9 December, 2014

Combating hate speech using photos!

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Category: Activism, Human Rights, Internet, Islamophobia, Opinion
Gubaz Koberidze
6 pm
In September we launched the International Photo Competition for the European Action Day against Islamophobia and Religious Intolerance. We received many great and inspiring pictures and these days we are happy to host four winners of the Photo Competition in Strasbourg at the Meeting of the Online Activists and to celebrate the International Human Rights Day alltogether. The competition reflects the relevance of graphically representing facts and photographs in the present. It is our pleasure to introduce you the winners of the Photo Competition in person and tell more about their works.


JarmilaJarmiła Rybicka – Winner of the first prize
Can you introduce yourself, please?
I was born and raised in Gdańsk. For a few years already I am involved in a plenty of bottom-up initiatives, mostly connected to human rights issues. One of them is international “No Hate” campaign, which mission is to promote human rights through education, advocacy and social media. I don’t know details about all national campaigns but the Polish one is really dynamic and successfully working simultaneously in different fields with a great impact.
Can you tell us about your picture that won first prize in the photo competition?
The picture submitted to No Hate competition is, first of all, a part of the social campaign “Invisible People”, which I have made with Joel Vargas and Łukasz Posłuszny. (more about it: Invisible People. Ludzie Niewidzialni).

Apart from the main photo, it contains series of info graphics about migrants and refugee’s situation in Poland. In addition to it we have created an experimental documentary film, which is a visual poem that explores the negative impacts and internalization of written and verbal hate speech towards diverse peoples and communities within the Polish context and beyond. (you can watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQaiNXn08E4).

We are honored to be recognized by an award from the No Hate Speech Movement, especially that we believe in what we do and we consider it meaningful.

How you see yourself in the future of the campaign?
It depends on how campaign will develop beyond Council of Europe framework, in what directions and with what objectives. I hope there will be still a place within No Hate community for my initiatives as well as other’s ideas and that it remains open for new-comers. There is a great energy in those people and strong will for social change and it should be kept alive.
Thank you!
Paulina Olechowska – winner of the second prize
Can you introduce yourself, please?
 I’m a student of chemistry at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow. I’m a volunteer in the Polish catholic organisation – Mission Voluntart Service “Salvator”. My passion is photography. I believe that we can use photography to make life better, to show the problems that exist in our world and to give the chance to realize that there is a lot of people who are waiting for our help – our movement.
Can you tell us about your picture that won second prize in the photo competition?
I took this photo during my mission in Autonomic of Palestine. In my free time I had a chance to spend two days in the desert with Bedouins in Wadi Rum desert in Jordan.One of the Bedouins took me to the top of the little mountain in the early morning. He showed me beautiful view. We prayed together: he is a Muslim, and I’m a Catholic.
How you see yourself in the future of the campaign?
I will be happy to join the No Hate Speech Movement.I would like to share my experience of work with people from different cultures and religions. I felt being alone while being so much worried about various aspects of human rights in the world. Now I found the people with whom I can work and change the reality.
vahVahan Kirakosyan – winner of the first prize
Can you introduce yourself, please?
I’m 17 year old boy from the capital of Armenia, Yerevan. I study at Slavonic University in Armenia and I’m a member of the European Youth Parliament Armenia as well as I’m a creative director and a head photographer at Dan Clay Photography.
Can you tell us about your picture that won first prize in the photo competition?
Some months ago a friend of mine told me about NHSM photo competition so I’ve applied the picture of  a Muslim person’s hands untying tied hands, which means the Muslim person helps a person in need.
How you see yourself in the future of the campaign?
Winning a photo competition was the first achievement in No Hate Speech Movement, but for now, I’m doing my first steps to become an online activist. Well, we’ll see!
MariaMariya Stanchewa – Winner of the second prize 
I live and study in Bulgaria. I took part in the No Hate Speech photo competition because of the leading idea for the human right and equality between people.
Can you tell us about your picture that won second prize in the photo competition?
When I made my photo I was very aware of what should be depicted- the inseparable union between the religions among the human creatures and the love, the main and most important connection between them.

The picture can be interpreted by many ways but the main idea is the love as one superior feeling providing equality to all different people all around the world!

Every single detail in the photo has its purpose and explanation. The grass is the feature which depict our mutual fertile land. The human legs are the roots which connect every single person to our mutual land. The heart symbolizes the main and the most important feeling that should exist in people’s hearts – love, NO HATE!

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