The narratives we are surrounded by and the different filtering mechanisms through which we look at reality seems to have become reason for separation instead of richness. Diversity is often misused and misrepresented to create misunderstandings and obstacles for a cohesive and inclusive narrative. Such representations are powerful fuel for frustration and creation of stereotyping and othering, which we see today in a world divided in “people with us and against us”, with little possibility to go deeper and beyond the “with us or against us” notions.
The general objective of this project was to give young people a space where to meet and explore narratives and counter-narratives of today’s Europe, and the values they promote. Participants were invited to explore concepts such as identity, intersectionality, representation, narratives and counter-narratives through personal storytelling, in order to foster the understanding of the impact that hate speech has on growing populist narratives and focus on othering instead of belonging in the current society.
During the youth exchange methods of informal and non-formal education were used. This helped participants to understand reasons and consequences of marginalization, hate speech, youth radicalisation, populism and social exclusion. Participants from different countries had the opportunity to discuss and understand topics and decide what kind of changes they want to bring into their societies through launching online counter-narratives.
Project Smore page (digital blog of the Youth Exchange): https://www.smore.com/d7yjm