Gathering, collaboration and education: Week against Racism with Balkan Hotspot

Last week was the European Action Week Against Racism. The week is organised by UNITED for Intercultural Action. It takes place around the 21st of March, which is the International Day for the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination. The United Nations started the day in 1966. UNITED has been organising an action week since the early 1990s. 

Promotion sticker for the Week against Racism, showing two silhouettes facing each other. Text says "Share your colors, time to be united, European Week Against Racism, 16-24.3.2019"
Promotion sticker for the Week against Racism

We of Balkan Hotspot support the values of the UNITED for Intercultural Action network. Because we felt it was important to carry out the project on a local level, we organised some activities during the action week. Here is a short review of all activities. We hope it will inspire you to organise similar actions!

Smiling girl with a sign that reads "Feed your stomach and feed your mind - Antiracist picnic."
Volunteer Zoé embracing her tree-hugging tendencies and promoting the Anti-racist picnic

Activities and events

We kicked off the week with an anti-racist picnic. Joined by Oikopolis, Refugee Trauma Initative, and ΦΙΞ in art, we brought together people from different backgrounds. It was a wonderful day full of shared food, laughter and joy. Take a look at the pictures here, and watch the video that Irene made about the event below! 

A short impression of the antiracist picknick

We also hosted a screening of the documentary “I Am Not Your Negro” at Balkan Heart. Afterwards, there was a short discussion. It was an informative evening that gave participants lots of food for thought.

Promotion image of "I Am Not Your Negro" (2016)
Promotion image of “I Am Not Your Negro” (2016)

During the week, volunteers also organised workshops at two language schools in Thessaloniki: Babylonia and Galileo Galilei. They joined classes for English, Italian, Spanish and French. Through non-formal methods, they started discussions on racism in the target languages of students.

Workshop about racism at language school Babylonia

To conclude the week full of important activities, Balkan Hotspot organised a flashmob against racism: a human chain. In other words: a line of people, united hand in hand, starting from the port and moving towards the White Tower. Because of the great collaboration between Refugee Trauma Initative, Oikopolis, Thessaloniki Checkpoint, Infinity Greece, ESN Thessaloniki, FIX in art, Babylonia, United Societies of Balkans and Balkan Hotspot, the human chain was a huge success. It even caught the attention of a variety of local news agencies. Find the pictures here and see the video below!

Post Author: Sacha Bogaers

Sacha Bogaers
I am 23 years old and moved from Sweden to Greece for ten months. My main interests are human rights, activism, and art. I also love writing about LGBTQ+-related topics and social justice.

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