Hi there, my name is Kieran I am an apprentice in the National Assembly for Wales currently working for the Youth Engagement and Education team.
I went to Krzyżowa in Poland to take part in a project called “Activists against xenocide” which looked at world issues on the topic of migration. Xenocide is a word made up for the project, it takes its name from
Genocide which is a term used to describe the mass killing of a race and “Xeno” which is taken from the word xenophobia, the fear of an unknown culture. The word xenocide was created to more directly define the mass killing and condemning of a culture or nationality.
There were groups from 5 Countries that participated in the project; Wales, Greece, Estonia, Poland and Syria. During our time on this project we got to know each other over a one week period where we shared experiences and thoughts over migration, culture and xenocide.
We started with introductions and getting to know each other as well as to talk about our beliefs and share things about our culture. During the week we took part in two different workshops, one was on photography and the other on film. Each workshop had a unique take on how we should carry out our work and we were taught different ways to film and take photos in order to create emotion or specific feelings. We were also given advice and techniques on taking each shot and information around rules we should follow. We also had an opportunity to go to the city of Wroclaw which is a beautiful open historic city filled with interesting monuments and buildings. One of the most fun but also weirdest attractions are the 300 Gnomes placed around the city in various places, you can even find some hanging from a windowsill!
Towards the end of the trip we watched videos from different micro projects that each group had completed. Most were politically themed and followed the trend of the project in highlighting struggles and opinions from around the world. The project that moved me the most was the video from the Syrian young people whom are refugees currently living in Germany. Their video showed the 3 Cities they are from, Damascus, Aleppo and Latakia. In the video they show us pictures and videos from each city before the war in Syria and current status in Syria. Their project and the discussion we had was very interesting and has personally touched me for the rest of my life.
This workshop and project taught us more than just how to photograph and film people and the environment around us but also it taught us how important it is as a new generation to encourage others to understand each other, to inspire each other to actively fight against things like xenophobia, xenocide and the difficulties around the world. It is my hope that in the future nations across the world will not only
learn from each other but that they will learn to work together for the common betterment of our planet and ultimately our lives as human beings.
There was a lot more work we completed and discussed which added to the amazing time I shared with everyone during this project. If anyone would like to know more about any part of the trip I am more than happy to answer your questions.