Climatubers news #2: more videos, consortium meetings, and an interview from ZSI!

Welcome & Updates

Welcome to the second Climatubers newsletter! As a reminder, we are an Erasmus+ project, working with participatory video in European vulnerable communities, to showcase the social inclusion dimension of climate change.

We are just over halfway due the course of the project now, so all countries have finished their videos now. All the participants worked really hard on the videos, and we are really proud of them! Take a look below—all the videos should have subtitles, let us know at our social media if you spot a glitch!—per country:

Austrian Playlist (ZSI):

French Playlist (HESPUL):

Italian Playlist (TDM International):

Estonian Playlist (Endurae):

Spanish/Catalan Playlist (Granollers):

Or just go to our YouTube channel to rewatch them at your own leisure!

Let’s also hear from the organisers of ZSI (Zentrum für Soziale Innovation GmbH; that is, Centre for Social Innovation in Austria) with regard to their experience so far in the project.

Interview with the ZSI Organisers

– What is your role in the Climatubers project?

Our role is to implement the Climatubers pilot in Austria with a group of adolescents. We engaged them to participate, held a series of workshops together, and came up and produced a video [edit: a video per each group, i.e. two videos in total], which we are now sharing for the public to see. Moreover, we evaluate all implemented pilots [edit: in all countries] regarding their impact on the participants and develop conclusions and recommendations based on our experiences in the project.

What were the target groups for your Participatory Video process and why?

ZSI chose to implement the Austrian Climatubers pilot with a group of NEETS (youngsters between fourteen and eighteen years who are Neither in Education, Employment nor Training). Two social service providers (Volkshilfe and WUK enabled contact with the target group, as they provide stabilization measures for young adults who are socially disadvantaged and in need of psychosocial counselling. ZSI worked in the Climatubers pilot with two groups of youngsters who are in a project that combines counselling for the transition from school to employment with ecological workshops. The purpose of the Climatubers pilots could connect well with the concept of the social projects, as both have an ecological focus. The social service providers were very keen to participate with their groups in the project. They saw it as an opportunity to confront the youngsters with a new experience, challenge them with a new working format and team and awaken interests for new areas of activity (such as video making or climate action).

Tell us about your experience, what are the things you like in the process, and what are the challenges?

The youngsters who participated in the Austrian Climatubers pilot had very diverse and complex experiences of social exclusion due to psychological problems (from autism spectrum to borderline syndrome or depression) or difficult social or family backgrounds. It was especially challenging to keep up their interest in the pilot workshops, considering their concentration and learning difficulties (for which they had dropped out of education programmes). Workshops had to be planned in a way that they were entertaining, short, flexible and easy to follow, but at the same time resulted in a common video. We had to be very careful not to overburden the youngsters or put any pressure on them by setting unrealistic goals. We saw that the group dynamic differed very much in every session according to individual moods, and we had to adapt the work plan at site accordingly. Another challenge was to awaken their interest on a topic that we somehow dictated, namely climate change. The youngsters are struggling with so many difficulties in their life anyway that it sometimes didn’t feel right to challenge them with yet another critical issue. To spark interest for the climate change topic was for sure one of the most difficult tasks, but the youngsters for sure enjoyed the technical and creative workshop sessions of the film making. It was also satisfactory to see that the young people stuck to the workshop sessions until the end and managed to work in a new working environment, which was something that the social workers were concerned about in the beginning. In the end, the participants were proud of their videos and felt that they managed the challenge well.

“It is important not to neglect time for building trust with participants”

Sharing ideas during planning a PV filming session with ZSI participants

What are the lessons learned that you have gathered so far?

We learned that we need very specific approaches to confront this specific target group with the climate change topic. We must also be open to acknowledge “different” reasoning, e.g. that young men might favour cars and driving in the city over travelling environmentally
friendly. Or that climate change is most probably not the most pressing topic in their life. We had to find a good way to accept certain attitudes and still have a good discussion where different opinions were allowed. In our workshops, the main outcomes were to train openness of the participants to interact with new people, to follow a pre-defined work plan and to be able to have a constructive but controversial discussion. It is important not to neglect time for building trust with participants and rather downscale expectations than losing participants on the way. When working with hard-to-reach target groups, time resources must be planned with greater scope and flexibility, as well as performance indicators and expected results.

A ZSI participant engaging with a map

Consortium News

While we prefer our social media channels to share our consortium news, the mid-point of the project seems like a good opportunity to share some here too, in case someone missed our news!

We’ve had two consortium meetings, one in Lyon (Apr 2022), and one in Vienna (Nov 2022). The Lyon meeting was focused on knowledge transfer between partners related to the Participatory Videos workshops, while the Vienna one was more focused on recompiling the lessons learnt and coordinating plans for dissemination and the next activities of the project (connection to policy, etc.) Our next one is planned for Tallinn (Apr 2023).

Workshop session at the Vienna meeting of the Climatubers consortium

That’s it for this newsletter! We will come back with news from more partners next time. Subscribe and follow us on our social to receive more from us. Until then, share your climate story!

Climatubers news: first videos, and an interview from Granollers!

Welcome & Updates

Welcome to the first Climatubers newsletter! As a reminder, we are an Erasmus+ project, working with participatory video in European vulnerable communities, to showcase the social inclusion dimension of climate change.

All the partners are working hard to bring you the best participatory videos—below we share an interview with Granollers about how they do it, and what they learn in the process. Also, we are very excited to share with you the first two @climatubers Participatory Videos, coordinated by @ClimatubersGran!

Here goes the first one, concerning the pollution situation at Congost, the local river of Granollers:

What do you think? Inspired to visit Granollers now? Or to find out more about your own local river? Let us know at our social media!

And here is the second one, about recycling in Granollers:

How about this one? Motivated to recycle better? We surely started checking our packaging twice before throwing stuff away!

While Granollers and the rest of the partners are working to produce more videos, let’s hear from two organisers from the Granollers team. They started the production process before the rest, and their learnings are useful for all of us.

Interview with the Granollers Organisers

– What is the project about?

Climatubers is a European project that aims to promote climate action and active citizenship through the use of digital technologies. Particularly, it uses the participatory video (PV) method as a co-creative language that allows participants to express their thoughts in a direct and collaborative way. The project offers digital tools and climate change training in order to promote discussion and awareness of the global climate crisis that affects our everyday life at a local level.    

– What have you achieved so far?

In Granollers, we have planned to have five editions of the participatory workshops with several groups, covering different target groups from diverse social backgrounds. Each edition consists of 8 sessions of 2 hours, where participants work together to raise awareness about the impact of climate change in their lives and proposals to mitigate it, or adapt better to its impact locally. Then, they articulate these thoughts in an audiovisual format and produce short films (cellphilms). The purpose is not only to reflect on what’s wrong and why, but to imagine possible solutions for desirable future scenarios.

The Congost river in Granollers, which was the main topic of the first video

“The purpose is not only to reflect on what’s wrong and why, but to imagine possible solutions for desirable future scenarios”

—Climatubers Granollers

So far, we have completed the first edition of workshops and we are working on the second and third editions. 

During the workshops we realized that the participants had many ideas to contribute, but not all of them could be included in the films. Therefore, we thought it would be interesting to create a parallel exhibition, in which these ideas could be collected and presented to the public. Thus, the idea of a photographic exhibition was born, called “Climatubers: citizen climate action”, that we are currently producing and that will take place in the Roca Umbert public library from 19th April 2022. There, the participants will choose one of their ideas to improve the city, and will express it through a text and a photograph that they created themselves during the workshops.

We are also working on an artistic performance around the opera “Greta and the Trihumans“, which deals with the climate crisis. This will take place on 26th and 27th of March 2022 at the public theater of Granollers. The activity will consist of a presentation of the Climatubers project and a proposal to the public to co-create collaborative murals to depict possible futures to face climate crisis with better cities. The final art pieces are intended to be displayed in the photographic exhibition.

Finally, we are organising the 1st Audiovisual Exhibition for Climate Action that will take place the 2nd of June 2022 in the Edison Cinema. The videos produced in the 5 editions of the project will be screened and presented by the participants. Also, local representatives and renown climate action speakers will participate and promote a debate on climate change and citizenship initiatives.

Images from the first workshop at Granollers

– Tell us about your experience, what are the things you like in the process, and what are the challenges?

From our experience, one of the most interesting aspects is to co-create with such a huge diversity of participants. Even though in some groups they share a similar age range, their cultural and social background is widely diverse and makes each session a rich debate and a surprise. 

On a related note, it is touching to see the empowerment of the participants: in the first sessions with a group of youth, they didn’t want to speak in public nor to be filmed. It is believed that youth are confident with the use of technologies, but they are not so confident with the messages they can emit. They were very shy and believed that their thoughts were not interesting. After some sessions, they started to show up and finally they produced a really nice video where they interview experts, they talk to other citizens and they also speak directly to the camera to encourage youth to act and care for the environment!

Also, with respect to the target group of elderly people, it is very enriching to break the digital gap with very simple actions (to take photos, to film short video statements) that provide the participants the security and trust they need. From our experience, the main challenge is to build trust and to make them lose their fear of technology, rather than to offer advanced technical knowledge. Another challenge is to achieve the social cohesion defined as a general project purpose, by the interests and needs of participants. 

– Tell us about the feedback you are receiving from participants.

The first edition of Climatubers was a great success. At first, it was difficult to ensure the attendance of all the young people: their attitude was to be on the lookout for what was going to happen in class. The project leaves a wide range of freedom and creativity to the participants, to which they are not normally used to. They may choose what to talk about, how to do it and to whom they will talk to. This involves action and decision making, which could cause a certain insecurity in the beginning. Therefore, we strive to make the classes very dynamic and participatory. Soon, they became involved and enthusiastic about the workshop to such an extent that they said it was one of the most fun and enriching activities they had ever done. 

We are currently working with different targets, and regardless of the age, decision-making and action continue to be the main subjects to work on. Citizens might trust their voice and their power to change the world, and Climatubers is here to provide tools for this empowerment.

Interviewing a local expert environmentalist

Filming on location helps explain the topic in its authentic context

Multiple device filming helped enhance the quality of the shots

That’s it for this newsletter! We will come back with news from more partners next time. Subscribe and follow us on our social to receive more from us. Until then, share your climate story!