Stranger Festival

Become Part of an Extraordinary Story’

From 3-5 July 2008, Amsterdam will be alive with the sights and sounds of the Stranger Festival ñ a flagship project for the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue 2008′. Dedicated to the self-empowerment of young people in today’s Europe, the event will express who they are, where they are and where they want to be’ through public screenings of their very own video art.

Coined as being international, intergenerational as well as intercultural, this three-day visual extravaganza will give over a million young people their say. It will do this through 23 video workshops in nine countries, an interactive website with 500,000 visitors, 60 youth debates, an international festival with 3,000 participants, 20,000 copies of a collective DVD, exhibitions in 30 cities and a competition where the winners will see their films broadcast on television channels across Europe.

The project will go to prove that young people care about their society and want to play a role in shaping its future. It will also act as a catalyst for new cross-border partnerships, both in terms of geography as well as discipline. Young people can learn how to articulate their wishes, break linguistic barriers, make inter-country friendships and develop new skills for understanding imagery.

‘In the public debate young people are often talked about but not talked with,’ comments Tommi Laitio, Project Leader. ‘Stranger Festival is all about turning expertise on its head and recognising young people as experts of their own lives. We expect it to be challenging for many to listen and learn.’

The result of the project will be a huge collection of visual, self-expressive and personal testimonies by thousands of young people on diverse issues: an on-line, free archive of powerful films made by young Europeans and accessible to anyone. ‘Stranger Festival starts from the personal and local and then brings it all together in Amsterdam, where the focus is on listening and learning. It will prove that taking young people seriously can be a lot of fun,’ says Tommi.

‘Young people have an unbelievable amount of potential for positive social change ñ their fresh and honest take on things could help us all in learning to live with diversity,’ says the European Cultural Foundation.

Do you live in Europe? Are you between 15 and 25?
Make a video of who you are, where you are and what
you are into. Tell your side of the story. What counts
is that it is your voice ñ your unique perspective on
things. Two categories: videos of 60 seconds and
videos of 61-300 seconds. Entires close 1st May 2008.

Contact: European Cultural Foundation,
Jan van Goyenkade 5, 1075 HN Amsterdam.
Tel: +31 (0)20 573 3868

Photo: © The European Cultural Foundation, Amsterdam

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