Be Everything Belong

The NET-IDEA Project, Network of European Towns for Interculturalism, Diversity, Equality & Anti-Discrimination, aimed to empower local authorities in the promotion of diversity, interculturalism, anti-discrimination and minority inclusion.

With cities experiencing constant change and increasing cultural diversity due to human mobility, it’s crucial for governments to embrace and adapt to this diversity to address emerging inequalities and discrimination.

The project involved a transnational partnership among civil society organizations and 16 municipalities in 6 European countries (Italy, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Germany & Poland), funded by the EU/CERV Programme and supported by the Council of Europe’s Intercultural Cities Program.

It provided municipal staff at very different levels and young activists with an opportunity to deepen transnational peer-to-peer cooperation and develop specific skills and effective practices to address challenges at the local level in the fields of Intercultural Competences, Youth Activism on Anti-Rumours & Awareness-Raising.

NET-IDEA has, finally, promoted a very positive and lasting cooperation that will keep promoting the design and dissemination of new narratives to combat discrimination, creating hence a MORE INCLUSIVE EUROPEAN SOCIETY.

Activities included webinars, capacity-building, a community of practice for exchanging experiences, local workshops with youngsters, events/initiatives of awareness-raising and a Youth Summit involving many young activists from different countries.

Central to the project are awareness raising high-impact public events focusing on self-identity and belonging, involving youth, and an international social media campaign “BE EVERYTHING BELONG“.


FINAL EVENT

CO-CREATING INTERCULTURAL INTERACTION & NEW NARRATIVES TO BUILD A NEW SENSE OF BELONGING

In a groundbreaking approach to synthesizing discussions on intercultural interaction, anti-discrimination efforts and positive narratives, the final event of NET-IDEA that took place in Botkyrka (Sweden) on 16 & 17 April 2024 not only served as a relevant meeting point for passionate individuals from various municipalities, NGOs and activist groups, but also as a creative hub for collaborative book writing. This unique event aimed to capture the essence of belonging and diversity through collaborative literary pieces.

Speakers, ranging from municipal representatives to youth activists, highlighted collective efforts in promoting interculturalism and combating discrimination. Presentations underscored significance of community, interculturalism and activism. Highlights included touching recollections on role of education in fostering intercultural understanding, innovative approaches that cities are taking to engage youth in local activism and discussions about anti-discrimination methodologies and policies.

As the conference ended, participants gathered to reflect on two days of collaboration, learning and exchange. By spontaneous expressions of inspiration, creativity and collaboration, each participant encapsulated essence of their experience during conference. Participants summarized the conference experience with words such as…

“Inspiration” “Creativity” “Intense” “Brave” “Thrilling” “Exchange” “New Friends” “Intense Energy” “Work” “Exciting” “Youth” “Resilience” “Collaborating” “Co-Creation” “Adventure” “People” “Diversity” “Hope” “Belonging” “Challenge” “Inclusive” “New Ideas” “Open-Minded” “Emotions” “New Energy” “Energize” “Power of Youth” “Collaboration” “Solidarity” “Nice” “Democracy” “Teamwork” “Smile” “Communication” “Awesome” “Grateful” “Love”

Photo credits: Giuseppe Laera (Istituto Italiano di Fotografia)


THE ACTION ON INSIDEOUT PLATFORM AND THE ARTIST JR

Global Portraits Exhibition “BE Everything BElong”, main event of the NET-IDEA Awareness-Raising & Communication Campaign, opened officially at Hallunda Folkets Hus in Botkyrka on 17 APR 2024 as collateral event of the final conference of NET-IDEA. Opening speeches were delivered by youth from Sweden, Portugal, Italy, Poland, and Germany. The Mayor of Botkyrka Municipality officially inaugurated the exhibition. Fanzingo also provided an auditory experience, “Botkyrka Apocalypse”. Showcasing 132 Portraits of Young Project Participants & Activists across Europe, the exhibition was community based installed by groups of youngsters coming from the network of cities involved in NET-IDEA with a relevant presence of local youngsters.

The exhibition has been selected and supported by Inside Out Platform of Artist JR and will worldwide disseminated. BE Everything BElong aimed to empower young people as catalysts for change, advocating for diversity, inclusion, personal identity and a sense of belonging. As part of NET-IDEA, it emphasized the role of cities as spaces of intersection, celebrating fluid and changing identities. The residents were also involved in the action, becoming supporters and voices of a new narrative of INCLUSION & DIVERSITY.

Photo credits: Giuseppe Laera (Istituto Italiano di Fotografia)


THE PROJECT RESULTS

The following are the main results of NET-IDEA:

  • MORE THAN 200 CSOs REPRESENTATIVES TRAINED & INVOLVED
  • MORE THAN 200 PEOPLE TRAINED
  • MORE THAN 350 PEOPLE INVOLVED IN COMMUNITY OF PRACTICE ACTIVITIES
  • MORE THAN 700 YOUNG ACTIVISTS INVOLVED IN COMMUNICATION & LOCAL ACTIONS
  • THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE REACHED BY PROJECT ACTIONS & COMMUNICATION CAMPAIGN
  • A CURRICULUM ON INTERCULTURAL COMPETENCES TRAINING DEVELOPED
  • MANIFESTO YOUTH FOR DIVERSITY & CRITICAL THINKING DEVELOPED
  • PLANTED SEEDS FOR CREATION OF EUROPEAN YOUTH ANTI-RUMOURS NETWORK
  • INTERNATIONAL COMMUNICATION CAMPAIGN BE EVERYTHING BELONG IMPLEMENTED
  • 18 WORKSHOP WITH YOUNGSTERS ON IDENTITY & BELONGING ORGANISED
  • 18 PUBLIC EVENTS OF AWARENESS-RAISING ORGANISED
  • GLOBAL PORTRAITS EXHIBITION BE EVERYTHING BELONG WITH JR SUPPORT
  • BOOKLET ON NEW NARRATIVES & INTERCULTURAL INTERACTION
  • 3 EVENTS OF KNOWLEDGE SHARING ORGANIZED

Germania

Erlangen

The awareness-raising activities in Erlangen, which involved a group of 7 local youngsters creating photographs and collages about identity, were a complete success! The exhibition that emerged impressively showed the diversity of their personalities and their favourite intercultural places in Erlangen. It attracted around 170 visitors, including a school class

After the opening of the exhibition, the youngsters spoke of the increased self-confidence that the workshop and exhibition had given them. They found insights into who they are and where they want to go in life.

The workshop and exhibition emphasized the importance of diversity of identity and personality. The young people were enthusiastic about the opportunity to express their thoughts and feelings creatively and to receive support from like-minded people.

Overall, the event was an inspiring experience for everyone involved and showed impressively how arts can help to strengthen self-confidence and sharpen the focus on one’s own identity.

Poland

Lublin

A big group of young people were involved in the awareness-raising actions in the city of Lublin. The first most important meeting was the I Anti-Rumours Youth Summit in October 2023 with more than 60 youngsters developing a manifesto for inclusion and creating the seeds of the I European Youth Anti-Rumours Network. 

As second step of the process, workshops were organised locally, to allow young people to get to know each other’s and express themselves. They started with the Identity Quest, an interactive meeting focusing on shaping one’s identity and developing one’s own self in a dynamic world.

21 young people finally expressed themselves through photos and portraits, taken by a professional photographer as part of the Communication Campaign “BE-EVERYTHING, BELONG”. 

A public exhibition of portraits, prepared everything by the young people, took place on February 2024 and this was also an opportunity to share the manifesto.

This was a very important initiative for the city of Lublin, focusing on diversity, new narratives and raising awareness!

Sweden

Botkyrka

Interkulturella Städer Sverige & Botkyrka Municipality joined forces to support awareness-raising in Sweden with the media production company Fanzingo. With a rich history of amplifying youth voices within an intercultural framework, Fanzingo pioneered the concept of Reversed Townhall, wherein young people extend invitations to elected local officials for deep-dive discussions on topics chosen by the youth

In the intensive preparatory phase, a group of 15 local youngsters carefully selected the topics to explore: from issues such as racism, discrimination and mental health to climate change and the pernicious impact of gang violence, including the role of religion in navigating life paths, challenging familial and societal norms, and advocating for improved public transportation and community cohesion.

The youth participants captured their stories through various mediums such as podcasts, articles, video clips and radio theatre, forming the foundation of the events. Throughout the Reversed Townhall, these narratives were seamlessly woven into discussions and reflections, fostering an inclusive environment where both young and adult participants are encouraged to share their perspectives.

This comprehensive workshop format placed a major emphasis on situational analysis, centring the experiences and ideas of youth. Elected officials were urged to refrain from defaulting to debate mode, focusing on active listening and thoughtful reflection.

Sweden

Linkoping

Interkulturella Städer Sverige & Linkoping Municipality joined forces to support awareness-raising in Sweden with the media production company Fanzingo. With a rich history of amplifying youth voices within an intercultural framework, Fanzingo pioneered the concept of Reversed Townhall, wherein young people extend invitations to elected local officials for deep-dive discussions on topics chosen by the youth

In the intensive preparatory phase, a group of 15 local youngsters carefully selected the topics to explore: from issues such as racism, discrimination and mental health to climate change and the pernicious impact of gang violence, including the role of religion in navigating life paths, challenging familial and societal norms, and advocating for improved public transportation and community cohesion.

The youth participants captured their stories through various mediums such as podcasts, articles, video clips and radio theatre, forming the foundation of the events. Throughout the Reversed Townhall, these narratives were seamlessly woven into discussions and reflections, fostering an inclusive environment where both young and adult participants are encouraged to share their perspectives.

This comprehensive workshop format placed a major emphasis on situational analysis, centring the experiences and ideas of youth. Elected officials were urged to refrain from defaulting to debate mode, focusing on active listening and thoughtful reflection.

Italia

Torino

NET-IDEA’s Communication and Awareness-Raising Campaign revolves around the concepts of IDENTITY (BE-EVERYTHING) and SENSE OF BELONGING (BELONG). 

This exhibition, realised in cooperation with the Department for Youth Policies in March 2024 at the Portineria di Comunità di Porta Palazzo (Torino), is the expression of the work that GIOSEF and the NET-IDEA Project developed with a group of about 20 young people from Turin and draws inspiration from the results of the “I European Anti-Rumours Youth Summit”.

Porta Palazzo is a district famous in Turin for the presence of many communities with migratory backgrounds and for a traditional open-air market. The exhibition was mounted with an action of activism and social mobilisation by the group of young people, as the merchants dismantled their stalls and replaced with the faces of diversity and multiple identities that enrich the city of Turin.   

Through the photovoice method, the young people confronted these themes in a path of individual and collective self-reflection, which led to the collection of words and plural identities, which we then gathered around portraits. The portraits of the young people involved in the project are a symbol of pride and belonging

The opening date of the exhibition was particularly significant as it was included in the programme of events of the World Day Against ALL RACISM AND DISCRIMINATION.Cities are a space of intersection, where identity is a collection of different, fluid and changing elements.

Italia

Reggio Emilia

NET-IDEA’s Communication and Awareness-Raising Campaign revolves around the concepts of IDENTITY (BE-EVERYTHING) and SENSE OF BELONGING (BELONG). The diversity that our cities are experiencing invites us to reflect on our identities and to develop a new concept of belonging based on a meaningful interaction between all the faces of this diversity.

This exhibition, realised in cooperation with Officina Educativa of the Municipality of Reggio Emilia in March 2024 at the Catomes Tot Social Centre, is the expression of the work that the NET-IDEA Project developed with a group of about 15 young people from Reggio Emilia and draws inspiration from the results of the “I European Anti-Rumours Youth Summit”, organised and hosted by the Municipality of Lublin in October 2023.

Through the photovoice method, the young people discussed these issues in a process of individual and collective self-reflection.

The opening date of the exhibition was particularly significant as it was included in the programme of events of the World Day Against ALL RACISM AND DISCRIMINATION.

The exhibition was seen by thousands of citizens who walked through the narrow access road to the centre for nearly a month, where the external walls of Catomes Tot on which the photos are displayed are located. The exhibition will also participate as part of the off circuit of the Festival of European Photography of Reggio Emilia.

These shots, part of a collective initiative, were taken by two photographers from SD Factory’s Cavedio Collective.

Italia

Pontedera

NET-IDEA’s Communication and Awareness-Raising Campaign revolves around the concepts of IDENTITY (BE-EVERYTHING) and SENSE OF BELONGING (BELONG). This exhibition, realised in collaboration with the Department for Social Policies, International Cooperation, Gender Policies, Legality, Citizenship Rights and Social Cohesion in March 2024 at the Municipal Palace, is the expression of the work that Teatro dell’Incompiuto and the NET-IDEA Project developed with a group of ten young people from Pontedera and draws inspiration from the results of the “I European Youth Summit of Anti-Rumours”.

Through the photovoice method and the magic of theatre, the young people discussed these issues in a path of individual and collective self-reflection.Corsican glances, points of view that make parentheses and stop a moment of life, borders that move beyond the colour of the eyes, frames that are prisons or horizons, panoramas that become visions in the question: who am I? In the metaphor I become then I discover parts of me and you who are my border. I look inside the contour of the frame I shoot to look for focus and I look outside the frame to exclude a field or look for a border. Who are we together? Shall we make me become belonging and reciprocity? Shall we make inclusion become the sound of the steps we take together? Shall we make diversity no longer frightening? This exhibition is an investigation by a group of young people into issues related to identity: diversity, belonging, discrimination, culture, inclusion, coexistence, community.

Italia

Modena

I AM MYSELF is the title of  the workshop that was implemented in Modenas as the conclusion of a long process started with NET-IDEA that focused on Intercultural Competences within the 0-6 Education Services. The workshop was designed by five girls with migratory background, starting from a reworking of their own biographies and school experiences.

The girls themselves have facilitated the workshop at school. At the heart of the workshop is the experience of diversity through the use of the senses to stimulate the emotional dimension of the children. The workshop envisaged the involvement of school staff and parents/grandparents at pick-up time. In particular, the parents/grandparents were confronted with their children’s work, going beyond their own stereotypes.

30 children of the Municipal Kindergarten Anderlini were involved directly in two consecutive days of work, self-reflection and interaction. In the school where the event took place, posters with info were displayed for awareness-raising and the facilitators were always available to talk to the parents/grandparents, creating a space where the educational services became a place of meaningful interaction in context of rich diversity.

Spain

Barcelona

14 young people, from diverse cultural and religious backgrounds, discussed and reflected on the concept of interculturalism in their host city and their experience as people of diverse origin. In the first part of this process, two workshops were organized in which youngsters worked on the concepts of interculturalism, racism, cultural diversity, segregation, inequality and oppression from the experiences of the participants themselves.

At the end of the process, they designed an audiovisual script reflecting their experiences. Young participants agreed on the importance of counting on interesting space for sharing life experiences and reflections. Bearing in mind that they come from very different geographical origins and that their life trajectories are very diverse, these young people have shared a common experience that has less to do with their migratory route than with their arrival in the city where they live. Parallelly, other seven young people, also of different origins, developed and debated in a 4-hour work session different aspects related to the main topic.

In the first phase, the Invisible Borders board game was played to raise awareness among young people and some important concepts such as racism, xenophobia, racial prejudice, interculturality and coexistence were discussed. Finally, a life story (literary and fictional) was developed and disseminated locally, representing a positive narration of a migration experience.

Spain

Bilbao

In the framework of the commemoration of the International Day Against Racial Discrimination, the City Council of Bilbao has organized a public event to exhibit the results of the intercultural comic workshops carried out with young people in the framework of the NET-IDEA Project. 

During the past year, workshops were developed in which more than 30 young people linked to different entities developed a collective reflection on the diversity in Bilbao through different exercises, drawing and comic techniques. This exhibition was addressed to other young people with the idea of sharing the results of this process through an explanatory tour of the exercises developed. The exhibition was guided by the young people with the aim of reinforcing their role as agents of change in their own communities. It consisted of six stops in which illustration is used as a learning tool to better reflect on reality and relate the essential theoretical concepts in the fight against discrimination and promotion of diversity, with practice.  

The selection of the exercises (architects panel, travel notebook, fliporamas, alebrijes, fanzines and the construction of an intercultural skyline) was based on the possibility of working on basic project contents such as identity, empathy, interculturality, diversity and coexistence. All of the exercises have been compiled in a printed fanzine that was distributed during the event.

Spain

Castelló de la Plana

Castelló de la Plana City Council has planned an ephemeral exhibition as the final local action of the NET-IDEA Project. This ephemeral installation, called “Miradas Diversas”, has been designed by students of the CFGS Ephemeral Architecture of the Castelló School of Arts & Design and aimed to continue the development of critical thinking, already started in the photovoice workshops, on how the different identities that live in our city interact in public space and how, as a result of this interaction, identities change.

The installation consists of a cubic structure formed by eyes representing the citizens of Castelló, inviting people to see themselves in a space where interculturalism is a reality in which each of us is immersed. Once you entered the structure, you would see your reflection in a mirror at the top of the cube, inviting you to reflect on the challenges needed to make our city intercultural.

The installation took place in Plaza Santa Clara in March 2023, sharing space with the portraits exhibition BE EVERYTHING- BELONGING, on the wall of the Central Market, that young people involved in the photovoice workshops created. 

As a specific action, on 25 & h26 March, students from two secondary schools in the city took part in special workshops to carry out a direct action with young people from the community. It is expected that about 150 students will participate in these workshops.

Spain

San Sebastián

An educator – illustrator conducted four workshops to two different groups of young people, with the objective of reflecting and raising awareness around issues related to equality, respect for diversity, positive interactions and feelings of belonging. Participants have worked on through comics, using different techniques, such as drawing, pictures and collage. In March 2024, the city held a public event to talk about cultural diversity, plural identities and a sense of belonging. The Manifesto “Youth for Diversity & Critical Thinking“, developed by Young Europeans Against Rumours in Lublin, was also presented.

Under the slogan “BE-EVERYTHING, BELONG”, the local event took place at the Ernest Lluch Cultural Centre in the neighbourhood of Amara in Donosti and aimed to reflect on how young people from diverse backgrounds see themselves and are seen by others and to identify rumours that are spread among them.  To this end, the event started with the viewing of a video in which five young people told their experiences, worked in groups with reflection dynamics and opened a debate on stereotypes, prejudices and rumours on the basis of the Manifesto: Young People for Diversity.

It was a very special opportunity to listen to the voice of the new young generations, to achieve their active participation and develop critical thinking in matters that concern them.  And finally to give visibility to issues related to the identity and the sense of belonging that requires special attention.

Spain

Tenerife

The Observatory of Immigration of Tenerife (OBITen) with the University of La Laguna and the Island Administration (Cabildo de Tenerife), as representatives of the island of Tenerife in the NET-IDEA Project, have decided to develop awareness-raising sessions and creative processes in the capital of the island, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, in collaboration with the city council.

Two working groups were created and implemented: the first group was an open group where young people from the city were invited individually to participate, whilst the second group was developed with the pupils of the third year (3ª ESO) of a Secondary School.

OBITen, with the support of an illustrator anthropologist, designed and facilitated four working/creation sessions. The development of the sessions focused on the main concepts linked to the NET-IDEA Project: identity, sense of belonging and cultural diversity, all encompassed in intercultural coexistence. The creative objective has been for each group to create a story in comic format that reflects their ideas and concerns regarding a more diverse and intercultural city. The participants have decided together the characters, the potential places where the story could be developed and the dialogs. This creative and awareness-raising process started in January and finalized in March 2024, involving more than 40 youngsters.

Based on the opportunity to be present in a Secondary School, OBITen also invited the students creative group involved to share what they have learned and what they have created internally in the School, ensuring also to reach more youngsters in the city. Therefore, an awareness-raising session based on the key concepts of the NET-IDEA Project took place in March 2024.

As part of this awareness-raising and creative process, OBITEN has finally organized an open event with the aim of presenting the NET-IDEA Project and all the work developed since the beginning of the project, as well as the two comic stories designed and created by the youngsters involved. In addition, this event was the official presentation in Tenerife of the Anti-Rumours Manifest elaborated by youngsters in Lublin under the NET-IDEA Project. The youngster who participated in this process in Lublin from Tenerife presented the different working sessions developed in Poland and share the main elements of the manifest with the audience.

Portugal

Vila Verde

RPCI & Vila Verde held a two-day intercultural training session with twenty local youngsters in April 2023 with the idea to give youngsters food for thought and the necessary tools to act autonomously as agents for diversity and inclusion. The training included a full day about alternative narratives and a second day about multimedia tools at their disposal to start building and disseminating their messages.

Through follow-up meetings, we gave continuity to the ideas that came out during the training and it was decided hence to organise an intercultural football tournament with local youth groups (also from Braga) to promote, through sports, the things they have in common.

This was held on September 2023 and had a great participation/impact.Finally, these and other youngsters were invited to take part in a photovoice workshop that saw them illustrating their feelings of belonging through pictures. The sessions were held in Vila de Prado Community Center on February 2024 and counted on the direct involvement of twelve youngsters.

This activity, as planned within the concept of the Communication Campaign, resulted in a local exhibition that was held in March 2024 in the Cultural & Recreational Centre of Vila Verde.

Portugal

Santa Maria Da Feira

RPCI & Santa Maria da Feira held a two-day intercultural training session with seventeen local youngsters in April 2023 with the idea to give youngsters food for thought and the necessary tools to act autonomously as agents for diversity and the inclusion.

The training included a full day about alternative narratives and a second day about multimedia tools at their disposal to start building and disseminating their messages. Through follow-up meetings, we gave continuity to the ideas that came out during the training and awareness-raising posters were created, printed and installed in the school walls.

Youngsters also shared their message on the school radio. It was an event of great impact as we had a total of 224 youngsters interacting with 24 adults.

Finally, these and other youngsters were invited to take part in a photovoice workshop that saw them illustrating their feelings of belonging through pictures. The sessions were held in Primary & Secondary School of Arrifana and counted on the direct involvement of thirty seven youngsters.

This activity, as planned within the concept of the Communication Campaign “BE-EVERYTHING, BELONG”, resulted in a local exhibition that was held in April 2024 in the same school.

Portugal

Braga

RPCI & Braga held a photovoice workshop that saw local youngsters illustrating their feelings of belonging through pictures. Working sessions were held in partnership with the Professional School of Braga, and counted on the direct involvement of 11 youngsters.

This activity, as planned within the concept of the Communication Campaign “BE-EVERYTHING, BELONG”, resulted in a local exhibition that was held in April 2024 in the same school.