On 23-26 May, the Jugend- & Kulturprojekt e.V. team joined the 3rd transnational meeting of the You are Welcome project organised by Gláser Jakab Emlékalapítvány – Gergő Borbás and Gabor Mayer in Budapest. There, the project partners met to discuss their progress, to evaluate the project’s development and to outline the next steps. It was a milestone in the output development phase of the project. With many of the project activities already implemented, the partners shared their difficulties and best practices, and gave feedback on how they thought You Are Welcome should proceed in its next phase.
The main purpose of the event was to follow up on the current progress of the project and to assess the impact made with regard to the project objectives such as combatting migrant stigmatisation and Hate Speech.
The event programme was packed. On the first day a partner’s meeting was held at the Izraeli Kulturális Intézet / Israeli Cultural Institute, where the partners discussed thee progress of their work with regard to the local campaigns, the local workshops and the video productions. The meeting was followed by a presentation given by Amnesty International Hungary on the current, and past, refugee & migrant situation in Hungary.
Afterwards, the representatives of the project partner met with a representative of the Magyar Helsinki Bizottság / Hungarian Helsinki Committee where this topic was elaborated on and a more detailed picture was given regarding the barriers NGOs and other social organisations face when combating Hate Speech and migrant stigmatisation in Hungary. The day was rounded off with a dinner, where all of the partners had the pleasure of meeting Amid, a refugee from Afghanistan living in Budapest for the last 8 years and of hearing his personal story.
The You are Welcome 3rd Transnational meeting got off to a busy and productive start and the second day built on this. The project partners first were invited to a lecture and discourse on the history of migration in Hungary and its past and present attitudes towards migrants and refugees led by Prof. Michael Miller from the Central European University, Budapest, and held at the Synagogue de Teleki tér. After this, the planned alternative walking tour of the city had to be rearranged due to poor weather conditions and instead, participants went to Aurora, a social community space, where the local refugee organisation Menedék – Migránsokat Segítő Egyesület informed the partners about the work they were doing locally in Budapest to help ameliorate the current situation that refugees in Hungary deal with. The partners convened for one last meeting to plan the future You are Welcome events and activities and to reflect on the 3rd transnational event thus far. The evening then saw the commencement of You are Welcome‘s public event in Budapest, comprising of a live music concert, a physical theatre performance and a film screening.
The public event of the You are Welcome‘s 3rd transnational meeting which was held on Friday the 25th of May 2018 at Patyolat // PRÓBAüzem was hugely successful, with members of the public in attendance as well as students from a local Slovakian High School, invited by ADEL Slovakia, the project’s Slovakian partner. The event was moderated by Gergő Borbás and Gabor Mayer gave a salutation speech speaking about the Gláser Jakab Emlékalapítvány and its activities. Then, the Project Manager of You are Welcome, Myrto-Helena Pertsinidi, introduced the project and the partners to the audience highlighting the importance of organising events and activities that promote cultural diversity, acceptance and solidarity.
A short video about a theatre workshop led by Francesco Argenio Benaroio and organised by Gláser Jakab Emlékalapítvány was screened and then another short video about the Idomeni Refugee Camp, a production of Addart NGO was projected. The first planned performance was a live music concert given by Kardos Dani Duo. Dániel Kardos, a student of Gyula Babos, is the founder of the Butterfly Effect Orchestra and the Kardos-Tomor-Molnár Trió, the founder of the Jazzgödör series. In the Kardos Duo, another member of the Butterfly Effect performed alongside Dániel Kardos, creating a unique and beautiful performance. This was then followed by the Mickey Yonas: I’m Angelina Jolie (ISR)- fizikai színházi előadás, a powerful physical theatre performance from Israel, where the performers used theatre as a method of highlighting and questioning our societal ideas and viewpoints, for example the way that the ‘other’ who seeks asylum, is often viewed as a danger and not simply as a person.
The evening was rounded off with the screening of “The Citizen”, a Hungarian film from the award-winning director Vranik Roland. Through the means of an unorthodox love story, it explored the multi-faceted issue of integration and acceptance. The Citizen follows Wilson, who, after losing his entire family to the horrors of war and making the perilous journey to Europe as a political refugee, settles for a sedate life as a security guard in a Budapest shopping centre. A heart-warming and -breaking film.