SOLIDARITY ACADEMY | CALL FOR APPLICATIONS

25–30 May 2020 at the European Solidarity Center in Gdańsk, Poland

Solidarity Academy (SA) is an international project aimed at inspiring and supporting the development of the young leaders across Europe. The project’s title refers to the Polish social movement Solidarność (Solidarity) and the peaceful socio-political transformations that took place in Poland and other countries of Central and Eastern Europe.

The 2020 edition of the Solidarity Academy will focus on prejudice and how it affects the work of journalists in the 21st century in Central and Eastern Europe. Prejudice which can be related to historical background between nations/ethnic groups, prejudice against marginalised groups in the society, as well as prejudice towards a different opinion. In the recent years Europe has seen an escalating polarisation in societies and the growing lack of mutual understanding between different groups. Journalists often become part of this phenomenon, taking sides rather than focusing on ethical and objective reporting. Prejudice can lead to discrimination and hostility and can be effectively countered by a dialogue between different groups. Instances of hate speech against migrants, racial and ethnic minorities, and other groups have been on the increase in the region, often promoted in the media and on social networks. Media and journalists play a critical role in reporting on and challenging prejudice in the society, they also have a crucial role in raising awareness of the harm caused by negative stereotyping.

During this edition of Solidarity Academy we will focus on finding ways how to tackle prejudice by inviting young and promising journalists, scholars or bloggers from the Visegrad Group, Balkan and Eastern Partnership countries who believe in ethical and unbiased reporting and who are interested in obtaining skills necessary to respond to the challenges they face in writing about difficult socio-political issues such as intercultural tensions, ethnic conflicts, vulnerable groups.

At the workshops and lectures held during the Solidarity Academy, 20 participants will have the opportunity to expand their knowledge and improve their skills. Workshops and tasks will be both theoretical and practical. Participants will have the opportunity to work in a big, international team, in smaller expert groups and individually under the supervision of a trainer. The program will be held in Gdansk (6 days), including meetings with local organisations, minorities and experts. The aim of the SA is for its participants to work on a specific topic related to tackling prejudice throughout the week, and to finalise a non-fiction story after the project. Stories will be then published in a dedicated publication. See the 2018 publication here.

The candidates are asked to pick a preferable theme for their fieldwork for non-fiction stories.

Society – meetings with local organisations and marginalized groups
History – meetings with historians and academics on differences in perceiving history
Ethnicity & religion – meetings with local ethnic minorities and religious groups

/ ELIGIBILITY
The Solidarity Academy team is looking for 20 active, aspiring and young (20-30 years old) journalists, reporters, activists, bloggers, analysts or writers from Visegrad Group (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia), Western Balkan (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia) and Eastern Partnership (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine) countries.
/ COSTS
Organizers cover the costs of travel (up to € 100) and the participants’ stay in Gdansk.
TIMELINE
5 March 2020 | deadline of the call for applications
31 March 2020 | results of the recruitment
25-30 May 2020 | Solidarity Academy in Gdańsk, Poland
(Arrival: 24 May | Departure: 31 May)

/ APPLICATION FORM
The application form is available [here]. Please insert a piece of your journalistic work (approximately 1000 – 5000 characters) to the application form.
Please note that all applications must be received by 5 March 2020.

/ LANGUAGE
The working language of the project is English.

More information and contact to the organizers
Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the organizational team:
Joanna Szymańska, e-mail: j.szymanska@ecs.gda.pl

→ more information about the project
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We are looking forward to meeting you in Gdansk!

partners of the project
| The Jan Nowak-Jeziorański College of Eastern Europe in Wroclaw – editorial office of New Eastern Europe (Poland), Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes (Czech Republic), Szépírók Társasága (Hungary), Balkans, let’s get up! Organisation (Serbia), Media Development Foundation (Ukraine)

The project is funded by International Visegrad Fund