The Project

Speak Up! is a cross-European project aimed at integrating young, newly arrived migrants through video and radio production and media literacy training

The project culminates in the Ithaka International Film and Media Festival with events held in all five countries (France, Greece, Hungary, Italy and The Netherlands). Additionally, in the second year of the project, there will be two international expert meetings in Budapest and Utrecht.

The project will be implemented across 24 months and will be run in three phases:

  • Phase 1: Planning, preparation, and training of trainers (December 2019 – March 2020)
  • Phase 2: Training for young migrants and events (April 2020 – May 2021)
  • Phase 3: Sharing best practices, communication, and overall evaluation (March 2021 – November 2021)

Training of trainers & skills exchanges

  • 10 trainers of trainers trained in video, radio production, and MIL

  • 4 training guides produced

  • 5 webinars reaching a total of 100 people across 5 EU countries are run

A skills-sharing workshop was held with all partner organisations in January 2020 during which Common Frames presented on video production, Mouvement Up on podcasting workshops, Next Step on working with newly arrived migrants, and Karpos and ERIM presented media and information literacy.

Following these sessions, each partner produced training guidelines, and hosted a webinar interested teachers and trainers in their local community discussing the merits of using media production and media literacy training for integration of newly-arrived migrants.

Ithaka International Film & Media Festival

  • 1 Festival in each of the 5 countries

  • 500 people attend the festivals

  • 1 Instagram Photography Competition and Exhibition in each country

Building on this success of the Ithaka Film Festival in the Netherlands (showcasing short films made by young migrants), we will run the first Ithaka International Film and Media Festival in September 2021, showcasing the work produced by the young migrants throughout the project alongside screenings of other films on migration. These mini-festivals will be slightly different in each country including short films, vlogs, podcasts, and presentations of any other media produced under Speak-up! project, alongside talks from invited journalists and experts and screenings of films chosen by the youth participants. There will also include panel sessions moderated by experts/advisors in the field to create opportunities for youth, migrants, refugees, journalists/bloggers, and NGOs/civic activists to meet and explore social and human rights’ issues affecting specific areas or populations.

The idea is that these events will attract the public to promote inclusion and give the young migrants experience of being involved in local events.

In April 2021 we will launch the Ithaka International Instagram Photography Competition. Newly-arrived migrants and youth will be asked to post photographs on the theme of ‘inclusion’ with the festival hashtag #ithakainternational via Instagram, Facebook or email.

Twenty winning entries along with a 1st, 2nd and 3rd place will be chosen per country by the panel comprising an expert representative from each country (selected by the project partners). The winning entries will be given prizes (a range of prizes will be offered including a smartphone, a half-day workshop with a professional photographer, and iPad etc). The overall winners will also be invited to a National Experts Meeting to share their experiences. The winning entries will all be professionally printed and displayed at the festivals, along with a selection of the winners from other countries.

Media training workshops for young, newly arrived migrants

  • 13 3day-workshops held in 5 countries

  • 300 young, newly arrived migrants trained

Media training workshops for young, newly-arrived migrants (age 12-26 years) will be organised as a way to help them integrate into their new environments and so that they can tell their stories and share information for their community and the broader public. The training will teach the basics of media literacy and journalism alongside video and/or radio production training. The sessions will be different in each country and the exact content can be discussed during and after the first partners’ meeting. In general, the sessions will cover:

  • Media literacy (including fake news, standards of good journalism, propaganda, photoshop, social media etc.)
  • Training in video production and/or radio production including practical aspects so that by the end of the session each team will have produced a short film or podcast.

Following the training, participants will be offered mentoring if they wish to submit their films or podcasts for consideration as part of the Ithaka International Film Festival.

National & International Experts Meetings

  • 1 National Experts meeting/country

  • 2 International Experts meetings (Utrecht 2020 and Budapest 2021) with 25 European-based experts

  • A manifesto on Media & Migration with its implementing strategy

National Expert Meetings

In each of the target countries we will organise expert meetings of 10 experts working in the field of migration and/or media and media literacy. These meetings will bring together academics, NGOs, local authorities, social workers and policy workers to focus on the opportunities and challenges in using media literacy to promote integration and intercultural dialogue for newly arrived migrants. We will work closely with universities and NGOs in each of the target countries and in addition to exchanging best practices and information on current projects, we want to use the expert meeting to create new partnerships for the future. We will also invite young migrants who were particularly active in our trainings and ask them to share their experiences of the project, how it has helped them and how it could do more.

International Expert Meetings

Two international meetings will also take place – one in Utrecht University, the Netherlands and one at Central European University in Budapest, Hungary.

The meetings will be used to discuss the project activities and how media training can be used to help migrants, both through facilitating their integration and through more responsible media reporting. The expert group will develop a plan for future work and how it could be easily exported to other countries. The results from the project will also be used to feed into action research by Utrecht University – adding experience from other countries to their previous research on migrants’ integration in the Netherlands.


Common Frames (The Netherlands)

At Common Frames we believe in the unifying power of creating media. We develop and organize film and media literacy projects for (young) newcomers. Media play an important role in how we view the world and we are convinced that making media teaches us to look at this more critically. In our projects we bring various worlds together and we look for common frames. In this way we build bridges between the world of yesterday, today and tomorrow.  Together with newcomers we discover what works and we adjust our methods accordingly. Participation, co-creation and ownership are at the core of our work.

Forma.Azione (Italy)

FORMA.Azione srl is an accredited VET and Adult Centre, working with Public Funds at Regional, National and Transnational level. Its mission is to improve and increase its target groups’ competences and skills – mainly low-skilled adults, youngsters in need of upskilling, women at risk of marginalization – for their employability and social inclusion. FORMA.Azione most important areas of expertise are digital skills and Media and Information Literacy; quality assurance in education and training; gender equality; Social inclusion at school and for adults; migrants’ integration and empowerment. Since 2017 it has been working as Regional Coordinator of the No Hate Speech Movement of the Council of Europe, promoting online campaigns and awareness raising activities through Fb, Instagram.

ERIM (France)

ERIM was founded in 2004, in Lyon (France). Over the past fifteen years we have worked in 37 countries, mainly in the Eastern Partnership and Russia, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), Europe and Central Asia. Our work focuses on supporting human rights, good governance and promoting democracy by supporting and working with activists and civil society organisations directly, by seeking to improve education, strengthen independent media and reduce conflict. The ERIM approach emphasises partnerships with local development organisations and provides training and capacity building in order to create sustainable change.

Next Step Hungary Association (Hungary)

Next Step Hungary Association is the only refugee-led NGO providing practical cost-effective interventions to support migrants’ integration in Hungary. By facilitating an increasingly diverse range of vocational and IT courses designed to build high value skill sets, we aim to help connect migrants to employment through a solution-oriented approach. Next Step encourages engagement with society by helping migrants access education, gain employment, support their children’s growth and sustain themselves and their families independently. Our members and former course participants remain highly engaged with our work, many returning to volunteer as instructors or contribute their time and develop our expertise.

Karpos – Center for Education and Intercultural Communication (Greece)

Karpos develops local and European projects encouraging expression and the exchange of views and creative ideas through the use of media. We strongly believe that, in a society where images surround us, these tools can empower both young and adult citizens to participate in social transactions and bring forward their own alternative voices. We specialise in how media, image and sound can develop narratives and how they can be introduced in educational environments.


If you would like to partner with us or be involved, get in touch!