#MyStory partners DRPDNM held workshops, talks and activities throughout Teden Kultur (The Week of Cultures) in Novo Mesto, Slovenia.

From 19 to 24 June 2017, participants took part in a bevvy of awareness-raising, inclusive and productive activities. Acquiring media and digital literacy skills was a central aim and contributors were empowered to report about events using the latest digital storytelling tools and according to the principles of impartial reporting, tolerance and respect for diversity. For this purpose, the events that they visited were part of ‘’Teden kultur’’ (The Week of Cultures), which for several years has connected different cultures living in the Dolenjska region. Diversity is an advantage and breaks the monotony of cultural offerings, from food to games, literature, theatre, music, and dance. Diversity is not an issue that can be opted for or against, it is the fact that we all live. We are all “others” to someone else; anyone could choose a criterion of segregation and discriminate us. From the fact that most people have brown eyes and are thus seen as inferior to blue-eyed people, to other inborn or acquired traits. No matter how strange that sounds, our common denominator is diversity. Accepting that is the foundation of civilisation. ‘’The Week of Cultures Rules!’’

The flagship workshop given by Dr Jure Gombac from Slovenian Migration Institute and Science and Research Centre SASA, explored the challenges for the media when reporting on migrants and migrations topics, and presented the potential of digital storytelling tools to offer alternative narratives.

”Digital stories are short, personal, multimedia scraps of TV that people can make for themselves. They are “mini movies”. Computers enabled with video editing software are used to synchronise recorded spoken narratives with scans of personal photographs (Meadows 2003).”

Dr Iztok Sori from the Peace Institute held a lecture and workshop on hate speech and other discriminatory practices in Slovenian media during and after the “Balkan Route.”

“It is not easy to recognise hate speech, which we found out at this workshop. However, we can all learn and later, when, for example, we recognise hate speech on Facebook, we must respond as “ordinary citizens” to warn them that it is unacceptable. Because otherwise this problem can spread, from refugees to immigrants, from immigrants to women, etc. The students and other participants were very active and I am sure they will make excellent contributions.”

On 20 June, World Refugee Day, the Museum gardens turned into a cosy outdoor cinema, attracting around 50 spectators. During the three-hour projection they saw five documentary and feature films from the Migrant Film Festival, which ended on that day in Ljubljana.

On Friday, 23 June, the five-day festival ended, of course, with a lot of good food, drinks, music and events celebrating the diversity of cultures in Novo Mesto and Slovenia. The participants were also greeted by the mayor of the Municipality of Novo mesto, Gregor Macedoni.

There were more than 10 multicultural events in Novo mesto where #MyStory participants could “meet and report” with the use of digital storytelling media tools and the final results can only be described as fantastic. In conclusion, 12 stories by participants were chosen for publishing and they all meet the high criteria of the jury, which consisted of several experts on the topic.

These 10 “Stories” are the best presentation of our #MyStory event in Novo mesto.