Active Solidarity Youth Project brought together 36 young people from 6 European countries, to explore the topic of activism and LGBT+ spectrum within non-formal and informal learning activities. The program took place in Nea Makri, Greece between the 27th of September and the 6th of October 2019.
Read below what the Greek team of participants is sharing about their experience:
“Active solidarity happened, and it changed our lives. We couldn’t be more grateful for having the opportunity to discover activism and dive deeper into lgbtqia+ rights with an amazing team of around 40 people, in our country, Greece. Each of these people had their own stories, their own experiences, their very own personalities and were generous enough to share with each other. In this way, we learned how to listen, understand and respect each other. None of us could have imagined how many forms activism could take: from family activism to video making, and from street actions to queer art. It became clear to all of us that it is possible to collect our experiences, capacities, and needs and use them for change and for doing activism. Thus, we would like to thank the organizers for offering us a unique opportunity to explore our activist identity. Last but not least, thanks to everybody for all the inspiration, the dances in the forest, the self-made parties, the late-night discussions, the walks on the beach, the gentle words, and the endless love that we shared. All these people will stay in our hearts forever. Active solidarity, THANK YOU!” – Ioanna & Manolis
“So, this experience for me has been interesting, to say the least. Having a double role as a participant and a group leader for the Greek team and also forming the international reflection groups. I was really excited about this experience but I learned that things don’t always go as planned. For me, the most important lesson was believing in myself no matter the circumstances, that my motivation for doing activism is too important and I’m not letting go of that. At the same time, being inspired by some really great people, their stories and experiences. The educational workshop about people who have disabilities that Jerneja Kolbl and I did is something that inspired me a lot and showed how important and amazing it is to collaborate, support and learn from each other. It is not always rainbows and unicorns and as queer people, we know this and we experience this. That being said, a lot of work has still to be done outside but also inside and the lgbtqia+ community.
Ableism, transphobia, fatphobia, sexism, racism, femmephobia and mental health stigma in queer spaces are real and we have to acknowledge that and do something about it. Get educated and educate others, stand up for each other and respect each other. Being able to listen and being open to learning, to fight for representation and intersectionality and really create as much space as possible for different identities and stories is a first step towards doing better. Also, the street action that we did in Syntagma square was about the murder of Zackie. A leaflet that had information about what happened, about the case and about what to do if you witness an attack in the streets to not let another murder happen and to raise awareness.” – Efi
“This was for me the second dynamic project concerning LGBTQIA+ activism that I took part in. This project gathered youngsters from around Europe in order to explore different kinds of queer activism and develop each in their own way. For me, this project offered the space to express myself in the truest way I ever have, as I wasn’t held back by social constrictions and social interpretations of what gender is and how to express it. I also got to explore new kinds of activism which I’m not sure are fit for me but nevertheless I got to know them and to understand how broad the meaning of activism is. Lastly, I’m very happy that with my team when it came down to street activism we decided to do something meaningful and referring to Zak/ZackieOh an activist who was brutally murdered in Athens last year in broad daylight, and still, his case hasn’t come to justice. Overall this project left me with weird feelings but I’m grateful for people that I met and the space for self-development that was given.” – Andreas
The project was funded by the Erasmus+ Programme, through the Youth and Lifelong Learning Foundation (INEDIVIM) of Greece.