In 2022, there was increased focus on our initiative for a European Public Space.
Under our programmatic strand SHARE Europe, we have designed, developed and funded an exciting portfolio of projects that promote a safe and functioning European public space. All of these projects highlight the importance of Europe as a shared public sphere in which people with different cultural and national backgrounds and views are connected to each other.
In 2022, a consortium of five partners – with ECF as coordinator – launched an important new EU-funded pilot project called Re:framing Migrants in European Media. This groundbreaking initiative strives to change current media narratives by making sure that migrant and refugee communities across Europe are telling their own stories.
As well as supporting various European media platforms and initiatives for safe digital and physical cultural spaces, we also finalised the EU-funded multi-annual project MediActivism – a project set up to create a safe digital public space for young people across Europe.
Read on to find out more about our SHARE Europe portfolio of projects.
Re:framing Migrants in the European Media
“The Re:framing Migrants in the European Media project has sparked a remarkable change in the media landscape. By empowering migrants to tell their own stories, challenging stereotypes, and promoting inclusivity, we are witnessing a profound shift in perspectives.” – Hilal Seven, journalist
Migrants and refugees are rarely far from the headlines in Europe. But we hardly ever hear stories directly from migrants and refugees themselves. Often people arriving in Europe from elsewhere end up being portrayed as one-dimensional characters, as “others” on a simplistic binary of perpetrators and victims. Their own stories, perspectives and opinions – as multi-faceted people with dreams, fears, friends and family – are rarely shared.
Launched in February 2022, Re:framing Migrants in the European Media was a 15-month pilot project, co-funded by the European Union, with the aim of reframing the narrative by making sure the voices and stories of migrants and refugees are heard.The European Cultural Foundation led a consortium of five European organisations:
- Gazeta Wyborcza (Warsaw) – with the Leading European Newspaper Alliance
- Here to Support (Amsterdam) – with the City Rights United network
- Eticas (Barcelona)
- Beyond the Now (Berlin/Dublin/London)
- ZEMOS98 (Seville)
The work was done in myriad ways: through research on media representation of migrants, mapping of practices of self-representation of migrants, online and offline community building, mutual learning and collaborative media production, as well as formulating proposals for media in Europe to become more inclusive.
Key achievements in 2022
• The Spanish organisation PorCausa analysed press coverage in different European countries, showing that the Austrian, Czech and Slovak media portray refugees as a threat to the security and economy of these countries. In the case of the Spanish press, solidarity towards refugees is shown in the context of victimisation.
• Re:framing partner Eticas explored how social media platforms’ models of governance and algorithms can lead to severe intrusions of fundamental rights, such as the right to equality, non-discrimination and privacy, and can escalate to new forms of systemic violence.
• Around 60 people from around the world gathered for a three-day collaborative event in Madrid from 5-8 July 2022 under the banner ‘Decolonizing the Newsroom’, coordinated by partners ZEMOS98 and Conciencia Afro. Read more.
• From September to December 2022, our partner organisation Here to Support launched a series of City Assemblies in six different cities – Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Lampedusa, Naples and Warsaw. The assemblies were small-scale one-day events targeted at grassroots organisations, journalists, activists and migrant communities in the cities. These were used to gather examples of practices and (policy) recommendations about the framing of migration in media. Read more.
Movies that Matter
“The project transformed young people from being passive consumers of media to being ‘media activists’ capable of persuading, organising and taking their concerns into the public sphere.”
We have been active in supporting young media activists across Europe for more than a decade. ‘MediActivism – courageous young citizens test new ways to reclaim their cities’ set out to develop, test and spread the practices of media activism among young people around Europe.
The project transformed young people from being passive consumers of media to being ‘media activists’ capable of persuading, organising and taking their concerns into the public sphere.
As coordinator of the project, we worked together with six local hubs:
• Fanzingo (Botkyrka/Evaluation)
• Les Têtes de l’Art (Marseille/Methodologies)
• ZEMOS98 (Seville)
• Krytyka Polityczna (Warsaw/Publications) and
• Kurziv (Zagreb/Policy & Quality Assurance).
• In the final two years, three organisations from Turin (Radio Banda Larga, YEPP Italian and Visionary Days) came together to form a sixth hub.
The project, which was finalised in 2022, was co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Commission, and the participation of the Turin hub was supported by Compagnia di San Paolo.
Physical spaces for public debate
All across Europe, citizens of all backgrounds and cultures are organising their communities. They are creating spaces where culture works to strengthen social ties and helps to imagine alternative ways of living and engaging with others in understanding, trust and peace.
The European Cultural Foundation supports projects that connect these spaces and help to build a crucial infrastructure for a cultural movement that can reclaim European democracy.