for many years now. Searching for a creative way of combining what is already done in Lublin with the antirumours message, we came up with another workshop idea: Media Workshop, during which the participants will not only get to know the secrets of filmmaking, but will also create short video promoting integration themselves. We teamed up with Golden Anteaters creators, KinoTeatr Projekt, and „Lublin Rumourseaters” were born. Just after recruiting workshops participants, the C4i team experienced panic attac. The participants, to large extent, were teenagers, the workshops were… well, workshops and the ideas were supposed to be worked out in the process. Which meant we had absolutely no control of what was going to come out of it. And this was quite scary! The programme of workshops included introduction to antirumours and C4i, of course, but we were afraid it could be too little to provide participants with tools to create visual antirumours messages. On top of this, the highschools students – participants proved to be a quite difficult group to work with – too little experience to be able to share it and work on it, not too much knowledge on migration or integration, not to mention the problems migrants may face… The lesson we learnt in the process is to never assume that the initial plan is the right one. It was necessary to remodel the programme to better suit the needs of the groups. The style of work of the groups was entirely different to what the teachers had expected or known from their previous experience. Participants needed more time to work on their ideas, too. But the result was absolutely phenomenal! During the official „Lublin Rumourseaters Gala” evening, not only the participants and teachers – the creators of the videos were happy and proud. So was the entire C4i team! And the faces of the people who attended the show best describe this Friday evening atmosphere. They were captured by Oksana Tsymbaliuk.
14 persons took part in 25+ hours workshops and over 10 other people were engaged as actors in the productions created during the workshops.
Lublin Rumourseaters Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/plotkojady
All the videos created during the workshops are available on Communication for Integration YouTube channel.
MEETINGS WITH AUTHORS IN THE LIBRARIES
Cooperation with the libraries obliges – as a part of the campaign we organised 3 meetings around books with their authors:
- Psychoangel in Dublin by Lukasz Stec
- Zaklinacz Słów by Shirin Kader
- STIGMA – photo-book about the Roma community in Wrocław
US – YOU – THEM?
One of the topics the Local Network wanted to tackle from the very beginning, was the situation of refugees living in Lublin. Together with Interdisciplinary Team for the Integration of Foreigners we organized a meeting which took place at Local Culture Centre in the neighbourhood where most of the refugees live – Bronowice. On the 28th of November, 2014, we talked about the situation of refugees community from the perspective of the Centre of Foreigners, Primary School No 31 and representatives of Czeczen community. It was a very important and fruitful meeting. Noone could have anticipated that it was heald a month before the official decision to close the Centre of Foreigners in Lublin.
CREATIVE WRITING WORKSHOPS
Coming up with a message to engage people in the campaign and spread the right message at the same time is not an easy task. The Local Network in Lublin found it more and more difficult to find a „right slogan’. Could it be because we are all too deep in the subject and care personally about the idea? Has the involvement, knowledge and expertise been slowing us down? Not only have we reached the point where it was impossible to invent anything by ourselves, but also did not like anything suggested to us by experts on communication. This was the time we had to act and find new methods of working with the topic. During the Antirumours Training for Trainers one of the ideas for the campaign was to organize Creative Writings Workshop. This is exactly what we needed now! Unfortunately it became obvious after some time of searching, that finding the right person to conduct such workshop in order for it to meet our expectations, was not an easy task. We needed someone who knows how to do it but also has an idea about what we do and why.
And this is how we discovered Loesje Poland. Loesje Poland is a part of constantly growing international organisation and network of local groups present in over 30 countries all over the world. The network, created by a group of freethinkers who express their ideas and opinions through posters, publicationa and actions in public spaces, has become very popular in Poland. Short messages on the posters are sometimes ironical, sometimes funny, but always bringing and inspiring a a positive message. This is exactly a perspective we needed! The workshops took place in Labirynt Gallery – another public space invaded by C4i activities – and attracted over 20 persons – students and Local Network members. Not only was it a great way to free our minds a bit and bring back the creativity to our team, but it also helped to spread the message about C4i and antirumours to a broader audience. Engaging another organisation to do that proved to be a great idea. Even though we didn’t end up using the slogans created during the workshop, this was the energy boost thwat we all needed and a chance to gain new followers of the antirumours campaign.
Message on the poster above: Don’t talk to strangers
You may actually meet someone
Rumours Exchange Shop
For 4 days outside of Centre of Culture, municipal cultural institution and home of Municipal Public Library, a construction made of old banners was displayed and passers-by were invited to write the rumours they had heard or consider widespread among Lubliners. The goal was to engage local community into public discussion of how foreigners and migrants are perceived. The event attracted many people: young and old, male and female, working or studying, Polish and of foreign nationalities. Some of them wanted to share their stories, but not in writing, but most of them, to our surprise, were very keen to share therumours……or in many cases their own opinions or messages to newcomers. The messages were usually very friendly and inviting, the opinions – as usually – varied. 4 hours a day of collecting rumours engaged approximately 200 passers-by either to write their opinions or rumours they had heard about foreigners in Lublin, or to share them with volunteers, but without writing. Even though the official, scientific identification of rumours was over, the Rumour Exchange Shop can be considered a valuable barometer of social attitudes towards migrants. Many people feared the adverse effect of the initiative: strengthening and fixing misconceptions about foreigners, but this experience actually proved to be the opposite: a chance to see and confront the ‘power of rumours’.
Rumours Exchange Shop brought immediate attention of the media. The event got coverage in all 3 local radio stations, 2 local and 1 nationwide television, 3 local newspapers and the most popular nationwide online news provider. This became a great opportunity to spread the message about the project as well as all municipal intercultural initiatives. More than that, it was a unique chance to talk about the rumours and how to talk about them in the media.
The whole five days-long event was an important lesson to all of the people who took part in it: the organizers, volunteers (who later joined the Local Network and became involved in designing campaign acitivies as well) as people passing the Shop. It opened the debate on the way we see foreigners in Lublin and proved that the image is not always positive.