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 https://www.youtube.com/@climatubers6324/featured 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 work.space) 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”— ZSI
– 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.
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).
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!