Amina Hodžić and Semina Bulić, PixelCrew members, and our university representatives had an amazing opportunity to be one of the BiH participants who represented the BRAVO organization and our country in a training course “Combating Hate Speech by Art and Creative Writing”. The project was held from July 23 to July 31 in Pogradec, Albania near the calm and clear Ohrid lake. There were 30 other young people from 8 different countries: Albania, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Germany, Italy, Greece, Turkey, and Spain.
The main goal of the training course was to raise awareness of online and offline hate speech, learn how to recognize hate speech but also how to combat it using art. Participants also increased their knowledge of Erasmus+ programs and its opportunities for young people. The method of learning was non-formal education where participants work both individually and in a team. Through all activities, they have used diverse ways of art to creatively present certain topics. In their free time, the participants have visited important institutions and tourist places in the city of Pogradec.
“I am glad that I learned more about the important topic of hate speech that is very present nowadays all around us. Also, hate speech and every other human issue can be solved creatively and can be connected with art. In other words, art should be a way of living. I consider that one value that brings this project on one level up is internationality. It is not just that we learned about different cultures, it is also about sharing life experiences and perspectives of looking at the things which can inspire us in taking further steps”, said Amina.
“Combating Hate Speech by Art and Creative Writing” was my first Erasmus + program and my first opportunity to be part of an international program for young people. The entire program had an extraordinary effect on me including broadening my horizons. The whole experience of traveling from Sarajevo to Pogradec was also fun and memorable. We changed three buses, slept on bus station benches, spoke with a lot of strangers, shared stories, made a lot of anecdotes… There are so many things that are specific and special about this adventure, but I need to mention my birthday party, the one that I will never forget.
I really enjoyed learning and exploring the topic through creating posters, painting, photographing, playing with paint, words, magazine cutouts, and having fun with new people and exploring new places. I am truly grateful I got the opportunity to be a part of an Erasmus + program and thankful to BRAVO and Antik organizations”, said Semina.
After finishing this project, all participants have an opportunity to organize a workshop in their countries, where they need to transfer knowledge learned in this training course. Engaging young people to learn more about hate speech can help them develop new skills, use creativity in transforming the world and make it a better place for living.