#ResonantBalkans Talks in Sarajevo and Skopje

 

It was a pleasure to host our first (mini) series of #ResonantBalkans Talks in Sarajevo and Skopje this March, discussing promising new approaches, strategies and tools developed by different groups from the region that are challenging the inflammatory, polarizing, and radicalizing narratives in society.

The gamification of fake-news-busting is a creative approach used by the Faketective team from Sarajevo, to combat misinformation and propaganda and to prevent the sharing of potentially dangerous content among the youth in the Western Balkans.

Ordinary Heroes project, also from Sarajevo, utilizes the video content of oral histories of war-time inter-ethnic rescue to create short videos that look at the present day inter-ethnic tensions through the prism of these positive stories from the past, tackling the prevailing divisive narrative based on glorification or vilification of war-time political and military leaders.

Humans of the Balkans will engage local editorial teams in re-writing the story of the Balkans as a region full of interesting and diverse people, cultures and religions that have a lot in common, encouraging empathy, trust and openness to differences. They are directly challenging the fear mongering, xenophobic undertones of sensationalist and politicized media reporting in the region that influences people’s opinions about their neighbors.

Project KRIK by the Banja Luka based Portal Kultura is a youth-run blogging platform that promotes critical and independent thinking, creative expression and actively counters hate speech online and the divisive, exclusionary narratives, by encouraging young people especially from smaller and divided communities to blog about their experiences.

In Skopje, #ResonantBalkans Talks introduced additional pioneering projects at the forefront of countering extremist narratives and contributing to more resilient communities. Teams from Macedonia, Kosovo, Serbia and Albania shared strategies and tools they are using to challenge the inflammatory, polarizing and radicalizing narratives in their communities.

Story2Tell, a project by the Skopje-based organization Nexus Civil Concept, has started collecting first-hand experiences and reflections narrated by those who have returned from Syria to dissuade other would-be fighters.

Women and Resilience initiative from Kosovo, by the Institute for Dialogue and Nondiscrimination from Prishtina, is bringing you women’s perspectives and their side of the story, being affected by the departures of their husbands, brothers and sons to Syria.

The Jasmine project, in collaboration with Gazeta Mendimi and the Women’s Center for Development and Culture Albania from Elbasan, works to train a new generation of journalists in writing about violent extremism to improve both the quantity and the quality of articles written on the subject in Albanian language.

CVEinfo.al is another initiative supported by the Resonant Voices, is developing a virtual web portal and virtual library of existing resources related to the fight against violent extremism in the Albanian language, as well as news, updates and information about ongoing and new initiatives in this field, to support the community of P/CVE practitioners.

The Partnership for Actions on Cohabitation and Tolerance, or PACT, is a project by the Skopje-based ZIP Institute that builds social cohesion through inter-ethnic dialogue. Their project brought together Orthodox and Muslim theology students, most of whom interacted with members of the opposite community for the first time.

No Hate Speech seeks to educate citizens in Presevo about the harmful effects of use of hateful propaganda and to promote the use of respectful and tolerant terms, targeting those who produce and distribute fake news, misinformation, or hate speech on the internet.

You can read more about each project in the campaigns section of our website.

 

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