Youth Artivists for Change is a project funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs through the Creative Twinning scheme. Art. 1 is the main applicant of the project, which focuses on the participation of youth (15-24 years old) in film, theater, podcast and storytelling activities. The main goal is to provide them the tools that will empower them to speak up about social awareness on human rights/LGBTQ+ rights and gender equality through the arts.
“[History is Gay is] a dive into queer history across the globe from specific moments in time, just contextualized around each story. But each episode doesn’t feel like a history lesson.”
The project takes place in four different countries in the Western Balkan: Macedonia, Albania, Serbia, and Kosovo, through the alliance of seventeen organizations working within arts, culture, gender equality and Human/LGBTQ+ rights. This alliance connects young people with different cultural backgrounds through activities such as the launch of LGBTQ+ film festivals, photo exhibitions, debates and multiplier events to disseminate the results of the project.
In every country there have been trainings in film, podcast, storytelling, and human rights/LGBTIQ+ rights advocacy. Furthermore, the initiatives also contemplate the launch of safe art spaces where young people can work on their projects with safety and support. This aims to make a significant contribution to the understanding of human rights and understanding of democratic EU principles which might lead to a smoother transitioning for the collaborating countries in their quest for EU membership.
“It’s a dynamic that’s engaging while also feeling sophisticated, and one that balances tone very delicately to make sure discussion topics are given respect while not allowing conversation to become too dire.”