New Neighbours at Council of Europe Ministerial Conference

New Neighbours is included as a best practice in media literacy (in community media) at the upcoming Council of Europe Ministerial Conference on Media! 

You can find out more about the Conference here:

We chose to put a special focus on the work done in Reggio Emilia by CMFE with Fondazione Mondinsieme.

Here is the exhibition space with a section about New Neighbours and ChiaccheRE:


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Online Seminar: We tell a different story – the role of documentary film, alternative and community media in reporting migration

Online Seminar: We tell a different story – the role of documentary film, alternative and community media in reporting migration 

New Neighbours and CMFE are taking part in the MIGRATIONS/MEDIATIONS project – ARTS AND COMMUNICATION AS RESOURCES FOR INTERCULTURAL DIALOGUE by Università Cattolica in Milan, Italy. A series of online seminars on the topic of Promoting Intercultural Dialogue through Media, Visual and Performing Arts is being held in April-May 2021. 

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Save the Date – Conference on Migration and Media Awareness

The CMMA2021 is a two and half day conference which convenes approximately 350 participants from 4 continents, 30 countries and over 100 institutions to engage in discussions with key stakeholders (policymakers, educators, social workers, activists, bloggers, journalist, representatives of communities) through numerous workshops and podiums as well as exhibition, music and performance formats.
Methods are exchanged and strategies are developed to find a way to deal with media reporting on issues of migration, xenophobia, fake news, hate-speech and also de-colonizing cultural journalism with positive counter-narratives, social commitment, and exile-born creativity.

This year, CMMA2021 Conference theme is “Looking Back, Thinking Ahead” and will focus on the importance of inclusion, diversity, and participation within the Media and Art sector (community & mainstream). The New Neighbours documentaries will also be screened.
More information here

Nyimas Bantaba – a safe place for migrants and refugees

In her programme at ALEX Berlin, Nyima Jadama wants to give migrants and refugees a safe place where they can voice their problems and get involved in society. But who is Nyima, and how was her show created?

“Nyimas Bantaba” is a place for migration and women’s power: Nyima Jadama comes from the Gambia. She had only been in Germany for two and a half years when she applied for an integration traineeship at ALEX Berlin. At first, Niyma did not dare to take this step: “There were so many requirements,” she says. These included a residence permit, which she did not have at that time. That’s why Nyima was initially very worried about whether she would have a chance at all to get the training place. But she had one decisive advantage: Niyma had already worked in journalism before her traineeship, as she worked as a media educator and presenter in Freiburg at Radio Dreyeckland.

It all started with the traineeship

In the end, Nyima was able to prevail over the other applicants and complete her 18-month integration traineeship at ALEX Berlin. During this time, she learned a lot about the media sector, she says: “The traineeship helped me a lot.” Nyima went through many different departments in the TV and radio sector and was even able to complete several internships in external media houses. During her traineeship, she also attended the Berlin School of Journalism, where she took German courses, among other things. Overall, Nyima was able to learn a lot about working in the media as well as develop her competencies and skills in these areas.

What does “Bantaba” mean?

After her traineeship, Nyima got hold of a journalism scholarship in Leipzig. It was in this context that her first own programme, “Nyimas Bantaba”, was created. The talk show is produced once a month by ALEX Berlin. But what does “Bantaba” actually mean? Nyima reveals: The word comes from her home language Mandinka, which is spoken in West Africa. The journalist explains that Bantaba is a big tree under which the community in The Gambia gathers to talk about the concerns of society. Based on this, she wants to create a space in her programme to talk about culture, migration and women’s empowerment. Accordingly, people who are active in these areas will be guests.

Talking about migration with migrants – not without them

Nyima has a clear goal with her programme: to talk about migration with migrants – and not without them, as is often the case in the media. She also wants to create a stage for refugees and migrants where they can be heard. It should be a safe place where people can express their problems without fear. Nyima tries to give migrants a voice and a place in society. “I believe that this place is still missing,” she says. So far, there are not many migrants working in the media. According to Nyima, this is because these people often do not have enough education or bureaucratic hurdles block their way.

“Media is close to my heart,” Nyima explains. In addition, the topics covered in the programme are vital to her. It is essential for her to get the voice of migrants and diversity into the media. That still happens far too little, she thinks. For this reason, she works on her programme with a lot of passion.

Exciting guests and essential topics

Nyima has already produced four episodes of her Bantaba. The first episode introduced the Kiron Open Higher University: This is an online platform that aims to break down existing barriers to higher education for refugees through digital learning and support services. Nyima spoke with founder Markus Kressler and Ehab Badwi, a former Kiron University student. Episode 2 featured Muhammed Jadama and Raf Olayinka Awolola from Terre des Femmes, who spoke about their fight against gender-based violence. Two other contributors to Terre des Femmes were present in the third episode to discuss their activism against female genital mutilation.

With its concept, “Nyimas Bantaba” creates a place for migration and women’s power, where all problems and concerns of those affected can be openly discussed. Women’s power was the keyword of the fourth program: On Friday, 19 February, Nyima broadcasted live from the ALEX Hall for the first time. In view of International Women’s Day on 8 March, the journalist spoke with guests in the studio and via Zoom on the topic “Women in leadership positions: How we achieve an equal future in a COVID-19 world”.

How many lives does Nyima have?

When Nyima is not producing her show, she works as a social facility manager at Gangway e.V. – an association that runs street social work for young people and adults in Berlin. Nyima not only manages the office there but is also out and about with the social workers two or three times a week, bringing tea and coffee to homeless people and migrants in Berlin parks. Her team asks if there are any problems or if they can help. Nyima can also support her colleagues with translation work.

But that’s not all Nyima is involved in: In addition to her job at Gangway and the production of her show, she is active in “African Women in Trade”, a subsidiary of “American Women in Europe”. Through this platform, African women network and exchange ideas with each other, for example, to learn how to start a business or obtain financing. Nyima often moderates webinars there and imparts tips and tricks to the participants.

How does she fit all these tasks into her everyday life? Nyima herself doesn’t know exactly. “Just the other day, a friend asked me how many lives I have,” she says with a laugh.

Article translated and adapted from the article „Nyimas Bantaba“: Ein Ort für Migration und Frauenpower by Annika Seidel, published on Feb 17, 2021 on ALEX Berlin (

La Retirada – memories of migrations

Half a million people fled Spain after the fall of Barcelona to the Franco dictatorship in 1939. Known as the Retirada, whose 80th anniversary was commemorated in 2019, this exodus marked the history and culture of the Pyrénées-Orientales region in France.

Populations fleeing conflicts, persecution or misery, with their great diversity of causes, remain a sad constant in history. A network of community radios in the Occitane region – Radio FM+, Tadio Lenga d’oc, Jazzin and l’Eko des garrigues – have given the floor to descendants of refugees, writers, intellectuals, artists, association leaders and also to people who have risked their lives to reach France, sometimes on makeshift boats. By crossing these voices and expertise, they have tried to understand the exoduses of today that echo the 1939 Retirada. You can listen to the radio documentary (in French) here.

New Neighbours – Czech Republic National Meeting

Screenshot from Czech Documentary

National meetings are a structural part of the project of New Neighbours and they are an opportunity for people interested in challenging the narrative around migration, to meet, discuss and learn from each other. 

As part of the project New Neighbours – Promoting Intercultural Media Spaces which took place in the Czech Republic in cooperation with Czech Television and the anthropological Studio Anthropictures, it was organised a screening of two documentaries focusing on migrants’ lives and coexistence with migrants in the Czech Republic and in Germany. The films were provided with English subtitles, the discussion and the foreword have been translated into English.

Schedule of the National Meeting in Prague 

Due to anti-coronavirus safety measures, the number of participants was strictly limited at the offline event. The online event was streamed via Zoom to registered participants.

 This National Meeting was moderated and introduced by Marie Heřmanová and Linda Kovářová, from Anthropictures

Barbora Svobodová Documentary Producer from Czech TV commented on the Czech film, mentioning the difficulties with finding the right respondents. The producer pointed out that the biggest obstacle in Czech Republic was to actually find a family who would fit the profile they needed for the documentary. 

Lucie KellnerovàMedia and Migration expert – commented on how the film was interesting in the way it showed what is not being said – that both girls in the Czech movie only talked about the side of integration they are “good at”, but perhaps most interestingly is what is being unsaid. 

In light of this, a discussion ensued about the different forms of integration – What does it mean to talk to people, learn the language? How can we evaluate if someone is “integrated”? Is it always subjective? 

Angelica, a student from Mexico studying in Prague, asked about the project and why the German and Czech films were chosen to be compared. Marie Heřmanová explained that in Czech media, Germany is often being referred to as an example of both successful/failed integration, it is a neighbouring country and because of there is alack of real examples in the Czech Republic. Other participants echoed that Germany is often being discussed as an example, but many media organisations do not inform about the events regarding migrants in Germany objectively. 

The last part of the discussion focused on media and sources of information about migration and integration: all participants agreed that they think documentary films are a brilliant and an accessible way to open discussion about the topic. On the other side, few of them pointed out that the main challenge is to deliver the message to people who are not interested at all.

New Neighbours Online Webinar: Creating intercultural media narratives

New Neighbours Online Webinar Creating intercultural media narratives

Media professionals are coming together to share what it means to work on intercultural media projects during the New Neighbours online Webinar. Over the past 24 months, the European Broadcasting Union and its project partners CMFE – Community Media Forum Europe, COMMIT, COSPE Onlus and MDI – Media Diversity Institute have been implementing good practices of promoting direct participation of migrants and refugees in European media productions. Now the time has come to look back and ask: what has worked well? What surprised us? And what would have needed more time to fulfil our expectations?

Some answers and lessons learnt will be shared in a 90-minute online conference on Monday, February 22nd, 14:00-15:30 with people behind the EU-funded New Neighbours project. Journalists, community media producers, experts with a migratory background, campaigners and public service media professionals will discuss how to create successful intercultural media projects and why this is pivotal. 

You will hear from:

    • Agnese Papadia, European Commission policy officer at DG Migration
    • Wouter Gekiere, Head of Brussels Office at EBU
    • Anna Meli, Communications Director at COSPE, Florence
    • Rufine Songue and Rouby Baba-Traoré, producers of Our Voice at Radio RDL, Freiburg
    • Selma Cherif and Diana Bota from Mondinsieme, Reggio Emilia
    • Tea Vidović, migration expert at the Centre for Peace Studies (CPS), Zagreb
    • Greta Wessing, co-chair of the Refugee Law Clinic Berlin (RLCB), Berlin
    • Marco Farina, director of Human Rights Youth Organization (HRYO), Italy
    • Marisa Torres da Silva, assistant professor at NOVA University, Lisbon
    • Helmut Peissl, Director of COMMIT, Vienna

The Webinar Creating intercultural media narratives will be moderated from the European Broadcasting Union in Brussels by Jeroen Depraetere, EBU Project Manager, in cooperation with storytelling coach Beatrice Ngalula Kabutakapua, Milica Pesic, MDI Director, and Nadia Bellardi, CMFE Project Coordinator.

The event takes place on Monday, February 22nd, 14:00-15:30 and is free.

To attend, please register here – places are limited

European Court of Human Rights: Greek government agrees to pay compensation for inhumane and degrading living conditions in the Samos „hotspot“

On 21 January 2021, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) published a decision in the case of Ms. H.A through which it confirmed a settlement between the parties. Ethiopian national Ms. H.A. was 6 months pregnant when she arrived to the (Greek) island of Samos where she planned to apply for asylum. Despite her pregnancy, authorities neglected to provide her further material assistance, forcing her to reside in a makeshift shelter in the Samos „hotspot“ for nearly three months. The Greek government agreed to compensate her for any damages that she suffered as a result of the inhumane and degrading living conditions in the camp. However, these conditions have yet to cease, and thousands of people must still endure similar circumstances.

Upon her arrival on Samos in September 2019, Ms. H.A. had to live in a makeshift shelter in the forest (the so-called “jungle”) surrounding the camp. Her tent was shared between nine people and did not provide effective protection from cold and rain nor from rats and snakes. At the time, more than 6,200 asylum seekers were living in the reception facility on Samos, which is designed to host only 650 persons. No adequate sanitary facilities existed, and asylum seekers had to queue for several hours to receive food of very poor quality.

On 18 November 2019, Refugee Law Clinic Berlin e.V. (RLC Berlin) filed a request for an interim measure under Rule 39 of the Rules of the Court on behalf of Ms. H.A. The following day, the ECHR ordered the Greek government to guarantee to H.A. living conditions that were appropriate to her state of health. Her living situation eventually improved in late December 2019.

In the subsequent legal proceedings before the ECHR, Ms. H.A. alleged that Greece had violated the prohibition of inhumane and degrading treatment under Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights and that the Government’s failure to comply with the interim measure constituted a violation of Article 34 of the Convention. The Greek government agreed to pay a sum of €5,000 to cover any pecuniary and non-pecuniary damages to Ms. H.A.

While the settlement prevented a decision on the merits in this case, the Court will have the chance to address the living conditions of asylum seekers in the Samos camp in various other cases that are currently pending. These include: N.E. and others v. Greece (App. No. 8716/20), which concerns the living conditions of several pregnant women on Samos; A.N. Samos, 29.01.2021 and others v. Greece (App. No. 13892/20) which concerns the situation of unaccompanied minors in the camp on Samos; and R.A. and others v. Greece (App. No. 11216/20), which concerns the living conditions of asylum seekers with severe diseases and their access to medical care.

Philipp Schönberger, member of RLC Berlin, explains, ‘We are glad that Ms. H.A. will receive compensation that acknowledges the inhumane treatment she suffered. However, her case is not an isolated one. On Samos alone, the ECHR has granted interim measures in more than 30 cases of pregnant women who were left without any support in those degrading circumstances.’ He concludes, ‘This European policy of deterrence and encampment is resulting in the systematic violations of asylum seekers’ rights under the European Convention on Human Rights. Nobody should be forced to live in the appalling conditions that we continue to observe in the camps on Samos, Lesvos, Chios, Kos and Leros. It is time for Greece and the EU to start taking human rights and human dignity of asylum seekers seriously.’

Refugee Law Clinic Berlin e.V is one of the civili society organisations taking  part of the project New Neighbours. In August 2020 they launched its #AccessToJustice-Campaign in order to promote the legal tool Daily social media content on RLC Berlin channels highlighted the importance of access to justice for asylum seekers.