Along with technology, trade and communication development all over the world, there is as well a growth of multiculturalism. It is no longer surprising to meet – especially in a major city – someone of other faiths, from another country or with different skin colour. Despite this fact, a lot of people are afraid of admitting to their own beliefs, origin or orientation. ‘Hate speech’ is the one to blame for all this as a part of society cannot afford to be who they truly are.
Base on the assumption that young people have a huge influence on the world, Autokreacja Foundation run a workshop, supported by the Erasmus Plus Programme. Youth from European countries – Italy, Spain, Germany, United Kingdom, Greece, Portugal and Poland – could have enlarged their knowledge of the hate speech and discussed together this social problem.
The beginning is often complicated – especially in a big group of people it just takes time to open up to each other. However, those young people did not have any problems making new friends and creating a great-working team. From the very beginning, there had been one thing, that had connected them – a willing to faith against hate speech. It was just a matter of time to find out they have a lot more in common.
Our heads love to collect massive amounts of beliefs, personal prejudice and opinion about any topic. It is hard to fight this as we live in internet times with easy access to information. However, it is real people who can put us right and give us authentic details. Each participant had a desire to find out more about other countries and their customs. Youth were exchanging information about everyday life and educational system; they were teaching each other words and phrases in their native languages, sharing their own stories – who they are, what they do, what they believe in.
This knowledge, provided by the natural curiosity of young people, formed a background to skills gained through the workshop – techniques which help to fight against persecution, social injustice, bullying or racism. Participants had an occasion to discuss the topic, make their own minds and share experience with the rest of the group. Theoretic knowledge was supported by some practical exercises – youth with organisers went out on the town to face the topic of hate speech. Warsaw was such a positive surprise for a lot of young people that they left with willing to see more of Poland’s Capital City.
To conclude the whole busy week, participants created short films about the raised subject. With all the involvement and creativity of young people, they could have turned their visions into a reality. Scriptwriting, make-up, directing – everyone found something for themselve. Having combined everything with teamwork and own-initiative, they produced something extremely moving.
The workshop brought to participants’ life new friends, skills and awareness of the issue of hate speech, which society has to fight with. Everything flavoured with positive energy of people ready to work and action.