Courageous Citizens: an interview series Back

Courageous Citizens: an interview series

We launched our grant call ‘Courageous Citizens’ in 2018. We received more than 500 applications from all corners of Europe and beyond. As a result, we welcomed 31 new grantees and their projects into our network! Their bold and daring projects range from raising eco-consciousness in the city, being decolonial detectives, empowering people with physical disabilities, to re-inventing one’s heritage in the context of migration and displacement.

This year, 2019, most of their projects are coming to a close, or have been progressing so much that we decided to start a series of interviews with these courageous grantees.

Sana Murrani applied with her project Creative Recovery: Mapping refugees’ memories of home as heritage.

Sarah Story represents Refugee Info Bus, an organisation whose mission is to assist refugees in having access to the rights that people with European passports take for granted.

Simeon Vasilev represents the Bulgarian GLAS foundation which works for a positive change to the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Bulgaria.

Geraldine Lavelle’s project focused on raising awareness about the challenges of inclusivity for those living with disabilities and participation in sporting activities.

Framer Framed proposed The City is Ours: an exchange project in which young women in Amsterdam and Tunis investigate how they relate to public space and, through art, can increase their sense of ownership over public space.

Cherelle Harding initiated the Windrush Strikes Back project to uncover the hidden histories written by British African Caribbean peoples in historic Warwickshire.

Thomas Diafas used the grant to create an educational program and cultural activities and cultivate strategic partnerships within the local police, schools and church for the Thessaloniki Queer Arts Festival.

Alessio Mazzaro launched Edinost, a journal for European citizens and labour migrants written by social artists, curators, migrants, activists, antifa members and academics.

Nour Abofarraj developed ‘Trace’ researching the relations between performers and audiences in Damascus, Syria.

Vonne Hemels and her project Boomboomtales wanted to open a small cross-cultural printing house where locals and migrants in Lesvos could work together to create books. Using a risograph printer they intended to offer a space for creativity, learning and co-creation. Together with migrants they published books, stories, zines, postcards, maps, comic books and posters.

Raluca’s and Elena’s idea aimed to change the mindset of people in Bucharest. They hoped to offer small, sustainable solutions and eco-conscious attitudes to the inhabitants of the city, by introducing the concept of repairing and buying directly from small producers, and thereby help save the numerous small repair workshops in the city.

Mio Lindner developed a format for an intensive exchange between international marginalised queer participants in a one-week book laboratory, resulting in a printed book at the end of the week.

Here’s Ivo Krug, who together with his team, turned Tek Bunkeri into a social innovation initiative and digital network platform in Tirana.

Clara Nchama establised the ‘Connecting Africa’ project in Spain, going beyond stereotypes, but presenting contemporary African arts and culture.

Adriana Radu produced a theatre play on her own and other Romanian feminists’ experiences: Portrait of the artist as a young influencer.

Here is the story of Khaled Barakeh, a Berlin-based Syrian artist and cultural activist. He and his team are working on realising the first Syrian Biennale.

Numu Touray believes radio can be used as a tool for expression, to promote social inclusion and to unlock the talent of marginalised and young people. He took his Open Mic to Marseille.

Levent Duran and his team planned to create platforms for an exchange of experiences between the hundreds of thousands of men in Turkey whose lives have been blocked because they were fleeing from the mandatory military service.