The second part of the project Changes of Media Education and Political Dialogue Perspectives started on November 5th. It is taking place in the Institute of Journalism of Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. There are delegations from Armenia, Georgia, Germany and of course Ukraine participating. The project is funded by the Federal Foreign Office of Germany.
At the opening on the first day Yevhen Tsymbalenko, deputy director of scholar work and international collaboration, welcomed the organizers and participants and gave an introduction into the project. The organizers chose armed conflicts as topic of the upcoming week. Wolfgang Ressmann, chairman of the Association of Citizen Media of Germany, talked about the importance of this topic for all of the participating delegations. Armenia and Georgia had and have armed conflicts with their neighbors and in Ukraine the war in the uncontrolled territories is a big current problem. Ressmann also underlined the importance of peace and stabilization at Europe’s edge for Germany and whole Europe. The representatives of the Armenian and the Georgian delegation, Mkrtich Tonoyan and Mamuka Andguladze, showed also their perspectives on the topic.
All agreed that in the frame of armed conflicts media is playing a crucial role and can contribute to a pacification, or to a worsening of the situation. It is necessary to establish or improve a peaceful public dialogue to avoid letting happen conflicts violently. People working in media have to be aware of this responsibility and learn how to face this challenge.
A highlight of the first day was the visit of Brendan Hoffman, an American photographer who went for the New York Times to the uncontrolled territories in eastern Ukraine and took photos of the people affected by the war and the places that are destroyed or marked by the armed conflict. With the opening meeting of the project an exhibition of a selection of photos was opened in the Institute of Journalism with photos of Hoffman and Sofia Samoylova who is one of the organizers of the project. Samoylova acommpanied Hoffman for some time and also talked about her impressions and the connection of this kind of media work to the project.
After this introduction Yehven Tsymbalenko told the participants about the practical part of the program. There will be four working groups:
– The Debate Group prepares presentations and debates about armed conflicts, media education and political dialogue for the conference at the end of the week.
– The two Audiovisual Groups will choose a topic related to armed conflicts that they will present in a video report.
– The Documentation Group will report about the project. That means the work of the other groups, the events and meetings with other media representatives and the background of the project.
Then the trainers of the groups and the participants introduced themselves to each other and the groups went to work in different lecture rooms of the Institute of Journalism.