Work plan: Art for the Young, the Queer, the Feminists of Eastern Europe

Project background

One of the fields that CDN, as a capacity building network, prioritises to tackle in the Central and Eastern Europe is gender: gender roles, patriarchy, sexism, women emancipation, LGBTQ+ rights, queer theory, these are some topics on which gender working group aims to raise awareness and empower the youth on. The importance of Gender issues are especially vital in the Central and Eastern Europe. Gender working group has been active for almost a decade now and this project is an idea of the members.

The Central and Eastern Europe is still very conservative and patriarchal compared to Western Europe. According to the data of countries that make their data available through Eurostat, the worst domestic violence and femicide situations across Europe is Montenegro, Latvia, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Hungary, Bosnia and Croatia. Countries like Serbia, Ukraine, Poland, Turkey or Caucasus countries are not included in the data set but it is a very well know fact, that the situation is not any better in those countries. The public and private spaces are not safe for women. Looking at the political representation, only 6 of the 52 leadership positions in Eastern Europe are occupied by female leaders as of 2019. The progress towards gender equality is so slow that even Council of Europe only recently adopted guidelines to its 47 member states on tackling sexism, including the first internationally-agreed definition. Looking at the LGBT+ rights, members of the LGBT+ community in Eastern Europe don’t have safe public spaces to express their gender and sexual orientation openly. The Gay Pride is mostly banned in Eastern European countries and where it is not banned, it can only take place under heavy security, limiting the LGBT+  access to political spaces as well.

What will we do and why?

This project has the goal of tackling the gender issue and representation in private and political spaces in Eastern Europe from both female and LGBT+ perspectives. However, with this project we would like to firstly enlarge the local, closed safe spaces with young activists of different genders and sexualities from the Central and Eastern Europe. Through international youth activities we will provide a bigger, intercultural space for young people of various genders and sexualities to interact with each other, share struggles and learn from each other. In the last phase of the work plan, we will carry the safe space to public space. We will enable the activists to interact with wider public through using art as a communication tool.

Our AIM with this workplan is to understand power dynamics in patriarchal and cis-heteronormative societies in order to empower young women, trans-women, trans-men, non binaries and LGBT+ community to broaden the safe space and claim more private and political space through non-formal education and art.

By providing the platform to discuss the shared experiences and counteracting strategies, we would like to: 

  • Build understanding in the group about the different ways in which power can operate in society and reflect on possible unaware perpetuation of the existing power relations; 
  • Create safe space for young Eastern European activists from gender- and sexual orientation minorities where they share experiences of daily private and political struggles from different contexts; 
  • Consider different strategies for challenging dominant power relations and equip them with tools and techniques to vigorously stand up in their respective struggles; 
  • Explore using art as a tool to expand the safe space in providing visibility to gender and sexual orientation minorities; 
  • Explore and establish cooperation with the initiatives / organizations / individual activists on international level dealing with the same issues locally.

Project summary

This project consists of three activities, with which we would like to stress the importance of art, inclusivity and human rights. The project target group are the young people from the Central and Eastern Europe (Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, Kosovo*, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Serbia, Turkey, Ukraine).


1st phase –  Art as a shelter: A room of our own

The first event of the Work plan is a 5 day international training aiming to understand power dynamics and how power operates in patriarchal societies in order to empower young women to broaden safe space and claim more private and political space through art.

Date: 7-11 April 2020, (6th arrival, 12th departure)

Duration: 5 full working days

Location: Tirana, Albania

Call for Prepteam

Call for Participants


2nd phase – Good, Bad or Queer

The phase two is an organic continuation of the phase one and draws attention at challenging cis- and heteronormativity as a dominant power and aims at engaging  and  mobilising  LGBT+ young  people  in  taking  ownership  in  advocating for their rights in their national contexts; We want to contribute to overcoming the binary understanding of gender and sexuality and maintstream this discourse in the (Green) youth organisations.

Date: 30 June – 4 July 2020, (29th arrival, 5th departure).

Duration: 5 full working days

Location: Istanbul, Turkey

Call for Prepteam

Call for Participants


3rd phase – Art for freedom: Free Yourself and the Rest will Follow

The final phase which comprises of Local Actions in the project countries, that will be partially developed during the previous phase aims to broaden the closed safe spaces of young women, trans-persons, non-binaries and LGBT+ community by visibilising their identities and the struggles to wider public using non-formal methods (i.e. art) as a communication channel in order to challenge the normativity in the society.

Date: September/October 2020

Duration: Optional

Location: Participating countries

Call for local actions

Methodology

The program will be based on the principles of non-formal education and intercultural learning. We strive for active, inclusive and direct communication and transfer and sharing of knowledge. Sessions will be balanced between theoretical inputs, training, workshops, discussions, reflection, planning, brainstorming and other interactive methods of learning.

This project is organised by the Green European Foundation with the support of Cooperation and Development Network Eastern Europe, with the financial support of the European Parliament to the Green European Foundation, and supported by the European Youth Foundation of Council of Europe.

*All references to Kosovo, whether to the territory, institutions or population, in this text shall be understood in full compliance with the United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1244 and without prejudice to the status of Kosovo.

Solidarity with feminist activists attacked from the police of Azerbaijan!

Screenshot taken from CNN video report

Last week was a turbulent one for feminists and human rights defenders in Azerbaijan. The latest developments in the country show the escalation of the crackdown on human rights activists, journalists and feminists.

Given the repressive context, there were two protests which took place on 19th and 20th of October in central Baku.

The first day of protest was against the imprisonment of political prisoners, economical injustice and corruption. The day after was a protest against gender-based violence and femicide. Among the activists attacked, there were members of CDN’s Member Organisation, who joined the second protests over women’s rights and demanded the ratification of Istanbul convention.

The attacks were recorded and the videos were disseminated and went viral on social networks. These incidents were condemned by several international bodies, including Council of Europe human rights commissioner, Dunja Mijatović

Along with the attacks, polices forces cordoned off the protesters, some metro stations were stopped from operating, and Internet blackout was reported at some spots of the protest. 

On behalf of CDN EC, we show solidarity with all protesters in Baku fighting under hostile environment against gender-based violence and in the shrinking spaces of civil society activists.

Stay strong! You are not alone <3

Meet the new CDN Network Coordinator

Meet CDN’s new Network Coordinator: Nikoleta Petkovic!!

We are happy to announce that Nikoleta Petkovic will join CDN Secretariat as the Network Coordinator starting from 1st of November 2019.

Nikoleta has been active in the Green movement for a few years now. She joined Serbian Green Youth in 2015, where she was active in the capacities of a Board member and afterwards as a Secretariat member. Following her interests in spatial justice and green infrastructure in cities, she first encountered CDN by joining the Alternative Urbanisation working group.

She was part of CDN Executive Committee in 2018-2019.
Nikoleta’s main interests and activist engagement meet at the intersections of topics of alternative urbanisation, commons as well as gender and feminism in theory and practice.

Welcome to the team and we wish you unforgettable ride with CDN!!!

CDN Executive Committee and Secretariat

Open call for Participants: International Seminar “Digitising the Youth Ar(c)tivism”

Cooperation and Development Network Eastern Europe and Digital [X] Working Group are announcing a call for Participants for the international seminar “Digitising the Youth Ar(c)tivism”.

The seminar will take place between 19-24 November in Bosnia and Herzegovina (19 and 24 are travel dates to and from BiH).The project is the third and final phase of our annual work plan “Digital Technology For Democracy: Youth Turns Threat Into Opportunity” and is going to focus on finding innovative ways of communicating with one’s audience online through interactive creative means.

This seminar aims to:  

(1) Explore the concept of artivism as a tool for change and analyze various contextual examples for connecting it to digital activism;

(2) Look into the possibilities of modern digital technologies in communicating the message to the audience;

(3) Explore different creative tools for youth engagement that will later be included in the publication and multimedia library.

The programme will be based on the principles of non-formal education and intercultural learning. We strive for an active, inclusive environment for direct communication and sharing of knowledge. The sessions will be balanced between theoretical inputs, work in small groups, workshops, discussions, training and other interactive methods of non-formal learning.

Who should apply? We are looking for 30 young people aged 16-35, residing in one of the Council of Europe Member states, Belarus or Kosovo*. We encourage applications reflecting diversity in all forms; therefore we welcome applications from those who identify as women, LGBTQIA+, people of color or with a disability. Participants who have experience in artivism, digital activism and relevant knowledge or high motivation to learn about the topic are highly encouraged to apply.

Practicalities: Language: The main language of this activity will be English. But not being comfortable interacting in English should not prevent you from applying. CDN strives to create an inclusive atmosphere at the events, where participants are encouraged to express themselves and ask for clarifications or translations from peers that speak the same language.

Costs: The full cost of travel, visa, lodging (accommodation in multi-bed rooms, vegetarian and vegan food, and refreshments) and working materials during the event will be covered by the organizers. In exchange, we ask for a participation fee of 20 EUR for participants coming from non-EU countries and 50 EUR for participants coming from EU countries, Norway, Switzerland, and Iceland. Applicants for whom paying this fee is an obstacle for participation, should still apply and mention this in their application (not a selection criteria). CDN will try to find a solution together with the applicant after the selection is finalized. CDN will reimburse 90% of the travel costs for the participants from the non-EU countries and 80% of travel costs for the participants coming from the EU countries, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland within reasonable limits and within Europe, with the condition to combine the most economic and environmentally friendly way (lowest price + travel time + CO2 emissions).

DEADLINE for submitting online applications: 7th of October 2019 at Midnight CET. You will be informed about the results of the selection within two weeks after the deadline.

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This Project is supported by the European Youth Foundation of Council of Europe, Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament and the Green Forum (Sweden).

*All references to Kosovo, whether to the territory, institutions or population, in this text shall be understood in full compliance with the United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1244 and without prejudice to the status of Kosovo.

 Apply here! 

Call for CDN Network Coordinator

The Executive Committee of Cooperation and Development Network Eastern Europe (CDN) is announcing a call for a CDN Network Coordinator. This is a paid, full-time position, starting from 1st of November 2019 and it will be based in CDN’s office in Belgrade, Serbia. We are accepting applications by 22nd of September 2019 Midnight CEST/CET.

Working time: 40 hours/week, flexible working hours (some activities will take place during weekends  that can be compensated within weekdays).  Remuneration: 800 EUR, gross  Contract type: 2 years with 3 months probation period Location: Belgrade, Serbia

What is CDN?

CDN is a network of Green youth organizations from Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe and the South Caucasus. Currently, CDN has 15 Member Organizations and 6 Partner Organizations as well as 5 Working Groups. The Network supports the development, cooperation and exchange of knowledge and skills between young people and their organizations, and aims at enlarging the niche for political work for Greens in Europe. CDN organizes educational and capacity-building activities such as seminars, conferences and regional meetings and uses non-formal education to advance youth participation.CDN stands for gender equality, equal participation, diversity, inclusion, respect for minorities, environmental and climate justice, direct democracy and non-violence. Our Political Platform lays out the values which the Network bases its actions on.

Role of the Network Coordinator:
The Network Coordinator, is the a legal representative of CDN. The work of the Network Coordinator involves encompasses the following duties:

  • Daily management of the CDN office, including daily task division for the Project Coordinator and the Office Assistant, and  financial management  in close cooperation with the Treasurer
  • Assisting the Executive Committee in fulfilling their respective duties and coordinating their work
  • Working with the Executive Committee on a long-term vision of CDN
  • Providing constructive mentorship for, and coordinating the work of the Office Assistant
  • Assisting the Project Coordinator throughout all phases of project management (where necessary)
  • Organizing CDN’s statutory meetings such as General Assembly, strategic planning and regional meetings
  • Maintaining contact with Member and Partner Organizations and keeping an overview of  the  developments in the Network together with the Executive Committee
  • Representing CDN and communication with external partners (e.g. funders, national and international green structures, among others)
  • Managing the external communication together with the Office Assistant and the EC, including managing the website and social media
  • Tracking and monitoring major political developments, and especially with regard to civil society dynamics throughout Eastern Europe, providing analysis and identifying opportunities for CDN and/or its Member and Partner Organization engagement 

We are looking for someone with the following profile:       

Mandatory requirements:

  • Substantial experience in a young Green organization and/or good knowledge of CDN, Green politics and civil society in Eastern Europe
  • Additional experience regarding meaningful engagement in youth and voluntary organizations, or NGOs is an asset, especially on the international level
  • At least 1-year experience in project planning, implementation, monitoring and follow-up, especially with the diverse groups on international level
  • Comprehensive understanding and respect for CDN documents and values
  • Excellent written and spoken English, (knowledge of additional Eastern European language is an asset)
  • Excellent organizational skills, ability to multi-task and work under high pressure and with tight deadlines
  • Efficient communication skills (in online and offline settings) and experience in facilitation and moderation
  • Ability to take initiative and work in an international environment
  • Willingness to engage in frequent travels, to have flexible working hours – long working days and work during the weekends when needed

Desirable:  

  • Knowledge of basic accounting is a strong asset
  • Computer skills including the use of free software (Linux, WordPress, Libre office etc.) are an asset
  • Preferably younger than 30 years of age

What are we are offering you:

  • To work in a lively, friendly, international, young and Green environment
  • The opportunity to enhance your knowledge of European and Green politics and youth work
  • Frequent and extensive travel
  • The opportunity to network in the European-wide Green movement
  • Monthly fee (competitive for Serbia)

Recruitment Procedure: If you are interested in the Network Coordinator position, please send your CV, MotivationLetter and contact details of two referees  (preferably former employers, supervisors or tutors) to CDN Office (office@cdnee.org) with a subject line REF: Network Coordinator Application – Name&Surname before 22nd of September 2019 Midnight CEST/CET

Incomplete applications that don’t have a CV, Motivation Letter, references and without a clear subject line will not be considered.

Next Steps: We will contact the shortlisted candidates latest till 5th of October 2019 and invite them for an online interview. The final selection will be done not later than 15th of October 2019.

New Project Coordinator in CDN

We are happy to announce that Masha Pashkova Dznelandze is joining CDN Secretariat as a Project Coordinator in September 2019.

Masha’s green activism started with Georgian Young Greens. Afterwards she was a member of the CDN Executive Committee for three consecutive years (mandates of 2015, 2016 and 2017).

Masha was a part of several prep-teams and projects in CDN, especially with the Alternative Urbanization Working Group. Her working interests are Alternative Urbanisation, Gender, Digital Rights and ways to combat Climate Emergency.

We look forward to further development of our Network with Masha!

Executive Committee and Secretariat

Open Call for Prep-team: Digitising the Youth Ar(c)tivism

Cooperation and Development Network Eastern Europe and Digital [X] Working Group are announcing a call for Prep-Team members for the international seminar “Digitising the Youth Ar(c)tivism”. The seminar will take place between 19-24 November in Bosnia and Herzegovina (19 and 24  are travel dates to and from BiH).

The project is the third and the final phase of our annual work plan “Digital Technology For Democracy: Youth Turns Threat Into Opportunity” and is going to focus on creative new ways of communicating with one’s audience online though interactive creative means.

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CDN Webinar “Reflections on Climate strikes”

In the past months, we have witnessed young people taking over the streets throughout the world to demand climate justice.

Climate Strikes mobilized more than 1.5 million youth around the globe and draw significant attention to the issue at stake.

Nonetheless, we have also observed that there is a significant divide between success of Climate Strike actions in the West and Eastern European countries.

With this webinar, CDN aims to reflect on the experiences and thoughts from its MOs and POs with regard to existing Climate Strike divide.

Also, we would like to grasp this opportunity to provide a space to our friends for sharing major takeaways from their Climate Strike experiences.

Call for CDN Office Coordinator

The Executive Committee of Cooperation and Development Network Eastern Europe (CDN) is announcing a call for an Office Coordinator. This is a paid, full-time position, starting from 1st of September 2019 and it will be based in CDN’s office in Belgrade, Serbia. We are waiting for your applications until 23 June, Sunday midnight CET.

Working time: 40 hours/week, flexible working hours (some activities will take place during weekends which can be compensated within weekdays).

Remuneration: 800 EUR, gross

Contract type: 2 years with 3 months probation

Location: Belgrade, Serbia

What is CDN?

CDN is a network of Green youth organisations from Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe and the South Caucasus. Currently CDN has 15 Member Organizations and 6 Partner Organisations as well as 5 working groups. The Network supports the development, cooperation and exchange of knowledge and skills between young people and their organisations and aims at enlarging the field of political work for Greens in Europe. CDN organises educational and capacity-building activities such as seminars, conferences and regional meetings and uses non-formal education to advance youth participation.

CDN stands for gender equality, equal participation, diversity, inclusion, respect for minorities, environmental and climate justice, direct democracy and non-violence. Our Political Platform lays out the values which the Network bases its actions on.

Role of the Office Coordinator:

The Office Coordinator, together with the Network Coordinator, is the legal representative of CDN. Office Coordinator is mainly responsible for overseeing CDN’s finances and administration and the office work allocation.

We are looking for someone with the following profile:

  • Minimum one year experience in similar position with financial responsibilities,
  • Excellent ability to work independently, take initiative, good organization of one’s work, good planning skills and attention to detail,
  • Fluency in written and spoken English. Knowledge of Serbo-Croatian or Russian would be a strong asset.
  • Substantial experience in a young Green organization and/or good knowledge of CDN, Green politics and civil society in Eastern Europe. Additional experience in youth and voluntary organisations or an NGOs is an asset, especially on international level;
  • Excellent computer skills including the use of free and open source software (Linux, WordPress, Libreoffice, etc.);
  • Younger than 30 years old.

The Office Coordinator tasks include:

  • Financial Management: Together with the Treasurer making the financial plans, managing the finances, executing the plan and reporting it to the funders and the General Assembly;
  • Project Management: Writing project applications, fund raising, facilitating and coordinating the preparatory teams, implementing activities, narrative and financial reporting and evaluation;
  • Event Management: Arranging the logistics of the international/regional activities with the help of local teams, assisting participants in arranging their travel, reimbursement of participants, payments of the venue and lodging etc.
  • Communication: Updating CDN website & social media
  • Network: Maintaining close contact with Member and Partner Organizations and Working Groups and keeping an overview of their needs
  • Representation: Legal representation of CDN

This position requires frequent travels and long working days/work during the weekends, which can be compensated with work days.

Not having a work-permit in Serbia should not stop you from applying to this position. CDN will support the new Office Coordinator with residence and work permit applications.

Recruitment Procedure: If you are interested please send your CV, Motivation letter and contact details of two references (preferably former employers, supervisors or tutors) to CDN Office (office@cdnee.org) with a subject line REF: Office Coordinator Application – Name&Surname before 23 June 2019, Sunday midnight CET. The applications that don’t have a CV, motivation letter, references and without a clear subject line will not be considered.

Next Steps: We will contact the shortlisted candidates latest till mid-July and invite them for an interview. The final selection will be done not later than end of July.