Youth photography for interculturalism: launch in Patras
Intercultural cities focuses on shaping local policies and governance for diversity. This implies not only working with politicians, officials and professionals but also with the community as a whole. Engaging young people in the intercultural endeavour can be a challenge. A group of Intercultural Cities are using photography as a way of encouraging youth expression and participation.
The "Youth photography for interculturalism" project was initiated by the London Borough of Lewisham. It will enable young people to reveal how they imagine the intercultural spirit of their cities. Following launches in Tilburg (NL) and Berlin-Neukolln (DE), the project was kick-started in Patras on 27th March.
The Patras Vice-Mayor for "Volunteerism, Gender Equality, NGOs, Integration of Immigrants & Services for the Citizens" and the Office of Volunteerism, in collaboration with Patras Municipal Enterprise for Planning & Development - ADEP SA" are in charge of the project. The Vice-Mayor Mrs Maria Andrikopoulou-Rouvali says "Patras is really a very alive city – young people are many, they are very active, they wish to contribute and to co-create with their own innovative spirit which should be respected and recognised".
An intercultural seminar for youth put emphasis on respecting cultural diversity, the importance of individual personality, and the characteristics of a city not detected by a casual visitor, but identified only after an in depth approach of the city cultural, political, economic and social environment.
Voluntary youth organisations and associations of immigrants responded to the call of Patras Municipality, and proposed young people for the team which will carry out the project. The project coordinator, Mr Paul CHAPMAN from Lewisham, shared his positive impressions of the dynamism of the young participants and their interest both in interculturalism and in photography as a means to promoting it. The photos will be presented at exhibitions in Lewisham and Berlin. A special promotional event is scheduled to take place in Patras in June.
In order to strengthen the links between the "Intercultural Cities" network at a local level, Mr Paul Chapman met Ms. Julia Spinthouraki (Associate Professor at the University of Patras on multicultural and multilingual education) discussed possible areas of cooperation. In the same context, the coordinator met the Mayor of Patras Mr Yannis Dimaras since the two cities have currently submitted a common proposal within the framework of URBACT II programme. The city of Patras is very eager for international co-operation and participating in European projects through its development agency ADEP SA.
For more info, please contact:
Mrs Chrissa Geraga
Head of Programming-Networking & International affairs