“New Neighbours” Official Trailer

The New Neighbours series tells moving and exciting stories of present-day Europe, from the picturesque Sicilian village of Sutera which refugees infused with new life to a smart Berlin neighbourhood where local pubs are largely closed to new neighbours, a Barcelona region with a 30% migrant population, where a Pakistani community found their new home and build their own mosque, and a Slovenian village where three Syrian families are introducing huge change. 

The series is being broadcasted in nine European countries. It will also provide food for thought at discussions and training sessions that will be held by New Neighbours project consortium partners. 

Individual trailers are available here.

RTV Cardedeu goes multilingual!

RTV Cardedeu, the oldest community radio and TV in Spain and the first Catalan TV worldwide, has started its very first multilingual/‘foreign language’ content thanks to New Neighbours! What a wonderful way to celebrate their 40th anniversary, happening this year.
Here you can hear Meryem and Hamza from Morroco talking in Arabic (“Maghrebi 100%”), and Kiemba from Senegal speaking Mandinga, Spanish and Catalan (“Bamtabakacha”), just click on the corresponding program tab: https://www.rtvc.cat/podcasts/.
We hope you enjoy, even if you understand just a few words.

A new interactive tool online for migration

The REMINDER project has recently announced Understanding Migration and Free Movement in the European Union, an interactive online tool based on their research findings.

The project is a large-scale attempt to address the full spectrum of social and economic consequences of migration within the European Union, outlining how this phenomenon is reflected in media, policy and public opinion around Europe. To investigate migration the project is divided into five major themes:

  • Numbers, What do we know about patterns of EU migration? Who is moving where, when, and why?
  • Impacts, What are the major impacts of intra-EU mobility? This section will present our research on the labour market and public service impacts.
  • Media, How has intra-EU mobility been covered by media outlets in Europe? What accounts for the different ways in which the topic is treated?
  • Attitudes, What do people in the EU think about free movement? What factors influence people’s views about this topic?
  • Governance, What are the major laws and regulations governing free movement in Europe? Are they adequate and how could they be improved so that free movement works for everyone?

The tool based on an interactive approach provides short summaries of some of their key findings, showing how different, seemingly unrelated factors within migration debates may affect each other. Choosing their own adventure way in discovering data on migration, users will thus be able to take their journey navigating the platform’s content in the order they prefer to.

Take your journey on the platform here.

A Restless History of Europe

“The truth is

that Europeans have never

sat still for long.

Whichever page of

European history you turn to,

you’ll find migration.”

David Mountain with an article on “We Are Europe” magazine reconstructed the history of the European continent, retracing some relevant events of the past, proving that issues and concerning on migration – which since 2015 with the refugee crisis emerged as the main topics of nationalist rhetoric and politics debate – are nothing new, indeed.

Contrary to what nationalist politicians repeatedly claim, Europe historically is a continent of migration. The mass movement of people is deeply entwined with its history and its inhabitants: Europe, as we know it today, it’s partly the product of internal and external migration. And, although the migration flow of the 21st century shows different characteristics than those of the past, tracing its history, he demonstrated that such wrong ideas, permeating the debate on the migration issue – which is a modern and not a European phenomenon – are wrong and false.

Here the full article.

Call for papers: International Conference «Migrations / Mediations»

The International Conference «Migrations / Mediations. Promoting intercultural dialogue through media, arts and culture» will take place on April 6 & 7 at Cattolica University in Milano, Italy.
The deadline for submissions is 1 February 2020. Interested contributors should send a 300-500 word abstract and a short biographical note to migrations.mediations@unicatt.it

Additional information regarding the project «Migration/Mediations» is available at this link.

New Neighbours in community media meet in Vienna

OKTO TV and Radio ORANGE 94.0 hosted New Neighbours editors in Vienna for 3 days of training and production at the end of November 2019. 

ORANGE 94.0 is one of the largest community radios in the German-speaking world, with over 500 volunteers and 150 programs. Broadcasting since 1998, it provides diverse content in 25 languages and alternative music to its audience. Journalists from the broadcast series “New Life in Vienna” discussed the chances and challenges of a multicultural team, and the shared the ‘lessons learnt’ from their program. “New Life in Vienna” was an information program on Radio ORANGE 94.0 produced in Arabic, Dari, Somali, English and German, that addressed newly arrived refugees in Vienna.

Participants also visited OKTO TV, where they had the chance to learn the basics of mobile video production and get to know the daily routine of a community TV station. OKTO was established in the fall of 2005, providing training, infrastructure and support to around 500 volunteer producers. The group produced various multilingual media outputs, interviews and films:

Frontex wanted to monitor “civil society and diaspora communities in destinations (EU)”

Despite the EU’s data protection provide some limits over how far EU bodies, governments and corporations can go when they decided to spy on people, on September 2019 Frontex decide to publish a tender inviting surveillance companies to bid for the project, that it has mysteriously cancelled less than a month later.

The tender invited surveillance companies to bid for the project aimed to monitor the internet use of migrants and civil society, the purpose of the agency would have been to give up to €400,000 to a surveillance company to track people on social media so that border guards would have obtained “an understanding of the current landscape” as well as “a strategical warning system on changes such as the socio-political, economic or human security environment that could pose challenges to Frontex policies” (Essentially, they wanted to spy on their social media to see what they were up to).

In addition to gathering “data and analysis of relevant actors using social media: migrants; traffickers/smugglers”, Frontex also wanted to monitor “civil society and diaspora communities in destinations (EU).

NGOs such as Statewatch and journalists at Mediapart had noticed the tender, leading to Frontex having to defend the project by claiming, to the bemusement of some of Privacy International’s data protection experts, that “the required service does not entail collecting, processing, sharing or storing of any personal data by the European Border and Coast Guard Agency”. So with that in mind, Privacy International set up an account on the procurement website and asked them some pretty detailed questions to find out how they came to the conclusions they did, and if they had gone through the necessary checks to make sure their plan was legal.

These questions were based on a single legal instrument, Regulation 2018/1725, which is the equivalent of the GDPR for EU institutions and is thus meant to regulate how EU bodies like Frontex process personal data. Similar to other questions, the agency would have had to publish the answers on the tender site. But within a few days, they decided to cancel the tender, justifying their decision by “the upcoming entry into force of the new European Border and Coast Guard Regulation.”

Read the full article on Privacy International’s blog.


New Neighbours: Two Film Screenings in Brussels

On Thursday, the European Broadcasting Union will screen two documentaries from the New Neighbours series. Both films examine the project’s core themes: how do refugees and migrants adjust to new surroundings, and how do old communities adjust to their new neighbours’ presence?

Here the trailer and the plot of both documentaries:

“Across the Road — Worlds Apart”  follows the story of 94 year old Eva Sternheim-Peters, whose childhood was defined by leading the girl’s wing of the Nazi party’s youth movement. Over the course of her life, she had a political awakening and now shares her apartment with Amer Kassab, a young Syrian refugee. But not everyone in the neighborhood had the same journey. Across the street, a pub frequently welcomes clientele with German nationalist, anti-Muslim views. Could Amer’s presence change their mind?

“Danielle’s Choice”  follows the story of Danielle, a Belgian woman who runs a robust platform of volunteers helping new refugees find accommodation and get on their feet. But in the process, her own family is left feeling forgotten. How can she reconcile her need to be a part of her own family, while creating a new one?

Please find more information on the film screening here

New Neighbours releases

“The films are done but it feels like the start of a new journey as we must let go of our productions, let them live their life with the audience” says Daniela Draštata, the series executive co-producer as she prepares the collection for the broadcast. Nine films had their pre-premiere in Potsdam, during the Prix Europa festival. “Programme makers were both excited about showing their films and finishing what turned out to be quite a challenging production”.

“Following protagonists for a long period of time, getting them to say things they usually hide, achieving that fine balance between facts and emotions that television produces; those were the demands the authors had to meet. We wanted our viewers to stay glued to the screen until the end of film and I believe we have succeeded” says Daniela. “With so many talented authors, you cannot fail!”

The films are aimed at a wider audience, not only at those who are interested in topics connected to migrants, refugees and people under international protection in Europe.

Each story describes a specific challenge of a multicultural Europe, but also talks about women and men who Unselfishly give to others without expecting any reward. Belgian film director Safia Kessas followed an extraordinary woman who opened her house to refugees. Why Danielle? “Because despite obstacles, she follows her choices to the end, she is an active citizen who resists” says Safia..

Danielle – because the most welcoming people are women and in Europe they are the ones we see on the screen the least. Danielle – because she is a strong, courageous and determined woman who shows us the human face of migration. Safia’s fellow director from the RTBF, Mathieu Neuprez, enjoyed working in a group: “It is a unique opportunity to compare and discuss documentaries with fellow directors from other European countries. This is a great way for directors to experience other ways of directing since every country has its own culture of film making. The results of this process are movies that are completely different from one country to another”.

Indeed, from Belgium to the south of Italy, not only film language, but stories of old and new neighbours differ. The RAI’s team decided to go to Sicily and its picturesque town of Sutera. The director Antonello Savoca explains: “I chose Sutera for two reasons: first, because it’s a truly European story. Sicily is not only the largest island in the Mediterranean but also the entrance to Europe for those who cross the sea in makeshift boats in search of better living conditions. Secondly, because of the history of this place, starting from its very name: ‘Sutera’ comes from the Greek word for saviour (‘soter’), which recalls the concepts of salvation and acceptance. And that’s exactly what our protagonists received from the inhabitants of that small town. Ironically, Sutera failed to save its own inhabitants, four-fifths of which were forced to go abroad looking, just like those who arrive here, for better working and living conditions”.

“The New Neighbours documentary production was not only a professional, but also a personal experience”, emphasises Daniela Attilini, head of RAI’s crew: “It gave us the opportunity to delve deep into characters’ lives, to understand their feelings, their ideas, their fears and their hopes. And it’s important to depict our complex and changing society. To our audience New Neighbours could be a kind of photo, a kind of tool or a chance to go deeper, not only in Italy but also in many other European countries. I think that this is a true public service.”

But fulfilling the role of a public service is not always simple. The Czech television team wanted to show as accurate a picture of their country as possible, so they found new neighbours in a Bulgarian family. Barbora Svobodova, ČT producer: “I´ve been working on the second season of New Neighbours”.

“It´s a great experience as well as certainly a more complicated production because it´s an international project. What I found most interesting was meeting colleagues from other TVs within the EBU, sharing experiences with them and finding out that we had struggled with similar difficulties. Also, an interesting part of this year´s production was to experience conditions of an “EU-funded project“ and to be part of a bigger group with civil society organizations and community media”.

Though these authors are very film-oriented, they were aware of the “second life” of their programmes. The films will be used by EBU’s civil society and community media partners as case studies both for a filmmaking process, but also for a refugee-related discussion.”