In the wake of terror attacks in Paris, UBC is launching a project to help Europe’s minority groups tell their under-reported stories to the world.
The project, titled Strangers at Home, is the result of more than a year of planning and collaboration by the Global Reporting Centre (GRC), part of UBC’s Graduate School of Journalism.
Through crowdfunding online, the GRC raised $14,000 and is now offering small grants to filmmakers, writers, activists and other storytellers in Europe. The aim is to compile a series of 60-second videos that convey the challenges faced by some of Europe’s most marginalized groups — including Muslim and Jewish communities, Roma, immigrants and LGBT communities.
“The terrorist attacks in France highlight why this topic is so relevant, as do the huge anti-Muslim protests that have taken place in Germany and are spreading elsewhere in Europe,” says Peter Klein, founding director of the Global Reporting Centre. “We want to help give a voice to those marginalized groups that have been victims of violence, oppression and political ostracism.”
The GRC is inviting applicants to submit 500-word story pitches by March 1, 2015 (for more information, please visit strangers.globalreportingcentre.org). A committee will select the top 10 pitches, and storytellers will each receive 500 euros (about $690 CDN) to produce a 60-second video.
The short films will be uploaded to the web, and also serve as the basis for a proposed larger multimedia series and feature documentary to go into production next year.
“I will admit this project has a personal nature as well,” Klein adds. “My parents were Hungarian holocaust survivors, and watching the increasing intolerance and violence against so many groups throughout the continent has disturbed me.”
The Global Reporting Centre, housed at UBC, is a new non-profit centre focusing on complex stories around the world, and employing innovative ways to practise and distribute global journalism. It grew out of UBC’s Emmy Award-winning International Reporting Program, which trains graduate students to produce global reporting projects.