Event announcement

The COVID-19 pandemic significantly altered possibilities to engage in civil action. Existing activist initiatives and organizations had to adapt to the new reality of social restrictions by reconfiguring their tactics and transferring their activities in digital spaces. Whereas social movements that emerged in 2020-2021 had to form their structure and plan activities in a drastically changed social world.

It is hard to claim we already live in a post-pandemic world since the new lockdowns seem to be just around the corner, bringing new challenges to civil society actors. Being in a state of uncertainty about the future of civic engagement and experiencing current hybrid online/offline formats, we feel the need to create a space to learn about the COVID-19 related activist experiences.

During this master class, you will have the chance to discuss practical questions of interconnection between digital tools, social movements, and local development. We will pay special attention to the shift the COVID-19 pandemic brought to activist initiatives and local communities. Representatives of the very successful initiatives of  Зберегти Квіти України (Save Flowers of Ukraine), Strajk Kobiet, and Deutsche Wohnen & Co enteignen (Expropriate Deutsche Wohnen & other real estates), as well as registered participants, will share and exchange experiences with you on the following issues:

  • How to engage local communities in (post-)digital citizen participation?
  • How to create a virtual space for citizen engagement?
  • How can digital activism be transformed into a non-digital one?
  • How can online activism address and influence policy changes? How digital tools could deal with local challenges?
  • How to organize mass activist (inform, advocacy) campaigns using digital tools, especially in the COVID-19 times?
  • How to organize online learning communities?

Contributing organizations:

  • Lesia Donets, from an urban initiative Зберегти Квіти України (Save Flowers of Ukraine) aiming to save the Kvity Ukrainy (Flowers of Ukraine) building. The initiative emerged in July 2021, as a response to the attempt of the building’s owner to demolish it.
  • Marta Lempart, initiator of feminist social movement Ogólnopolski Strajk Kobiet. The movement was established in September 2016 in protest against the rejection by the Polish Parliament of the bill "Save Women" aiming to liberalize the abortion law in Poland.
  • A representative (tbc) of social housing initiative Deutsche Wohnen & Co enteignen. The initiative’s aim is to socialize over 240,000 apartments from major real estate investment companies by means of a referendum. With socialization, they want to rescue 11% of Berlin’s apartments from speculation and to enable affordable rents in the long term.

To participate please register at this link. The deadline for registration is September 29, 18:00. You will receive all the access instructions before the event.

The event will be held online in English.

This event is a part of the project “Ukraine Calling. Cross-Sectoral Capacity Building” that is implemented by European University Viadrina, Frankfurt (Oder), Germany, in close cooperation with Cedos think tank (Ukraine), National University of “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy” (Ukraine), Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań (Poland), National Youth Council Ukraine (NYCU), Centre Marc Bloch Berlin (Germany), Euro Créative (France), and the Minsk Urban Platform (Belarus).

“Ukraine Calling. Cross-Sectoral Capacity Building” is funded by the German Foreign Office within the program of Civil Society Cooperation.