CHAPTER

Challenging propaganda through remembrance

Chapter – Challenging propaganda through remembrance, is a project aiming at casting a light on propaganda before and during WWII, focusing on its role to enforce the concept of “enemy” – from national and ethnic groups to political opponents and social groups. The research on nazi-fascist propaganda is meant to be actualized also in the present, when a mix of migration and economic crisis brought to an increase in xenophobic and populist trends all over Europe.

Since 2014 Europe is in fact facing the worst humanitarian crisis of refugees since World War II (WWII), the majority of them fleeing from Syria and Libya, while the economic crisis has been causing cuts to social inclusion, education and healthcare programmes. Populist groups’ media depicts third-country nationals as exploiters of the welfare system while criminalizing civil society organizations in solidarity, thus fuelling social tensions into organized violence against people and institutions. An in-depth analysis shows that current propaganda roots in methodologies and tools developed under totalitarian regimes. Nazism and Fascism emphasized those features characterizing the public discourse during World War I and its aftermath such as nationalism, hatred of the enemy and dehumanization: all of that contributed to lay the groundwork for WWII.

The project wants to draw attention also on the role of grassroots media and peace organizations in challenging propaganda through innovative communication methodologies and tools, both in the past and present.

Project outputs – such as researches, infographics, an online campaign – will be realized by participants who will act as Remembrance messengers, in order to relate past events to current trends through different activities taking place in Italy, Bulgaria, Greece, Austria, Poland and Catalunya.

Chapter – Challenging propaganda through remembrance, is a project of Servizio Civile Internazionale Italia in partnership with CVS Bulgaria, SCI Hellas, SCI Austria, SCI Catalunya, OWA Poland, SCI France, Utilapu (Hungary), SCI Germany, UNITED (Hungary), Centro Studi Sereno Regis (Italy) and DINAMO (Italy).

CVS Bulgaria

CVS-Bulgaria is a non-governmental organisation that has worked in the field of international volunteer exchange since 1998 and was officially registered in 2002 as an organisation working in public benefit. CVS-Bulgaria is a branch of the international peace and volunteer-exchange network of Service Civil International (SCI - www.sciint.org) as well as a full member of South Eastern European Youth Network (SEEYN - www.seeyn.org). CVS-Bulgaria aims to promote the idea of volunteer work through organising a variety of voluntary activities; to motivate the young people to be active and participate in volunteer actions; to promote and support intercultural understanding and solidarity, social justice and environment preservation. Main activities of CVS-Bulgaria are: organising short- and longterm volunteer projects - youth exchanges, trainings, hosting and sending volunteers for projects in public benefit in Bulgaria and Europe, as well as working in partnership with other NGOs to promote volunteering as a tool for active citizenship. CVS-Bulgaria has years of experience in the field of work with young people including young people with fewer opportunities. We also have significant experience with the YOUTH, Youth in Action and Erasmus+ Programs which includes organisation of and participation in trainings, seminars, youth exchanges, coordinating, receiving and sending longterm volunteers.
Since 2010 the organisation has been working with asylum seekers and refugees, including women and unaccompanied minors. We have been coordinating the biggest volunteer project in Bulgaria aimed and direct work with the mentioned groups above. The organisation is involved in partnership projects in the field of forced migration with the State Agency for refugees and Caritas Sofia, Bulgarian Red Cross, UNHCR Bulgaria and Center for Study of Democracy.

Centro Studi Sereno Regis

Centro Studi Sereno Regis ODV (CSSR) is a a non profit, independent, volunteering organisation founded in 1982 by MIR-Movimento Internazionale della Riconciliazione (the Italian branch of IFOR-International Fellowship of Reconciliation) and Movimento Nonviolento (Nonviolent Movement, the Italian affiliate to WRI-War Resisters International). Our mission is to spread the culture of peace and nonviolence.
CSSR is active upon 3 main pillars of action: research, education and nonviolent action.

 

 

Regarding the topic of the project, in the last 6 years we have been active in:
- monitoring and countering hate speech online and hate crimes offline;
- prevent phenomena of violent extremism between young people, especially linked to the extreme right ideologies;
- support social movements in their direct action against neo-fascist groups;
- develop counter narratives against neo.fascist narrative;
- research the role of nonviolence (in past and present) to fight back fascism.

 

 

SCI HELLAS

SCI Hellas is the Greek section of SCI International and defines itself as an independent sociopolitical organization working to defend human rights through international voluntary cooperation and solidarity projects aimed at establishing the culture of peace.
Currently, SCI Hellas is operating projects that focus on drama (Co Existence Is Possible, Recreating Peace), empowering women (Women Voice), football (Umoja-Enosi fc), sports as a means for social inclusion (Bala_Patisia project) within the European Solidarity Corps and Anna Lindh Foundation as well as IVP Australia; SCI Hellas is also active in networks and campaigns on refugee/migrant issues and climate change.

SCI ITALIA

Servizio Civile Internazionale (SCI Italia) is the Italian branch of Service Civil International (SCI), international movement which has been organising voluntary projects and campaigns for the promotion of peace and active citizenship since 1920.
Our organization is always been committed to the objectives of the Europe for Citizens programme, especially on improving conditions for civic and democratic participation through volunteering. Along with local and international partners we work on Remembrance matters through actions aiming to commemorate the past while raising awareness on current events.

SCI AUSTRIA

SCI Austria, founded in 1947, is the Austrian branch of the global peace and volunteering network Service Civil International (SCI) and is based in Vienna. The organisation mainly organizes together with local partners short-term volunteer projects in Austria called workcamps and promote long and short-term volunteering projects all over the world. We are a grass root organization based on volunteer engagement and most of the team members involved are volunteers themselves.
We believe that living and working together with people of different backgrounds helps volunteers to break down barriers and prejudices. It allows them to experience a world of mutual respect and understanding. In this sense, volunteering can be seen as a way of life, in our worlds “as a demonstration of the possible reality of a peaceful and cooperative world”. SCI Austria offers a variety of volunteer opportunities to people, such as short, mid- and long term projects, but also the possibility to become active for a local branch or participate in seminars, training and thematic workshops focused on active citizenship, raising awareness and criticism concerning unequal and violent social structures.

Sci France

The French branch of Service Civil International is a non-profit, non-governmental organization founded in 1936. Since its creation, the Service Civil International movement has fought for the establishment of an international voluntary civil service and is now composed of 42 branches and 90 partners. Our goal is to promote intercultural understanding through international volunteering. Thus, we offer a wide variety of volunteer opportunities such as short, medium and long term projects to get involved in various fields such as peace building, ecological transition, gender equality, inclusion of vulnerable populations, but also the possibility to become an activist for a local branch or partner and to participate in a seminar or training.

We are also a sending/hosting/coordinating European Solidarity Corps organization since 2008. Since 2011, we also welcome and send volunteers abroad through the French government program "Service Civique".

Sci Catalunya

SCI Catalunya is the Catalan branch of Service Civil International which was created in 1982. We work to build peace and social transformation understanding that international volunteering and solidarity are basic tools to reach our goals. In addition, we strongly believe in peace education and local activism as tools for transformation as well. We understand that as an organization we have responsibility to work also in networking (local and international) and advocacy. We work in Catalunya, País Valencià, Illes Balears i Andorra. We are a social base association which is formed by more than 600 members. We are organized through local activists groups, voluntary based board and staff.

SCI as a movement is member of the Youth Forum in the European Union, CCIVS (Committee Coordinator International Volunteering Service) and AVSO (Association of Organisations Volunteering Service). SCI Catalunya’s main activity is the organisation of voluntary workcamps, long term volunteering programs and international youth exchanges which are organized every year.

SCI Catalunya organises seminars and trainings in peace education and in international volunteering, both in local and international level. Furthermore, it is accredited as a coordinator, sending and hosting organization for ESC program. So it is promoting throughout the year the youth participation in terms of international volunteering and also local activism.

Sci Germany

SCI Germany has a long tradition with organising workcamps in cooperation with memorials, dating back to the 80ies and going alongside with the process of setting up more and more places of remembrance and learning about the history of german concentration camps. Today SCI Germany offers about 8-10 international or binational workcamps in memorials every year, for example in the Gedenkstätte Buchenwald, Mahn- und Gedenkstätte Ravensbrück or in the former Prisoner of War camp Gedenkstätte Ehrenhain-Zeithain.

 

 

Besides SCI Germany has a lot of experience with other remembrance projects, like special trainings for campleaders in memorials or for example the Erasmus+ -project "Youth4Remembrance” in autumn 2019. Volunteers of 10 different nationalities discussed different perspectives on history, national and personal narratives, but also narratives of marginalised groups. One outcome of this project was the toolkit "REMEMBRANCE FOR PEACE - Approaches, Knowledge and NFE Methods around Remembrance Work for youth workers and peace activists".

Sci Poland

Stowarzyszenie Jeden Świat - SCI Poland is is a non-governmental organisation whose mission is to promote the idea of peace and understanding between people through international and national volunteering and education. For over 25 years we have been organizing short- and long-term volunteering projects, educational projects, and local activities in the field of human rights, anti-discrimination, environmental justice and remembrance.

Utilapu

Utilapu Halozat is an NGO, founded by a group of active citizens in 1993 in order to help small communities through volunteer projects. Soon after its foundation it became the official Hungarian branch of Service Civil International (SCI). Utilapu is dedicated to promoting a culture of peace by organizing international voluntary projects for people of all ages and backgrounds therefore we created our Peace Messenger Working Group. The members of the group are volunteers who contribute to build and promote a culture of peace by organizing Peace Education sessions in short term projects.

 

Chapter – Challenging propaganda through remembrance is co-financed by the Europe for Citizens Programme of the European Union