Creative Idea Module
TMC / Amsterdam

Our colleague, Shamia Chady attended this workshop in Amsterdam in April 2017. It was not possible to deliver all the outcomes of these visits due to the local partners, 7 Scenes, closing down shortly before the meetings were due to be held.

RISK CHANGE – Creative Idea Module, Amsterdam, 12 April 2017


– Shamila Chady, The Mighty Creatives, Leicester, UK

– Andriy Debrivskyy, FOPSIM, Zejtun, Malta

– Nataša Šuković, MMSU Rijeka, Croatia

– Mirjana Dušić-Lazić, MSUV Novi Sad, Vojvodina, Serbia

– Melanie Legas, ZINC, Marseille, France

– Loreta Lūkina, RIXC, Riga, Latvia

– Bojan Danko, KIBLA, Maribor, Slovenia

– Helena Fošnjar, KIBLA, Maribor, Slovenia

We meet in front of Fairphone offices at 9.00. We decide to go to the Rijksmuseum to check if there is a suitable working space available. I stay at the location of Fairphone for another hour to wait for Gaby from Hungary, who never showed up. I catch up with the others at Rijksmuseum (in the meantime, Loreta from Latvia also arrives). There was a minimum 3 hours waiting queue at the museum, so we decide to go to the nearby iStore, where they have working spaces on the upper floor.

11.00 am – 3 p.m.: Creative Idea Module

– participants are given instructions on how to carry out the CIM

– we divide into two groups – because there were only eight persons, it seemed better to have two groups of four people: Group Nr.1: Mirjana, Andriy, Shamila, Bojan; Group Nr.2: Nataša, Melanie, Loreta, Helena.   

Group Nr. 1 – discussion:

Problems related to migrations / migrants affect different areas of peoples’ lives, for example religion (the question of whether one has the freedom to practice his or her religious rituals, like going to a church or mosque etc.; bringing up issues of compromise and compatibility in the host country), rules (migrants need to show respect for the host culture), acceptance and integration (building a network of friends, connections, etc.).

“If you can say “I’m human”, then you can understand the problems of all people in the world.” – a young person who is a refugee in Nottingham, UK

As part of their creative brainstorming, group nr. 1 saw the movie DNA Journey:

The project / movie is about learning about backgrounds and how mixed we really are to learn that we are all just human. There is no such thing as a 100% pure race.

“Our whole purpose with this campaign was to use DNA testing as a tool to show that we have so many more things uniting us than dividing us. We’re thrilled to now share a much deeper look into the personal journeys of our participants learning about their ancestry,” Lasse Skole Hansen, spokesperson at momondo

Final problem identified: Racism / Integration

Solution(s) offered:

-To find a common ‘language’ and identify with a common humanity.

-To change the mentality of both local inhabitants and migrants, in order to integrate.

-Sharing ideas – learning about each other’s culture, history, background.

-Volunteers from host communities working with refugee children.

-“Best solution”: Subvertising: to alter negative messages (from the media / advertising) by changing some of that message (for example putting stickers over existing billboards or other advertisements), and thereby creating alternative messages to the mainstream narrative, to promote integration and acceptance.  

Typical examples of subvertising:

Group photo of group nr.1:

Group Nr. 2 – discussion:

The discussion was focused around local situations in our respective hometowns of Rijeka, Marseille, Riga, and Maribor. In Riga xenophobia is still very much present among people. People generally have a negative and disrespectful attitude towards migrants, and there is really no desire for integration on either side (i.e. local/native inhabitants and migrants). In Marseille, there are two basic types of migrants: people looking for a better life (i. e. security), and those who were in some way professionally motivated to move there (i. e. artists, creatives) – above all, the latter are looking for ways to establish contact with native French people and organizations to help them carry out their work. In Maribor, for example, hate speech is very much present, you can hear “good Christians”, old ladies sitting on bus stations, comment when a dark-skinned person goes by: ‘What are they going to do to this beautiful little land of ours’, and so on. In Rijeka, there are a lot of temporary migrants (e.g. seasonal workers who stay there for a couple of months, etc.). This particular group of migrants has also been the focus of the research work (part of RC WP2) and during the interviews with migrants they were asked what they feel is missing in Rijeka. Interestingly enough, these migrants very rarely expressed the difficulties related to, for example, red tape (administrative) problems, or the lack of cultural activities to visit. Instead, they reported the need for a place for socializing, for hanging out, for playing sports. Group nr. 2 therefore chose this as the problem to be considered in the brainstorming exercise.

Final problem identified: Finding a social space for temporary migrants in Rijeka

Solution(s) offered:

– Creating a network of helpers (including legal support from the local authorities (mayor’s office) to promote integration through mediation, rather than programming, and based on real needs of migrants

– A bottom-up approach (based on real needs of affected groups of people) to building an interconnected micro-network of organizations and physical spaces (possibly already existing, abandoned or old buildings in the city) and making them available to migrants

Group photo of group nr.2:

More photos:

(all participants of RC Creative Idea Module in Amsterdam)

(a visit to the Waag Society offices on Thursday, 13 April 2017; Loreta, Bojan, and Helena; we met at 11am, Melanie came later and saw the place for herself)