SPACES OF TOLERANCE (SPOT)
A holistic creative programme against hate and discrimination
March - October 2023
In partnership with:
“Spaces of Tolerance” is a creative program addressing the issue of discrimination and hate against migrants and LGBTIQ+ persons in the city of Split, but also at the level of Croatia.
According to the ECRI (European Commission against Racism and Intolerance) Report on Croatia: “racist and intolerant hate speech in public discourse is escalating…there is a growing rise of nationalism, particularly among the youth.” In Croatian society where LGBTIQ+ people live, discrimination and violence based on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and gender characteristics are frighteningly present, which results in numerous problems and challenges in the process of individual and social development, including the limited use of rights and possibilities of inclusion and participation in social life. Due to the poor state within the state care of migrants, for now there are no programs in the Republic of Croatia for migrants who are LGBTIQ+ persons nor are we at the level in which we discuss this issue.
With this project, we are creating Spaces of Tolerance by giving voice to migrants in Croatia, consisting of a wide national, linguistic, ethnic and other minorities. This is achieved through art and artistic expression as a means of effective communication to open up the space for debate but also mutual support. We believe that art, culture and creativity have the power to bridge differences, bring people together and contribute to better understanding and tolerance between people of different ages, sexual orientation and backgrounds. In this project, we are using the “soft power” of art to address important issues of discrimination and hate. We combine artistic interventions with educational programs not only to interpret, emphasise this problem and raise awareness at the local level but also to encourage people to take action. The aim is to provide target groups with necessary tools and methods which will help them with coping with hate and discrimination and on the other hand, to provide knowledge and capacities to citizens, especially youth, and transform them from “observers” to “defenders”.
A holistic eight-month SPOT program includes an artist residency: open studio and an artistic intervention in the public space; creative workshops for youth and adults; creative communication campaign and illustrations exhibition. This variety of opportunities to come together, express creatively, learn and grow enables different target groups to engage and act against hate and discrimination. As an organization working in the cultural and creative sector, in collaboration with other national NGOs active in the field of minority rights protection, we are bringing these communities together and joining forces to reach a wide number of citizens, especially youth. We believe that only through education, we can create a more open and tolerant society of the future and thus advocate for a systematic change at the policy making level.
The project is made possible thanks to the Minority Rights Group Europe and PILnet, in the framework of the MARIO project funded by the Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values Programme (2021-2027) of the European Union (ref: 101091387).