From November 9th till november 27th, 2021, Vacation From War – Dialogues across Borders organizes a digital Online Academy „Skills for Activism“ for former participants, staff and their friends. The complete program with descriptions of all Workshops in pdf can be found here in English, Arabic and Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian.

09.11.2021 Creative Writing for activists – Lamisse

6.30 p.m – 8.30 p.m.  Zagreb, Sarajevo, Belgrade //  7.30 p.m. – 9.30 p.m. Jerusalem

Do you aspire to share your story with others? Have you ever thought about putting your personal and political thoughts into writing? Are you unsure of how to start? With the tools of creative writing you can learn how to shape the events of your life into a compelling story with a message. In this workshop, you will learn tools to begin your writing journey through short writing tasks and discussions on creative writing and political story-telling. Opportunities to share your writing will be offered to people who would like to share their work. So, if you’ve got a story inside you but you just don’t know where to start, this workshop is for you.

Lamisse Hamouda (she/her) is a writer, creative producer and youth worker. Lamisse is currently in the middle of writing her first book, a literary memoir about the political imprisonment of her father in Egypt in 2018. Lamisse’s writing seeks to investigate what it means to be human, what is revealed about us when we face injustice, and pathways to a kinder world. Her work is shaped by her commitment to ‚abolition feminism‘ and the will to imagine alternative possibilities as a form of hope and resistance.

15.11.2021 Countering Hate Speech – Love Storm

6.30 p.m. – 8.30 p.m. Zagreb, Sarajevo, Belgrade // 7.30 p.m. – 9.30 p.m. Jerusalem

Discriminatory hate speech and hostility are widespread on social networks. They intimidate individuals and entire groups and they open the way for populist campaigns. Especially those who publicly express emancipatory political activism and stand up for their demands with courage are particularly targeted by these acts of aggression. This workshop gives you the opportunity to explore strategies to stand up individually and together against hostility to encourage love and solidarity on social networks.

The project „LOVE-Storm – Together against Hate on the Net“ counters the wave of hate, disparagement and insults on the internet with a movement of digital courage. Cordelia and Jan from the initiative want to empower interested and committed people to effectively counter hate speech and cyber bullying on social networks.

18.11.2021 Direct Action and Civil Disobedience – Resist +Renew

6.30 p.m. – 8.30 p.m. Zagreb, Sarajevo, Belgrade // 7.30 p.m. – 9.30 p.m. Jerusalem

Direct Action and civil disobedience are resistant tactics that have a long history in struggles against injustice and for social change. No matter if you already participated in a form of direct action or if you just wondered how it can support your political cause, this workshop gives you insights into the wide range of direct actions. From guerilla gardening to road blocks: With two members of Resist+Renew and all the other particpants you can exchange and discuss aims, challenges, doubts and strategies.

Resist + Renew is a collective of friends, activists, artists, and radical educators developing and running participatory workshops, courses and spaces for discussion. Ali (he/him) was involved in campaigns against expansion at Heathrow Airport and part of End Deportations and lives in the valleys of Wales with his partner and their cat. Sami (she/her) worked together with Palestine solidarity groups, feminist organisations, disability justice conversations, climate justice groups, and anti-militarist camps. She’s punk, queer and a lover of speculative fiction. 

20.11.2021 Creating Social Change through strategic Campaigns – Daniel

2 p.m. – 6 p.m. Zagreb, Sarajevo, Belgrade  // 3 p.m. – 7.p.m. Jerusalem

How can we bring about the king of large-scale social change today’s crises demand of us? Drawing from historic social movements and with a focus on grassroot organizing approaches, we will get to know tools for political campaigning. These include Gene Sharp’s Pillars of Power, Bill Moyer’s Movement Action Plan and an analysis of your Spectrum of Allies. This will lead us to develop great ideas for actions at various Points of Intervention in a given political struggle, including digital approaches to building a society that works for all of us. These ideas help us to develop an understanding of political and social processes that highlight our own and collective capabilites. This gives us orientation in an often times overwhelming and chaotic world of activism. Equipping ourselves with a clearer strategy makes us more resilient and our work more sustainable. And it is fun, too!

Daniel Hofinger, 27 years, has been active in Germany’s climate justice movement for the last decade. He has contributed to the Handbook Press Work for Social Movements, was a spokesperson for the mass civil disobedience campaign Ende Gelaende and was a founding member of the grassroots training collective Phase5. He currently works on building a tenant’s movement in his hometown of Bonn.

24.11.2021 Digital Security – Pablo

6.30 p.m. – 8.30 p.m. Zagreb, Sarajevo, Belgrade // 7.30 p.m. – 9.30 p.m. Jerusalem

Let’s talk about privacy. How much information do you have in your phone? How much information do the big companies have about you? Does it make you feel safe? In this workshop we will try to understand why privacy is important for freedom and democracy, how much information others can collect about us and how we can better protect ourselves online. We will see why some tools are better than others concerning our security and privacy and we will understand that our behaviour is the first step to feel safer.

Pablo (he/him) has been involved in human rights work for more than 20 years, cooperating with civil society organisations across many different countries. He lives in Guatemala and is an expert on digital security.

27.11.2021 Regenerative Activism – Ulex Project

10 a.m. – 4.30 p.m. Zagreb, Sarajevo, Belgrade // 11. a.m. – 5.30 p.m. Jerusalem

Those of us involved in social change face enormous challenges. Daily we meet injustice, loss, and suffering in the world around us. We also meet our own responses, our fears, frustrations and anger. How can we best work with these responses creatively to achieve our goals? Where can we find the personal resources and skills that could make our action more effective and sustainable? This workshop offers a range of tools which can make our activism more effective and sustainable. A ‘regenerative’ approach explores how we can organise in ways that actually revitalize our own resources – this can help us stay inspired, nourished, & more creative in our tactical approach.

The Ulex Project is about supporting our movements to contest our future – for social justice and ecological integrity. With their trainings they thrive to deepen reflection and strengthen connections for personal and collective empowerment. Ilaj (they/them) is based in Catalunya and project lead for Ulex’s LGBTQI+ psycho-social resilience and holistic security programme and works with grassroots groups involved in social and environmental struggles, and also NGOs in the areas of social and environmental justice.