Paris, France, april 2019 – Local online campaigns promoting alternative discourses to extremism and developed by the partners of the Efus-led Local voices project were presented at the project’s third meeting, on 11 and 12 April in Paris. One of the distinctive features of these campaigns is their diversity in terms of contents and media.
> Developing local alternative discourses
Through Local voices, local actors in eight European cities developed local campaigns promoting alternative discourses to extremism together with local residents who are trusted by their community and can act as spokespersons. The project’s eight partner cities are Augsburg (DE), Liège (BE), Lyon (FR), Málaga (ES), Madrid (ES), Molenbeek (BE), Montreuil (FR) and Strasbourg (FR).
> Many themes and a common message
Participants in the meeting viewed the campaigns, all of which address the prevention of radicalisation and/or discrimination by promoting alternative narratives to extremism and intolerance. They all tackle different themes, such as parents who are distraught because a child has left for a war zone, the lack of critical thinking about hate messages, urban and hip hop culture, and political and religious radicalism.
> Diverse channels and young audiences
The majority of these campaigns consist of video clips posted on social media, sometimes on accounts created specially for the occasion. They are supported by physical posters and, for some, artistic performances. They were all designed by local residents of the project’s partner cities and primarily target young and social media-savvy audiences.
> Focus on Madrid’s “Tacha el odio” campaign
With the support of Local voices, the city of Madrid created the Tacha el odio (“erase hate”) campaign together with several local associations and in partnership with the Unit for the Management of Diversity of the municipal police.
It features a series of black and white photographs of genuine residents of Madrid, whose face is painted in colour with the slogan Tacha el odio. The message is aimed at both witnesses and victims of discrimination. All the pictures come with the logos of the city of Madrid, the municipal police, and the hashtag #tachaelodio.
Released in February, the campaign was disseminated throughout the Spanish capital and has attracted a lot of press coverage. According to local authorities, it has been seen online by about a million people.
In 2017, the Unit for the Management of Diversity of the municipal police created a similar campaign against discrimination. Titled Tengo derechos (“I have rights”), it showed LGBT, Muslim and Gypsy residents of Madrid.
> Field visit with the Espoir 18 association
The Local voices partners also visited the Espoir 18 association, which supports youngsters from deprived areas of the 18th and 19th arrondissements of Paris. They saw the video of the project titled “Let’s radicalise crime prevention”, which won the 2019 French Crime Prevention Award given by the French Forum.
Around a hundred youngsters and some 20 families from these neighbourhoods took part in the project and the video was presented to many prevention actors, in particular the Paris region Prefecture. The youngsters and the families changed over the course the project, becoming more open and moderate, and they now act as ambassadors with other local young people.
> Dissemination of the campaigns and next steps
The Local voices partners now have to design a strategy for the dissemination of the campaigns, which will include a local launch event, and for evaluating their impact.
A meeting will be organised to share the evaluation results and determine whether the campaigns have reached the target groups.