The conference was one final step of Media4us, a project initiated by Mira Media and developed in various European countries, the Czech Republic, Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden, the UK, Hungary, and others The main aim of the project was to give migrants a voice by supporting their participation in the media. The final meeting gathered more than a hundred people, comprising of the participants of the Summer school in Sweden, Media4us journalists, photographers, NGO activists, project coordinators and people interested in migration. The location of the conference, Utrecht, was not chosen by chance; it celebrates the 300 years anniversary of the Treaty of Utrecht, the treaty that consolidated the good relationships between European countries, this year.
The conference itself took place in the city center during those 2 days. On the first day we were welcomed and instructed in what we are going to do. The style of the conference was quite interesting as the participants were divided into two big groups following a different program. The first group consisted of the youngsters who were all working together on the practical assignments. Meanwhile, in a different conference hall, there was a special program for the project coordinators and the NGO activists, who were given thoughts regarding the evaluation on the impact of the project.
On the second day, the youngsters presented the results of their practical assignments. Their main job was to discover the multicultural environment of Utrecht by exploring some migrants’ neighborhoods, interviewing the community and volunteering centers, discussing with the municipality representatives and connecting with people of different cultures living in the city. The remaining part of the day was organized into several workshops on diversity, citizen initiatives, social media campaigns, migrant journalism networks, etc. During the final part of the conference, we could listen to Jerry - a migrant poet, one of the wonderful participants of the Summer school organized during the summer 2012 in Sweden and an active person of his community living in Amsterdam.
On Saturday, the participants of the Sweden Summer school visited the Amsterdam’s Film Museum. After this collective activity, we said goodbye to each other with the hope to see each other again as a matter of a popssible future continuation of the Media4us project.
I would like to end this article with the words from one of the Jerry’s poems:”Revolution is peace…” We have to make some steps if we want a change. The revolution, the change begins in our hearts and once we have done something to solve a problem that affects us, we are much closer to harmony we want to achieve. Giving migrants a voice is helping a community they live in to discover, to understand better and not to be afraid. That is what Media4us has done during the period of a one and a half year and the beautiful results of it can be seen.