The Project

The project “Voices against racism and populism” is a franco-german blog with articles, podcasts and short films on the topics of racism and populism. 

Racist attitudes and populist currents: The stirring up of hate, anger and prejudice against social groups and minorities is present in everyday life and in the digital world. Populist movements and their opinion leaders are on the rise. They accept, provoke and reinforce the division of society. Racist attitudes go hand in hand with this and often form the foundation of populist movements.

Since 2020, the cross-border blog project “Voices against racism and populism” has aimed to draw attention to the existing problems of racism and populism in our society. In the process, a multimedia platform has been created on which voices against racism and populism can be shared. These voices are those of students from the border triangle between Germany, France and Switzerland as well as from volunteers from the Franco-German Youth Office who are involved in the blog. 

Experiences of the partcipants in a podcast

Besides teaching basic journalistic skills and raising awareness on the issues of populism and racism, the project also wants to enable participants to get to know another city, another country and other young people. In all editorial offices we speak and work in both languages, German and French.

The project is now going into the third round

20 young people from Freiburg, Karlsruhe, Lörrach, Mulhouse and Strasbourg are taking part this year. Like last year, the project starts with an online basic seminar on racism and populism, led by Claude-Hélène Meyer from the University of Johannesburg. Special about this year is that the pandemic is not destroying our plans and we can all meet in Freiburg im Breisgau for the workshops. We’ll start int he beginning of November, when all staff and participants gather for a whole weekend in Freiburg. The students are introduced to the basics of journalism, learn how to conduct interviews, what different journalistic text forms there are and how to use racism- and populism-sensitive language in their contributions. 

This year, Louise Schöneshöfer and Maryline Boudot will lead the text editing. Lisa Voelter will again head the short film editorial team, with Narges Shahid Kalhory new at her side this year. The podcast editorial team proved its worth last year and will be with us again in 2022, this time under the leadership of Julia Kott. The main person responsible for the project is still Andreas Vögele from Studierendenwerk Freiburg. Léa Rodriguez, this year’s volunteer from the Franco-German Youth Office (DFJW), is actively supporting him. 

The second round – The project in 2021

In contrast to the first year, when everything could only take place online due to the pandemic, in 2021 we were very lucky to be able to meet together with all participants on the last weekend in October 2021 in Freiburg im Breisgau. Some of our participants came from Strasbourg, Karlsruhe, Lyon, Villingen-Schwenningen and Offenburg, but there were also some students from Freiburg. The text and film editors met for a second presence workshop in Freiburg on the first weekend in December. The podcast editors met a second time in Lyon. A basic online seminar on racism and populism led by Claude-Hélène Meyer from the University of Johannesburg accompanied the editorial work. 

In 2021, the participants could participate in three different editorial teams: the text editorial team, the short film editorial team – and for the first time also ina podcast editorial team. The editorial team and the organisational team were also newly formed. This year, Andreas Vögele from the Studierendenwerk Freiburg is once again in charge and the main leader. This time, he was actively supported by Hugo Guenser, a volunteer from the German-French Youth Office.

All three editorial teams were professionally supervised and guided. The editors-in-chief of the text editorial team were Julika Kott and Undine Weimar-Dittmar. Margitta Freund and Lisa Voelter were the film editors and Maha Ganem led the podcast editorial team.

To the beginning – The project in 2020

The journalistic contributions, field reports and short films on the topic of racism and populism, that were recorded in 2020 and can still be found on this blog were produced jointly by German and French volunteers and students from the Upper Rhine region and Lyon. They were supported by the Jugendpresse Deutschland e.V. with the independent teaching editorial department Politikorange and the organisation from Freiburg Kommunikation und Medien e.V.. Impulses for discrimination-sensitive and racism-critical reporting came from the Neue Deutschen Medienmacher*innen e.V. (New German Media Makers). The question of an appropriate representation of the people who are legitimised to speak about racism has always accompanied the editorial work. Field reports from those affected were at the focus of the project in 2021 and can be found on our blog in the section Testimonials. Other journalistic contributions that deal with the topic of racism and populism can be found under the heading Articles by the editorial staff.

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