"Youth Artivists for Change" project launched in Belgrade

Amarildo Fecanji & Stefan Šparavolo

Belgrade - Young LGBTI artists and activists and allies, aged between 15-24 years will have a new opportunity of self-expression and creativity through the project «Youth artvists for change”. On November 26ththe project was launched at the Media Centre in Belgrade, and was attended by more than 50 local activists, artists and allies of the LGBTIQ+ community

The project, is a creative alliance of five countries, Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia, the Netherlands and Serbia, and targets young people, aged 15-24, in the fields of film-making, storytelling, podcasting, youth advocacy, theatre and art in general. The alliance gathers 17 organisations and networks working in the fields of arts, culture, human/LGBTI rights, gender equality and youth work. The project, is an idea of Dutch organisation Stichting Art 1 and is supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The implementing organisations for Serbia are ERA – LGBTI Equal Rights Association for the Western Balkans and Turkey, Da Se Zna and Come Out. ERA’s member organisations CEL Kosovo, LGBTI Support Center Macedonia, Subversive Front Macedonia, Women's Alliance in Macedonia and Open Mind Spectrum Albania are also partners for this project in the other three countries. 

The launching event of the project in Belgrade was greeted by Mr. Henk van den Dool, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Serbia, who highlighted the importance of cultural freedoms and open dialogue as common European values which fundamentally add to a more democratic and participatory society. 

Representatives of Stichting Art, Chris Belloni and Antonij Karadzoski presented in detail the aims and activities of the project and discussed with participants the value of “artivism” (activism through art) as a very successful tool empower young LGBTI persons but also change public attitudes. Through this project, young people in Serbia (as well as Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia) will benefit from trainings on film-making, story-telling, podcasting and youth advocacy. They will also be able to benefit from micro-grants of up to 1000 EUR and implement their own creative ideas through film-making, story-telling, podcasts etc. The project will also provide young LGBTI people with a working space (IdeaLab) which will provide them with equipment as well as mentoring during the preparation process. The works will then be screened at film festivals and other screening and awareness raising events. As such, the project provides a unique opportunity for young people, in the big cities as well as in smaller regions, to access much needed resources, tools and spaces and be able to express themselves creatively and freely. 

Young LGBTI artists and activists as well as their allies who are interested to get updates and benefit from the trainings and micro-grants for creative projects are welcome to send an Email at [email protected]or to local organisations [email protected]and [email protected]