Anna Lindh Exchange Forum

This week the Anna Lindh Exchange will take place in Tunis, Tunisia between the 23rd and 26th June. This will be a region-wide meeting of civil society players acting for democracy and freedoms with an intercultural perspective.

Gathering between 150 and 200 participants from all over the Euro-Med region who work in the fields of Artistic creation, Media and Social Networks, Civil society development and Resources for Citizenship, the event will be a great opportunity for participants to learn from each other, exchange experiences, best practices and project ideas as well as to build partnerships.

I shall be attending the Exchange and I will be part of the team covering the event through twitter, facebook and blogs. As part of that I have posted a blog post on the conference up on the official blog just on the background!

Do check out the website tunisforum.org for all the ways to follow the Forum. On twitter follow the #tunisforum tag! Or follow the list I created on twitter which will be updated over the course of the exchange. On Facebook like the Anna Lindh Foundation Page and the Believe in Dialogue Page to get updates there! There will be some live coverage and videos on the website so do keep an eye on it!

Im really looking forward to it now!

Join the Debate in Barcelona

Well tomorrow I am off to Barcelona for the Anna Lindh Foundation Forum 2010. I will be live-blogging and tweeting about the forum, with the help of a few others. I know I am not a big user of twitter at the moment, but college is taking up a lot of the time I would have spent on it, so I will be back to it tomorrow.

You too, though, will be able to see whats happening and pass on your comments as the plenary sessions will be webcast. I received an email about it today.

JOIN THE DEBATE

‘Bridging the Gap in Mutual Perceptions between people across the Mediterranean’
09.30 to 11.00 AM CET Friday 5th March 2010

Join the debate with live web-cast and blog at:
www.annalindhforum.org

The debate will be broadcast live from the Anna Lindh Forum in Barcelona, involving an audience of over 900 civil society representatives from the 43 countries of the Union for the Mediterranean.

You can also follow us at www.twitter.com/AnnaLindh to get the latest quotes and updates, and join the online discussion using the hashtag #forum2010

Do join in! It will be interesting to hear what you think!

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Decisions, Decisions! [ALF Forum 2010]

{{w|Kindergarten}} on the Ministry of Agricult...
Image via Wikipedia

If you intend on attending the Anna Lindh Forum 2010, you must register! The deadline is fast approaching by the way. You must register by 12th February 2010, 20.00 GMT.

As part of this process you must pick which workshop you want to attend in the Agora. The choice is from:

  • Education, Intercultural Learning and Youth: “Learning to live together in diversity”
  • Cultural & Artistic Collaborations: “Creativity for Dialogue”
  • Creating Spaces of Peace and Co-existence: “Restore Trust, Rebuild Bridges”
  • Cities, Migrants and Diversity: “Valuing Diversity, Understanding Migration”
  • Religion, spirituality and values: “Inter-religious dialogue and common values for action”

It was a fairly hard decision to make for me. Considering my past work on diversity and identity, I decided to go for the Cities, Migrants and Diversity workshop.  It will be about the following:

  • Migrations and mutual perceptions in the Mediterranean: challenging stereotypes
  • Migrants and immigrated communities as key actors of development and intercultural action
  • Intercultural approaches in dealing with strengthening social cohesion and solidarity in multicultural urban contexts

It should be interesting.

Of course in the medina there will be chances to find out more things and learns loads!

That consists of

  • Intercultural Fair
  • Best Practice
  • Project Ideas
  • Self-organized sessions (network and/ or partners’ meetings)
  • Artistic Exchange

Im getting really excited about it!

By the way if you wish to attend, these are the criteria you must fill:

he participants should:

  • be a resident in one of the 43 countries of the Union for the Mediterranean;
  • have knowledge/experience in at least one of the fields of the Anna Lindh Foundation;
  • be strongly motivated to encourage intercultural dialogue;
  • be able to communicate in English or French;
  • pay a participation fee (Euro 30 for ALF members; Euro 100 for non-members).

More information in the info pack (pdf)

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The Flower of Identity

Pink Flower, Oxalis Weed Macro
Image by cobalt123 via Flickr

In Luxembourg as part of the training with the Anna Lindh Foundation we had to write a list of things that we think identify us. One suggestion was to draw a flower and on each petal write one thing. I of course am useless at drawing so decided to write a list.

So how do I see myself?

The first things that came to my mind was European, the next was Irish and after that Gay came into my mind. Then the fact that I was Male reared its head. After that I was stumped.

Now I didnt want to seem superficial so I tried really hard to come up with more, so Political came to mind. Then Adventerous and Outgoing popped up. Religous also came to mind as did Blogger After that it was tough going.

Even now two weeks after the training I find it hard to come up with more. Ones that do are Stubborn, Caring, and Smart.

How to others see me?

I decided to see how others saw me, so I asked on twitter, facebook and MSN about people saw me. I got the following back:

  • Friendly
  • Caring
  • Up Beat
  • Outgoing
  • Helpful
  • Headstrong
  • Opinionated
  • Political
  • Intelligent
  • Someone who stands up for what they Believe in
  • A good friend
  • Sexy (I am not making it up!!)
  • Nice Guy
  • Listener
  • Values debate and diversity
  • Principled
  • Respectful
  • Smart
  • Gay

Why do this?

After asking a friend, a conversation ensued about why I was doing this and was their a difference in how I saw myself and how others saw me. To me the big difference was no one mentioned nationality. Which was strange cause if was the first thing I thought of when asked the question about myself as it forms part of who I am and therefore how I act. That was the huge difference.

In Luxembourg after we wrote this out we all went to another room and sat on the floor. One of the trainers Xavi called out different categories about how we saw ourselves and for one of them I was one of two people standing. That category was “Sexual Orientation”. To me started off the questioning that led to this blog post, am I placing too much emphasis on it. The fact that someone else mentioned it, kind of puts my mind at rest.

At the same time I was overwhelmed at the response given to me. I simplfied where I could what my friends said down to one word where possible. It is strange when your friends can come up with more ways of describing you then you can.

But thats Identity thats Personality!

One thing I noticed even while doing this was how fluid Identity and Personality are. To me they are not mutually exclusive. This excercise proves that in most ways except in the area of nationality which I have already dealt with.

So is nationality what actual divides us from stangers, as we don’t see it as part our friends?

Do try this yourself and see personally how you describe yourself, draw it as a flower or a list. It will surprise you.

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