CONTEXT AND NEEDS
Young people belonging to specific minority groups are particularly vulnerable, facing discrimination on the ground of their young age as well as other personal characteristic, such as sexual orientation, gender identity or ethnicity, among others. For those from particularly vulnerable groups such as LGBT Youths and young people from racial or ethnic minorities, their experiences of discrimination have a life-time impact and can have terrible consequences. For example, in 2016, the at-risk-of-poverty or social exclusion rate of young people born outside the EU was an alarming 50%. Social exclusion, discrimination and poverty have an enormous impact on the conformation of identity during adolescence and early Youth, settling the ground floor for young people to turn to violent radicalisation. Youth work has been recognized as a particular fertile space for prevention of violence, radicalisation and marginalization among Youth, by facilitating the development of soft skills and resilience to help young people cope and overcome difficult life situations.
1000 Layers project proposes an innovative methodological approach – the Creative Identities Method – to fill in the current gaps on working with identity in Youth contexts. In particular, we wish to build on and contribute to current practices in addressing generic prevention of radicalisation leading to violence among Youth at the ground floor stage of Moghaddam’s six step model, building on EU recommendations and existing literature.
Regarding types of radicalisation, the EU framework identifies four different types:
− Right-wing extremist violence is a form of violent radicalisation associated with fascism, racism, supremacism and ultranationalism. This form of radicalisation leading to violence is characterised by the violent defence of a racial, ethnic or pseudo-national identity, and is also associated with radical hostility towards state authorities, minorities, immigrants and/or left-wing political groups.
− Politico-religious extremist violence is a form of radicalisation leading to violence associated with a political interpretation of religion and the defence, by violent means, of a religious identity perceived to be under attack (via international conflicts, foreign policy, social debates, etc.).
− Single-issue extremist violence is a form of violent radicalisation essentially motivated by a sole and specific issue. This category includes the following groups if they use violence: radical environmental or animal rights groups, anti-globalisation movements, anti-abortion extremists, sport-related violence, certain anti-trans and anti-feminist movements, and ultra-individualist or independent extremist movements that use violence to promote their causes. Murderers whose motivations are partially or wholly ideological may also fall under this category.
− Left-wing extremist violence is a form of radicalisation leading to violence that focuses primarily on anti-capitalist demands and calls for the transformation of political systems considered responsible for producing social inequalities, and which may ultimately employ violent means to further its cause. This category includes anarchist, Maoist, Trotskyist and Marxist–Leninist groups that use violence to advocate for their cause.
According to the YWR report, left-wing extremist violence is rarely the focus of practice and must be considered separately from other forms of violent radicalization, since “these groups in contemporary Europe are rarely equated with right-wing and religious radicals, since their goals do not go against democratic principles. While radical right-wing and religious groups target violent actions against human beings, the violence used by left-wing radical movements is targeted at objects or institutions, thus having a different level of gradation.”
Actually, in the case of left-wing extremism, among other types of extremism such as those related to the defence of animal rights and the environment, Youth work can be particularly useful in preventing violence by offering “alternative solutions and scenarios, giving young people options to engage, contribute to the society, and be “radical” while promoting positive social changes.”
Promote social inclusion, diversity and non-discrimination among young people through the Creative Identities Method (CIM)
Engage, connect and empower young people using the CIM in order to:
• Enhance critical thinking and media literacy among young
• Promote intercultural dialogue
• Fight against radicalization and violence among youth by providing alternatives to identity constructions based on single-story and victimhood narratives.
Contribute to quality and innovation in youth work by:
• creating participant-centred tools for youth workers based on the CIM
• supporting youth workers in developing and sharing effective methods to work with identity related complexities and conflicts, tackle racism and better reach marginalized young people.
Youth workers, young people (16-25), staff of partner organizations, organizations in the youth sector, policy and decision makers and youth experts. We expect to involve 400 participants from the different target groups in project activities, and disseminate the project to the over 10,000 people that compose our consortium's social network base.
The project main activities are based on the development of the Creative Identities Method (CIM) through the piloting and creation of two intellectual outputs:
An identity card game and activity handbook
A youth worker handbook on CIM
Additionally, we will be hosting workshops, trainings, youngster and Youth worker mobilities and exchanges, and a final conference for youngsters, Youth workers, and Youth organisations.
We will co-construct the “Creative Identities Method” together with young participants.
The CIM will merge the most relevant tools of Process Identity Theory into embodied, participant-centred, creative methods commonly used in Youth work: Theatre of the Oppressed, Storytelling and Process Work. The CIM will provide tools for Youth workers to engage in identity exploration and resilience-building with young people.
Process Identity Theory
Theatre of the Oppressed
RESULTS, IMPACT AND LONG-TERM BENEFITS
We will develop a new methodology and two outputs to explore identities in youth contexts in order to promote social inclusion, non-discrimination, critical thinking, critical media literacy, and resilience among young people. The outputs will support Youth workers in their work with youngsters, particularly those facing fewer opportunities and vulnerable situations. Outputs will be available for download in English and all project languages, from the project web, the Erasmus+ Results Platform and the SALTO-Youth Platform. At least 400 participants and 40 organizations active in the youth field will be trained and/or informed on the Creative Identities Method.
We expect to create and promote an inclusive and diverse vision of European identity, fighting single-story and victimhood narratives within identity constructions among young people. The Creative Identity Manifesto during the project's final conference, created by young project participants, will promote this vision and will be broadly disseminated.