“Agora 2.0.” is an interactive educational project aimed at providing much needed political and media literacy to young people, using present-day media tools. The project’s chief objectives are to provide young people with an understanding of basic political terms and positions relevant today, but also to empower critical thinking among them regarding said terms and positions.
It aims to achieve this by
a) researching and building up a large, constantly-in-progress, media-political glossary of pressing contemporary terms (e.g. “identity”, “violence,” “freedom,” “human rights,” “news ‘framing’,” “minority position,” “power relations,” etc.) to stand as a theoretical backbone for, and be articulated into
b) the production and release of provocative, timely, engaging, interactive media materials, addressing everyday societal concerns by tying them into underlying, more fundamental, contemporary political issues;
c) engaging young people in direct, live, role-playing workshops and panels, dealing with aforementioned issues.
Reversing the Roles for Chaning the Attitudes
Research Center for Culture, Politics and Identities (hereinafter: IPAK Center) has been engaged as a research partner on the project “Reversing the Roles to Change the Attitudes”, implemented by the Serbian Association for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (hereinafter: SRH Serbia), within the International Parenthood Planning Federation’s (hereinafter: IPPF) Innovation Program. The project’s main goal is to encourage young men (and women) in Serbia to challenge traditional gender roles to enable more gender equitable attitudes and behavior, through the implementation of participative theatre methodology.
The project will be implemented over the period of three years, combining theatre-based educational method with the gender-transformative approach, encouraging critical (re)thinking of traditional gender roles and stereotypes and raising awareness of gender as socially constructed category that can be de- and re-constructed in order to, in a long-term period, contribute to prevention and reduction of gender-based discrimination. Interactive theatre-based interventions will be implemented in 9 towns in Serbia (Belgrade, Zajecar, Novi Pazar, Pirot, Vrsac, Zrenjanin, Cacak, Krusevac and Novi Sad), in cooperation with local civil society organizations that work with young people in the field of human rights, gender equality, sexual and reproductive health and rights. Interventions will combine role-playing improvisations and discussions, affecting in such way both affective and cognitive aspects of internalized gender norms and behavior patterns.
IPAK Center’s role in this project is to inform the project conceptualization through provision of gender-related context analysis and, over the course of the project, to conduct a summative research - to empirically and independently measure the extent to which this theatre-based educational approach has achieved its goals through a theory-based, mixed methods impact evaluation.
Map of invisible violence against female members of LGBT community
The main goals of the project “Map of invisible violence against female members of LGBT community” were to show multiple discrimination these women are daily exposed to in society (as members of this community and as women), to evince, mostly, unreported cases of violence, and because of the lack of adequate media representation of violence phenomenon against this community, to point out these problems avoiding discriminatory discourses (which are very present in everyday and media language).
Project was implemented in Niš and Novi Sad, where we interviewed members of organizations interested in gender and LGBT rights (Ženski prostor, Niš, Novosadska lezbejska organizacija, LGBTQ Novi Sad, Izađi, Novi Sad) and women in LGBT community, in order to collect information, opinions and personal experiences about (un)safety of public space, institutions’ response to these problems, and about local media representations of these topics.
Based on these personal stories, we were informed about exact places of systematic, symbolic and physical cases of violence (committed by individual, group or police officers), and we marked these places symbolically as “Kissing area” – street art expression, critique of exclusionary nature of public spaces (which is produced, but also continues to reproduce discriminatory discourses and marginalization). These marked locations are not just commemoration of violence, pain, nuisance and discrimination, but these places also encourage non-violent behavior, tolerance, opening of public spaces for differences and minorities, and represent the attempt to repeal further marginalization of otherness.
The maps are also available in online form, showing the exact places where violence happened, with the narratives, victims’’ confessions about suffering experiences.
Map - Novi Sad