During the week of 9th to 18th of February, 2018, Frederico Carreiro (one of our EVS Volunteers) and Grisha Grigoriev, an associate of Culture Goes Europe, went to Yerevan, in Armenia, to take part in the Training Course ”No Hate”, on the topic of No Hate Speech, with participants coming from Germany, Luxembourg, Armenia, Ukraine, Poland, Turkey, Georgia and Belarus.

Throughout this training course, they had the opportunity to learn more about the #NoHateSpeech campaign, from the Council of Europe, to explore Human Rights and Human Rights Education, as well as non-violent communication techniques, to discuss with the other participants about several interesting topics, such as the relation between the so-called “refugee crises” and the spark of hate speech online, the roots of this hate speech and what are the most effective ways to combat it, as well as getting to know more about the reality of other countries regarding Hate Speech and the “No Hate Speech” campaign and finding out more about their culture, especially Armenian culture, food (Yummy Yummy!) and traditions.
As a result, the participants had to produce some kind of product related to the No Hate Speech campaign to present to the group and to use in future occasions. From the two groups that our participants took part in, four different intellectual outcomes resulted:

Break the bubble
To illustrate how important it is to get out of the small “bubble” we live in and to meet other people in order to break prejudices and stereotypes and realize there is no “Me” and “They”, there is only “We”, one of the groups prepared a short video:

“I feel you” campaign
The “I feel you” campaign, which for now is only present on facebook, tries to connect the emotions felt by people who experienced hate speech or hateful comments of any kind with a work of art of the victim’s choice. The goal is to make it easier for readers to empathize with the emotions felt by victims of hate speech and bullying and, hopefully, lead them to think twice before making these kind of comments, having in mind the consequences that they might have. The page can be consulted here: I Feel You

Love Box Exercise
This exercise can be used with groups questioning fundamental topics of love, hate and emotions, and gives the participants the opportunity of exploring and reflecting on the topic of love, getting a feeling from the local community, understanding the roots of negative feelings and self-exploring. The main idea of it is to go around the town in a small group and ask people “What is love” for them and invite people to write/draw on a sticker note what love symbolizes to them, which they later attach inside the box. To read about the full procedure, take a look at the full guide to implement this Exercise.

Shoe Box Exercise
This exercise aims to break stereotypes by showing that what people wear or how they look has nothing to do with who they are inside, through connecting shoes with physical features and showing that you shouldn’t make judgments of people based on these features, because although shoes can be changed quite easily, some features are permanent and people will have to live with these features for their whole life. To read about the full procedure, take a look at the full guide to implement this Exercise.

Besides from that, the group also made a video using the metaphor of the shoe to break prejudices and stereotypes.

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