The GlobalGirl Media Graduation with IMedD, Athens
The idea of this project came from GGM’s Executive Director, Amie Williams' own desire to start a program working with young refugee women. We chose Athens because it has one of the largest concentrations of recent migrants and refugees. There are approximately 60,000 refugees today in Greece, stuck here since the border closings and an EU deal with Turkey that has stalled. What was once touted as a 'refugee emergency' has given way to inexcusable levels of human suffering across the Greek islands and on mainland Greece. Women and girls are at increased risk of violence, lack of maternal child healthcare, legal assistance and other resources. More and more minor migrants are arriving (an increase of 35% in the last two years, and 45% of these are girls). Their specific needs are rarely reported, and when they are they tend to focus on a victimizing narrative, one that separates or ostracizes women refugees from their host cultures and communities. There was a need to reframe this narrative and to engage refugee women in the telling of their own stories.
Amie Williams, GGM’s Executive Director led the project in partnership with Louisa Gouliamaki, a Greek photojournalist, and the Melissa Network, a women’s resource and counseling center in the heart of Victoria Square, the refugee quarter in Athens. This is where we were able to meet and interview girls interested in the program and also to host the first stage of the training program. GGM then launched its next chapter in Athens, Greece on April 1s, 2019, training 12 young women from Syria, Afghanistan, Turkey and Tajikistan.
GGM had some camera and audio equipment, but a grant from Adobe Taking It Global allowed us to purchase a used DSLR Canon Mark III to add to our other cameras, replace some audio clips and cables and buy filters. We also purchased an apple laptop for ongoing work, as we had been working on desktops which was not ideal, given the challenges of the girls needing to move from remote places to edit their pieces.
GOAL OF THE PROJECT
We are contionuing the program and will be training a new group of young refugee women in Spring of 2020, in partnership with a new NGO, Action for Women, also based in Athens, and we will also continue to raise funds to support this important work!
The overall goal of the project is to empower female voices in news media, but also to use media as a bridge of understanding and cross-cultural communication, bringing together young refugee women in Athens to report on current affairs, and issues that they identify as critical to women and girl refugees. The girls were trained in using basic journalism and digital storytelling techniques to reshape the refugee crisis, raising awareness about the very real challenges facing women in areas of healthcare, housing, trauma recovery, and basic human rights in Greece.
After three weeks of classroom work the girls identified subjects they were interested in themselves, and created project plans. They then divided into two groups and went into the field to produce two videos: UNDER THE LEMON TREE, FREEDOM, BLUE and SHAFI’S STORY. See links and descriptions below.
One of these films, UNDER THE LEMON TREE, won an international award, The Girls Voices for Change Award for its producers, which came with a $1,000 education grant which was disbursed to the girls.
LINK TO OUR VIMEO PAGE FOR ALL VIDEOS PRODUCED IN 2019:
UNDER THE LEMON TREE
Two young refugee girls from Afghanistan meet in Greece where they attend an amazing Greek High School, that welcomes them, along with greek students and other refugee kids. The video was produced by GlobalGirl Media Greece, a project in partnership with The Melissa Network and iMEdD, a journalism incubator in Athens, Greece is a social justice, media and journalism program that promotes the voice of women and girls.
What is Freedom, how do you get, it keep it? Interviews with migrants, refugees and Greek citizens in the streets of Athens proves freedom to be a strange and complex feeling. The video was produced by GlobalGirl Media Greece, a project in partnership with The Melissa Network and iMEdD, a journalism incubator in Athens, Greece is a social justice, media and journalism program that promotes the voice of women and girls.
MY VOICE IS IMPORTANT
First video produced as part of a journalism and leadership training for a group of young refugee women in Athens. As they learn to frame and shoot, they also say why their voice is important and needs to be heard.
"They wanted to bury us, unaware that we were seeds about to grow..." A short video profile of a young Afghan woman living in Athens, pursuing her dream of becoming a fashion designer.
Learning the camera
The GlobalGirl Media team on location in Athens