Exploring new ways forward.
Our shorter trainings invite participants to share their own knowledge and experiences, from both professional and personal settings, in order to develop their critical, reflexive and analytical thinking. Through sharing and analysing real, lived, experiences, we are better able to see complexities and nuances, and trace new paths ahead, based on where we come from.
The overall objective for the shorter trainings is for participants to find new, more just, ways of acting in their roles as researchers, journalists and documentarians, civil society actors and policymakers.
A typical outline for our shorter trainings, adapted each time:
A session on migration, looking at the phenomenon in a local context: how people have migrated to and from the country; what former and current social and political developments have played in; what are the attitudes and real policies affecting work migrants, refugees and asylum seekers.
A session looking at the construction and reproduction of stereotypes, preconceptions, simplified images and the formation of “us” and “them”. We look at how narrow ideas take root within media and/or academia, and how journalists, researchers and civil society actors can work towards a more diverse and fair reporting.
An session to look at our own background and experiences, locating events and circumstances that have shaped us so far. Locating ourselves in relation to the topic allows for a more comprehensive understanding.
A seminar on the concept of “single stories” and how a lack of diversity in the way we look at communities and places in the world form narrow understandings of reality. We look at what single stories are told about us, and what single stories we tell about others.
A session on visual representation, looking at how migration and exile can be portrayed, in photographs and visuals, in a way that broadens our ideas and worldviews.
A session on privileges and how they function and intersect: how each of us may have both advantages and disadvantages in different situations, and how to take this into account as professionals.
A session that introduces participants to different situations, based on real incidents or interactions between people working on migration, inviting people to discuss and outline ways of how to best act in each of them.
A session where people bring an article or report they have published earlier, or notes describing a specific situation they have faced at some point during their career, in order to look critically and with reflection at these past experiences.
A session, finally, where participants get to work on bringing diversity to the field of documenting and writing about migration. This writing workshop builds on the sessions during day one, and lets people rewrite a “single story” article to make it more diverse and representative.
Past short trainings:
New reflections on exile and migration
During the winter months of 2018 and 2019, we had the opportunity to train and work with 40 participants from different parts of Lebanon. The three workshops, which brought together people from across the fields of journalism and civil society, were held over the course of two days, in Beirut, Zahle and Tripoli. Each session had a similar program, spanning self-reflection and critical media analysis.
Our participants, all working in Lebanon, came from countries including Lebanon, Syria, Italy, the US, the UK, Jordan, Palestin, Iran, Poland and Spain. Several work as either freelance or staff journalists, others are photographers, TV presenters, researchers or artists. Many work with NGOs or associations in Lebanon, including the Anti-Racism Movement, Gruppo Di Volontariato, Salam LADC, Campji and YMCA.
In spring 2019, we held a seven-week course in Beirut, as part of the newly established Alternative Academy, a joint Lebanon Support–Jibal initiative to offer scientific and other knowledge to everyone. Our course was held once a week, in collaboration with Ibrahim Nehme, a writer and the founder and editor of The Outpost magazine. The course included sessions on stereotypes and power structures in the media, as well as specific sessions on pitching and creative writing.