Lost in the Atlantic Ocean with Only one God

Lost in the Atlantic Ocean with Only one God

The absurdities of colonial history frame the life of Califa Silas, one of the protagonists of Only one God.  The Portuguese documentary by RTP and the EBU Intercultural and Diversity Group, part of the New  Neighbours series, plays in Ponta Delgada on the island of São Miguel, the capital of the Azores  Archipelago.  

Califa was born in Guinea-Bissau when it was still Portuguese Guinea and in his youth served in the  Portuguese native commando forces fighting against liberation insurgents. In an attempt to win the trust  of the indigenous population and curb the independence movements, General António de Spínola had  launched a ‘hearts and minds’ propaganda campaign, including a large increase in recruitment of native  Guineans into the Portuguese armed forces as part of an Africanization strategy. The war in Guinea has  been termed “Portugal’s Vietnam”. Califa grew up feeling Portuguese and was lucky to survive the mass  executions of black Guinea-Bissauan African soldiers carried out after the independence of Portuguese  Guinea had been agreed.  

Stranded in the Azores for ten years, Califa has found comfort in religion. He is one of the members of a  tiny Muslim community which meets in the first and only Mosque of the Archipelago. Most Christian  locals have difficulties relating with a faith and culture they perceive as dramatically different from theirs.  But a neighbour of the mosque, himself stranded in a lonely existence, dares to discover similarities  across spiritual beliefs.  

You can watch “Only one God” subtitled in English here. All nine documentary films are now available  at www.newneighbours.eu/documentaries 

New Neighbours National Meeting in Hamburg

New Neighbours National Meeting in Hamburg

On November the 14th of November 3pm CET, New Neighbours presented its documentaries during one of the national meetings in Hamburg, Germany. 

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. 

This national meeting in particular was moderated by Larry Macaulay, founder of CMMA2020 and Refugee Radio Network

The Schedule of the National Meeting in Hamburg

The national meeting in Hamburg took place online: it was be live-streamed on Youtube via the platform Kampnagel Digital Platform and will be accessible freely. 

Starting at 3pm CET, the even went on until 5pm CET and saw the participation of several experts. Guest speakers were: 

    • Nadia Bellardi – Project Manager / Partner NN – Community Media Forum Europe – CMFE
    • Bettina Kolb, producer of the documentary Deutsche Welle – DW 
    • Dasa Raimanova, Director of the documentary Deutsche Welle – DW 

While additional panel speakers are: 

    • Nyima Jadama, Journalist from The Gambia – ALEX Offener Kanal Berlin
    • Dasa Raimanova, Director of the documentary – Deutsche Welle
    • Judith Rau / Nadine Jessen Jesseline, founders – New Media Socialism Hamburg
    • Anas Aboura, Activist from Syria, working as a Curator at Kampnagel Hamburg
    • Muller Gracio Manalu,  Artist/Musician from Indonesia Member –  Mirage Band & Projekt Toffi-Hamburg

Screening of New Neighbours Documentary During the National Meeting 

Halfway through the national meeting, one of our documentaries was screened: Across the Road – Worlds Apart which tells the story of Syrian refugees finding a new home in Germany. 

For more information on the national meeting and to access to it, visit the Facebook page

Watch the replay below

New Neighbours at the 3rd Euro-Mediterranean Communicators’ Workshop EUROMED

New Neighbours at the 3rd Euro-Mediterranean Communicators’ Workshop EUROMED

A representative of New Neighbours will share views on a new narrative on migration at the 3rd Euro-Mediterranean Communicators’ Workshop EUROMED. 

3rd Euro-Mediterranean Communicators’ Workshop EUROMED

The 3 rd Euro-Mediterranean Communicators’ Workshop organized by the EUROMED Migration IV project in collaboration with the Club of Venice will focus on the most current challenges to the implementation of balanced migration narratives, the elements that determine effective communication on migration and the future consequences related to the global COVID-19 pandemic. The objective of this workshop is to provide practical recommendations from prominent experts in the field that will help practitioners be better aware and prepared for such upcoming strenuous tests.

The context

When asking citizens what migration in the Mediterranean looks like to them today, there is a strong likelihood that the images coming to mind are of refugee camps, border fences, boatloads of asylum seekers or episodes of unsuccessful integration initiatives. Most of the migration-related coverage in the region depicts a situation often described as “out of control1 ” and the prospect for serious, balanced and factual debate among governments, policy makers and citizens on this matter has never been harder. The reality is that the governmental authorities of the countries concerned and directly involved in this complex Mediterranean scenario are doing their utmost to ensure that all migration flows in the Euro-Mediterranean region be regular, legal, safe and documented. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated this visual narrative with further sanitary, health and security concerns that significantly affect public perceptions and opinions to migration in the region.

If public perceptions and consequently citizens’ behaviours are the result of “narratives” rather than “reality”, why should governments, public officials and migration policy makers beware of this? Can such a distorted narrative impair actual policy-making? The answer is clearly “yes” and thisis why over the past few years ICMPD and the Club of Venice have tackled the issue of polarized migration narratives by proposing recommendations, organizing high-level events and ultimately running workshops for communicators in the field.

New Neighbours’ Contribution

Nicola Frank, Head of Institutional Relations at the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) will participate in a roundtable on November the 10th at 2:30pm. 

For more information on the conference and to participate please click here

Diversity at the center of a new media narrative – New Neighbours at Terra di Tutti Film Festival

terra tutti film festival New Neiighbours

Diversity needs to be at the center of a new media narrative, that’s the outcome of New Neighbours participation at Terra di Tutti Film Festival.

On October 8th, New Neighbours has participated to the Terra di Tutti Film Festival in Bologna, Italy. Since 2007 the Terra di Terra di Tutti Film Festival is a platform for documentary and social film productions shining a light on voices from the Southern hemisphere. This year the Festival took place from October 6th to 11th with a combination of live events and online sessions. 

New Neighbours participated in the debate on how to diversify the media narrative through: a seminar, a masterclass, the screening of Across the Road – Worlds Apart and In the Ghost Town

An outdated debate on inclusion of cultural diversity

Although migration has been at the heart of public debate and media attention for years, the information that is given to the related issues remains characterised by partial narratives which is oftentimes negative and misleading. This stands to prove how the debate on the inclusion of cultural diversity in the word of journalism is now outdated in Europe.

In fact, the world of journalism has struggled to include the voices of the direct protagonists, both behind and in front of the microphones. In Italy in particular, the difficulties of access to the journalistic profession have increased –
underpaid assignments, precariousness and generational change – and contributed to a narrative of the present often anchored to the logic of the past and impervious to the processes of innovation and creativity.

Good practices for diversity in the media narrative

Throughout the three sessions we participated to at Terra di Tutti Film Festival,  good practices were shared with the thousands of people connected online and offline in Bologna, Italy.

Larry Moore Macalauy explained how Refugee Radio Network was born for giving voice to migrants and refugees and raising public awareness to demystify the mainstream narrative.

Franz Jennekens shared a video from RTR (Dutch Public Broadcasting Service) to demonstrate how the diversity is a richness. 

Francesca Vecchioni (DiversityLab) highlighted the tool of Media Diversity Award for grabbing the media attention and giving visibility to several types of diversity,
and intersectionalities.

Giovanni Parapini (Director for Third Sector at RAI) talked about the birth of a new
department in RAI (Italian Public Broadcasting Service) for raising awareness on diversity and the need to spread more inclusive narrative.

The Masterclass

The masterclass was organised in collaboration with the University of Bologna. It proposed an in-depth review of cultural diversity in the media, starting from relevant European experiences promoted by Dutch Public Service Media and refugee journalists in Germany.

    • How do national and European media portray newcomers and refugees in our societies?
    • Can transcultural and intercultural skills represent an opportunity for European journalism and beyond?

Media stakeholders from the academic field, public broadcasting, and alternative media have discussed these issues.

The Masterclass was chaired by Nadia Bellardi (CMFE) who has introduced at the beginning keys concepts, regarding diversity inclusion and transculturalism. After her incipit, Franz Jennekens (RTR), Larry Moore Macalauy (Refugee Radio Network) and Roza Tsagarousianou (Reader in Media and Communication at the Faculty of Media, Arts and Design of the University of Westminster) have illustrated some of the best practices implemented in Europe, such as: 

    1. RTR Diversity campaign in Netherlands for promoting minorities rights,
    2. Academic research enquiring the link between diaspora and media,
    3. Migrantpolitan initiative in Hamburg for increasing integration and cultural understanding.

The need for a renewal in the narrative of the present is becoming increasingly urgent today, and the importance of newsroom openness to experiences of diversity is more relevant than ever before.

Documentary Screening of migrants stories 

To conclude New Neighbours participation to the Terra di Tutti Film Festival, a film screening was organised. 

More than twenty thousands people had the opportunity to watch In The Ghost Town and Across the Road – Worlds Apart. Both films tell the stories of the everyday life of people who, coming from different cultures, share workplaces, schools, sports but also dreams and hopes. The first is set in Italy while the second is set in Germany. 

The documentary series “New Neighbours” (nominated forthe Prix Europa) tells stories of migrants who have had to leave their homes and try to integrate into a new reality, confronting the population who hosts them. 

To watch the films online click here

Migrants’ Stories Documentary Screening in Czech Republic

As part of the international project New Neighbors – Promoting Intercultural Media Spaces which is taking place in the Czech Republic in cooperation with Czech Television, the anthropological studio Anthropictures organised an online documentary screening.

The event took place on the 13th of October, partly online and in person in Czech Republic. The two documentary screened were Czech Lessons and Across the Road – Worlds Apart which narrate the stories of migrants settling in Czech Republic and Germany.

The screening was an opportunity to bring the stories of migrants to the wider world, which is what New Neighbours stands for. In fact, as well as the producer from Česká televize, there were students and general public attending the online event. 

If you’d like to organise an event to create a conversation around migration by screening New Neighbour’s documentaries, please contact us

New Neighbours at the International Conference of Journalism on Migration and Development of Mérida


New Neighbours is taking part to the The III International Conference of Journalism on migration and development.

The conference is taking place from the 18th to the 22nd of October via Zoom.  With over 80 speakers in its pool, it is a space  to debate the complexity and future of migration coverage from different perspectives.

In the words of the organisers: 

“The debate will address varied topics and current challenges and will be a meeting point for those who publish and those who produce the information.”

New Neighbours participation to the International Conference of Journalism on Migration

A contribution from New Neighbours will happen on the 21st of October at 6pm. 

Daniela Drastata, journalist and producer of the Croatian public broadcaster HRT, chairwoman of the EBU Intercultural and Diversity Group, and executive producer of the documentary series “New Neighbours” will be speaking. 

She will be joined by Frans Jenneckens, journalist and producer of the Dutch public broadcaster NTR, and executive producer of “New Neighbours”. Jenneckens is also Head of Diversity at the Dutch public broadcaster NTR.

During the conference, Drastata and Jenneckens will focus on the challenges faced when trying to position migration and diversity as a prime-time topic away from stereotypes.

The goal is to discuss the inside hurdles of broadcasters (lack of diversity in newsrooms, the pressure of shares, stereotypes…) and the need for journalists to educate themselves on biases as well as on the complexity of migration.

More information and how to signup 

The conference is mainly in Spanish, but there are many debates and sessions that count with an English interpretation. The program is not available in English yet, but some debates will be moderated in English.

To attend the conference, please click this link and register your interest.