Conferences/Events/Seminars
Final Conference - Disability: A Matter of Perception PDF Print

Event: 2 December 2019

Country: Macedonia

EKx-9AqWwAAtk85One day before the International Day of People with Disabilities, Media Diversity Institute (MDI) Western Balkans hosted the closing conference of our project, Disability: A Matter of Perception.

Disability: A Matter of Perception is a two year project in Macedonia, where we worked with Macedonian Institute for Media, National Council of People with Disability Organizations of Macedonia to train journalists and civil society organizations to revitalize the media as an essential space for marginalized groups. Over the course of two years, we organized trainings that resulted in numerous media articles and broadcasts, inspired interactive performances, and orchestrated campaigns that challenged stereotypes in Macedonia.

 
MDI at ARIJ 2019: Storytelling to Cure Social Divisions PDF Print

Event: November 22-24

Location: Jordan

Screen_Shot_2019-11-28_at_2.19.49_AMLast week, Media Diversity Institute gave a workshop titled, “Storytelling to Cure Social Divisions” to the ICFJ (International Center for Journalists) Fellows at the ARIJ (Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism) conference in Amman, Jordan.

“How does disinformation play out in your countries?”, asked Communications Manager Anna Lekas Miller, who lead the workshop. In recent months, both Iraq and Lebanon have experienced social uprisings which has lead to unprecedented levels of both disinformation, and disinformation debunking.

“Let’s talk about how this is playing out—and how it impacts diversity?

The discussion that ensued showed the diversity of the ICFJ MENA fellows present. In Yemen, the local media promoted rumors about Jewish minorities so much, that most of Yemen’s Jews fled to Israel, shared on participant. In Sudan, rumors about female journalists circulate on WhatsApp groups, making it almost impossible to get any accountability if something happens to them, shared another.

After the workshop, participants were equipped with the skills to recognize the ways in which disinformation preys on social divisions in their countries.

 
MDI LIVE: Reporting on Refugees and Hate Speech PDF Print

Date: 7 November 2019

Location: London, UK

Screen_Shot_2019-11-05_at_9.53.07_AM“I grew up under the war, I’m 29 years old and we’re talking about war.” These are the words of Kurdish journalist Zozan Yasar, shared at a live recording session of City, University of London’s The Knowhow Podcast. The event was part of a a special symposium held by ESRC Festival of Social Science which looked to tackle the topic of reporting refugees and hate speech and questions. Specifically: where are the refugees’ voices in the coverage?

Hosting the podcast were Dr Lindsey Blumell and Dr Glenda Cooper. Abdulwahab Tahhan was a guest alongside Zozan. Abdul is a refugee from Aleppo and a visiting lecturer at the London College of Communication. During the live recording, Zozan and Abdul discussed the importance of voice; specifically, the need for more regular and authentic refugee voices in the media. Abdul stressed the need to talk to locals when reporting on a refugee story: “When you get someone from the country, you get an authentic voice and the full picture.” He recounts a piece he wrote on Syria; he ended up talking to locals in the country via Facebook and Twitter, gaining a true local perspective on the issues at hand without having to go to Syria. He feels this is something that is often lacking in reporting, especially in the UK.

 
Berlin: New Neighbours Media Training for CSOs PDF Print

Dates: 10-12 October 2019

Location: Berlin, Germany

Screen_Shot_2019-10-21_at_9.29.32_PMMedia Diversity Institute (MDI) recently completed the fourth New Neighbors media training for CSOs in Berlin, Germany.

New Neighbours is a European Broadcasters Union-led project designed to bring positive stories of refugees, migrants and assimilation to local and community media. Media Diversity Institute is supporting the project by training civil society actors to create campaigns and more effectively communicate with journalists and media organizations to spread constructive stories about migrants and refugees.

Given Germany’s unique position as home to the highest number of refugees in the European Union, Berlin was the perfect location for such a training. Eight participants representing legal, cultural and economic development initiatives joined, each contributing their unique expertise working closely with migrants and refugees.

 
Madrid: New Neighbours Media Training for CSOs PDF Print

Dates: 23-25 September 2019

Location: Madrid, Spain

Screen_Shot_2019-10-21_at_10.05.48_PMMedia Diversity Institute (MDI) recently completed the third New Neighbors media training for CSOs, bringing together eleven participants in Madrid, Spain.

New Neighbours is a European Broadcasters Union-led project designed to bring positive stories of refugees, migrants and assimilation to local and community media. Media Diversity Institute is supporting the project by training civil society actors to create campaigns and more effectively communicate with journalists and media organizations to spread constructive stories about migrants and refugees.

While Spain does not have as many migrants and refugees as other countries in Europe, it does have a history of being part of a corridor of people coming from Morocco, as well as a strong Islamic influence in the southern province of Andalusia. For this reason, we worked with the local organizations Al Fanar and Comisión Española de Ayuda al Refugiado, which provided practical advice for how to tailor the workshop to Spain’s unique context for discussing topics such as Islamophobia, migration and Muslim identity in the Spanish media, as well as contacts with journalists.

 

 
Symbols of Humanity: Syrian Artist Bridges Times, Religions PDF Print
16 October 2019

Event: 17 October - 17 November

Country: UK

116_x97_cm

In our divided and polarised world, who, but artists, can conjure up the possibility of coexistence between cultures, ethnicities and religions?

Born in 1966 in Aleppo, George Baylouni fled to France during the war. And now his work builds bridges between the East and the West, and the past and the present.

Fascinated by the ancient civilisations of Mesopotamia, he studied their mysterious artefacts and texts, written in ancient cuneiform.

He paints religious symbols and makes collages, adding gold leaf, his trademark, telling a tale of ancient worlds and of contemporary times. Uniquely, his paintings combine religions, with several pieces focusing on both Christianity and Islam in the same painting.

"Humanity can only thrive when we embrace diversity and differences regardless of race, creed or colour. When I combine the symbols of the different civilisations in my paintings, I convey my faith in the unity of humanity. This is my message to the world, irrespective of time or place,” Baylouni says.

His work has been showcased prominently in the Middle East and Europe and he was named one of the 100 most important personalities in the Arab world in 2014 by Arabian Business Magazine.

”Symbols of Humanity”, Baylouni’s first exhibition in London opens at the Stories Art Gallery in Mayfair on October 17 and runs until November 17.

Baylouni’s exhibition marks the first anniversary of Stories Art Gallery, which features renowned and upcoming artists from around the world, many from war-torn countries, and focuses on the stories behind their artwork.

 
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