Transnational Narrative-building Training

Developing value-based narratives for transnational solidarity

In 2019, we organized two transnational narrative-building and action training to connect and support a second cohort of 25 activists and citizens, actively working for social justice, climate justice, migrants rights, women rights and democracy. Together, they strived to develop a shared vision of what an open, just and sustainable Europe would be. Inquiring into the diversity of their lived experiences in Europe, they took time and space to discuss their worldviews and why any transnational action should be rooted in narratives that are deconstructing the oppressive systems threatening our democracies (patriarchy, colonialism, shrinking civic space).  Many came back with lots of ideas of methoodologies to apply in their own context and got inspired to create transnational actions together based on positive narratives and with other communities across Europe.

Goals

Explore and examine the ways in which citizens, social movements, political parties, protest groups, trade unions and others already act beyond borders and foster a new vision of Europe beyond the nation-state

Connect the narrative for a genuine transnational democracy from below with people’s social and economic realities and make it tangible for citizens in Europe and beyond

Incubate and experiment transnational actions for creating civic and political agency within and outside places of power.

Warsaw Training

20-23 June 2019

Organized together with our partner Alternatives Européennes in Warsaw, the 4-day workshop took place one month after the European Elections, when new prospects for progressive and systemic change in Europe’s new political landscape were opening up. The activists got to know each other in that context, shared the challenges they face and articulated why they are committed to tackle them through transnational action. The workshop aimed at developing a common vocabulary about activism beyond the nation-state, forming the base for developing a new narratives about what Europe should be. The workshop involved long-term activists such as Zoe Gardner, to explore how to stand for migrants rights in a European hostile environment, and David Adler, on how European and US American activists can work together to support a new progressive internationalism. The workshop took place alongside the Warsaw Biennale, at the same time as TRANSUNIONS, a gathering of about 15 organizations invested in theorizing and practicing new models of emancipatory transnationalism, organized by Dutch artist Jonas Staal.

The workshop was an incredibly interesting but challenging space to come into. It's not just a gathering of like-minded activists, it's a space with a true potential for becoming a community, centered on trust, mutual respect and courage.

Gabriel P., participant of the first workshop in Warsaw

Speakers

Igors Štiks
Writer, novelist and researcher

Igor earned his PhD at the Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris and Northwestern University and later worked and taught at the University of Edinburgh and the Faculty of Media and Communications in Belgrade. He is the author of Nations and Citizens in Yugoslavia and the Post-Yugoslav States: One Hundred Years of Citizenship (Bloomsbury, 2015). Together with Jo Shaw he edited the collections Citizenship after Yugoslavia (Routledge, 2013) and Citizenship Rights (Ashgate, 2013), and, with Srećko Horvat, Welcome to the Desert of Post-Socialism: Radical Politics after Yugoslavia (Verso, 2015). He is also the author of two novels, A Castle in Romagna and The Judgment of Richard Richter (originally published as Elijah’s Chair), which have won numerous awards and have been translated into 15 languages. He was honored with the prestigious French distinction Chevalier des arts et des lettres for his literary and intellectual achievements.

Zoe Gardner
Policy Advisor, Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants

Zoe is a researcher and dedicated campaigner for the rights of all migrants and refugees in the UK and across Europe. Since January, she is a Policy Advisor at the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI), one of the leading organisations representing migrant rights in the UK. She brings expertise on migration issues to her campaigning with the left-wing anti-Brexit group Another Europe is Possible and the UK Stop Trump Coalition.

Previously, she has carried out research and volunteered extensively with grassroots movements assisting migrants and refugees in Athens and Lesvos. Her previous jobs include communications and policy posts at Asylum Aid and the Race Equality Foundation in London and the European Council on Refugees and Exiles in Brussels.

Particular areas of current interest include, routes to regularisation and inclusion of undocumented migrants in the UK; the impact of Brexit and the end of EU Freedom of Movement on British migration policy; and the role of the UK and the EU on the global level of migration management accords and influence.

David Adler
DiEM25, Policy Coordinator

David is the DiEM25 policy coordinator, based in Athens, Greece. His work focuses on the politics of internationalism: how social movements coordinate across borders, and how international institutions aid or impede those efforts. Previously, he was a Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford and a Fulbright Scholar at the Colegio de México. His research and writing have been featured in the New York Times, the Guardian, and the Washington Post, among others. He is the editor of a new volume from Eris Press, A Vision for Europe.

Lorenzo Marsili
Founder, European Alternatives

Lorenzo is the founding director of transnational organisation European Alternatives and one of the initiators of pan-European movement DiEM25. He has previously worked in publishing and was founding editor of the cultural quarterly Naked Punch. He is an active commentator and public speaker internationally. Lorenzo is also co-author of the book, Citizens of Nowhere.

Niccolò Milanese
Founder, European Alternatives

Niccolò is a philosopher and poet. He is a director of European Alternatives, and co-author of ‘Citizens of Nowhere: How to save Europe from itself’ telling the story of 10 years of activism throughout Europe (Zedbooks, London 2018). He is trustee of ECIT Foundation for European Citizenship in Brussels, and a director of INSTAR: Hannah Arendt Institute of Artivism in Havana, Cuba. Between 2018-20 he is a Marie Curie visiting fellow at PUC-Rio De Janeiro and UNAM Mexico. He is part of the advisory board of the NECE network of civic educators, and has been involved in establishing civil society, cultural and political organisations on each side of the Mediterranean in the aftermath of the 2011 uprisings.

Elly Schlein
Member of the European Parliament
Agnieszka Dziemianowicz-Bąk
Feminist, activist, social and education researcher

Agnieszka is a Polish feminist, activist, social and education researcher holding PhD in Philosophy. Previously, she was a member of the National Board of the Polish political party Razem. She is also a member of the Democracy in Europe Movement (DiEM25). In 2016, Foreign Policy magazine included Dziemianowicz-Bąk on its annual list of the 100 most influential global thinkers for her role in organizing the "black protest" against a total ban on abortion in Poland.

Daphne Büllesbach
Director, European Alternatives

Daphne is the Executive Director at European Alternatives and a member of the Transnational Board. She coordinates and oversees the work program and annual events of EA, the Transeuropa Festival and the Campus of European Alternatives, alternating each year. In 2012 she founded the Berlin office. She is a member of the board of the European Democracy Lab and of the German think tank Institut Solidarische Moderne. In 2017, she co-edited the book Shifting Baselines of Europe: New perspectives beyond Neoliberalism and Nationalism published by transcript.

Partners

Athens Training

12-15 September 2019

Organized together with our partner Alternatives Européenes in Athens and Markopoulo, the 4-day workshop aimed at deepening the practice of developing a common, interdisciplinary narrative for social and climate justice in Europe and at exploring what strategies for transnational activism are needed to tackle the oppressive systems threatening our democracies (patriarchy, colonialism, shrinking civic space). Together with our local partner Avtonoma Akadimia, the workshop also organized space to connect with the local activist scene in Athens and to act in solidarity with Athens housing activists through creative action.

Speakers

Karen Pong
Co-Founder, Youth Peace Ambassadors Network (YPAN)

Karen has dedicated the past 11 years promoting culture of peace, human rights and counter-human trafficking. Working as an Interpreter at IOM Greece (Filoxenia Project) since 2018, particularly with refugees and asylum seekers, she is also a qualified trainer in human rights education, peace education, conflict transformation, human trafficking, migrant rights and gender issues. She has successfully designed, implemented and facilitated non-formal educational activities with young people since 2013. She co-founded the Youth Peace Ambassadors Network (YPAN) in 2012, and has been committed to empowering youth to increase their capacity for personal development, democratic participation and active citizenship.

Daphne Büllesbach
Director, European Alternatives

Daphne is the Executive Director at European Alternatives and a member of the Transnational Board. She coordinates and oversees the work program and annual events of EA, the Transeuropa Festival and the Campus of European Alternatives, alternating each year. In 2012 she founded the Berlin office. She is a member of the board of the European Democracy Lab and of the German think tank Institut Solidarische Moderne. In 2017, she co-edited the book Shifting Baselines of Europe: New perspectives beyond Neoliberalism and Nationalism published by transcript.

Martin Pairet
Capacity Building Manager, European Alternatives

Martin is in charge of capacity building at European Alternatives. He is in charge of the development of the transnational network of the organisation and of member communications and organising. Martin has been working in the non-profit sector for more than eight years with experience in membership development, communications and fundraising in international organisations such as IFOAM – Organics International and Oxfam France. He is also engaged as a member of SOS Méditerranée, a civic, European organisation for the rescue of people in distress in the Mediterranean and of MitOst, an international network of cultural actors and active citizens. He has a strong interest on how activists and civil society organisations are articulating and organising themselves to influence European politics both at the grassroots and at the institutional level.

Maria Laura Mitra
Administration Coordinator, European Alternatives

Maria Laura Mitra works in the Administration team within European Alternatives. She’s a Psychology student, majoring in Social and Community Psychology. She’s also a students’ rights activist, a feminist and a LGBTQIA+ issues advocate. Main interests involve grassroots participation, civic engagement and community development, alongside gender issues and the challenges of the urbanization and public space. She’s also invested in group facilitation and intercultural dialogue.

Marta Cillero
Communications Manager, European Alternatives

Marta is responsible of EA communications. Graduated in Media Studies, Journalism and Communication. Background in Gender Studies, previously she interned with Anushay Hossain as community manager and research assistant . For two years she has monthly reported for United Explanations and other Spanish blogs. She has volunteer for many years with different NGOs and she has experience assisting in Data Journalism Research Projects.

Partners

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