For the Intercultural Dialogue between the two shores of the Mediterranean
Clichés, prejudices, the rise of Islamic radicalism, repeated terrorist attacks and the threat of armed conflict…All these issues seem to cast doubt on the very idea of proximity between the different peoples of the Mediterranean region. If dialogue remains difficult, this is because the mutual representations, the collective imaginaries seem fixed, because there is a lack of openness and space in which to foster mutual discovery and exchange.
Euromedcafe, a portal created at the initiative of the Fondazione Mediterraneo, aims to be a "meeting place" within the Euro-Mediterranean region as its creators are convinced that intercultural dialogue is not only necessary to safeguard peace, but is also an essential resource for collective enrichment.
It is only through dialogue, the coming together of different peoples, encounters and mutual understanding that it is possible to combat prejudice and a lack of openness to diversity. And it is only by breaking down the barriers of ignorance that it is possible to open one’s mind and take an interest in others, recognise the need for knowledge and mutual enrichment nourished by exchanges.
The site aims to be a “continuous space” where dialogue is not an end in itself, but rather a means or better still a method, an approach that young artists in particular, from both sides of the Mediterranean, are encouraged to explore. Above all, Euromedcafe is a forum of images and sounds. Every year, the site launches two contests on the theme of intercultural dialogue ("Another Look" and "Other Songs") giving young artists the opportunity to have their say. These artists are thus able to share their lives and express their points of view in an immediate and authentic way with music and images via a "cinema of proximity", as films on the Web are often intimate and truthfully represent the reality and difficulties of our different societies. The works selected and broadcast on the site become a way of increasing the visibility of these artists who usually lack visibility. They thus lay the foundations for real change and represent a step towards understanding and mutual respect.
The dialogue through art and on art is also a discussion about the different traditions that have made the Mediterranean a crossroads of civilisations. To accompany the contests, the site provides a forum, a meeting place for exchanging opinions, a sort of Euro-Mediterranean public space where visitors to the site, associations and civil society can voice their opinions and express their views about the films and articles.
Euromedcafe aims to renew and stimulate dialogue between European and Mediterranean peoples, by involving civil society and giving people the opportunity to express themselves directly and in a fair way. Thanks to the financial support of the Anna Lindh Euro-Mediterranean Foundation for Dialogue between Cultures, in 2007 and 2008 professional women, working in the new media, will be in charge of the news section of the site, i.e. the articles and interviews that explore in depth the different cultures of the Mediterranean and increase mutual awareness. In 2007, the site will continue to promote interaction with "Another Look" (4th edition) and "Other Songs" (3rd edition) and it will also launch the training course "Writing for the Web" intended for women journalists from Southern Mediterranean countries in order to strengthen the role of women as supporters and promoters of intercultural dialogue. This training course will give participants the chance to contribute, with the help of professional journalists, to the news section of the site.
Map of the site
Forum: This gives visitors to the site a chance to have their say and express their opinions on the articles and comment on the short films, etc.
News: Our editorial team provides the material for this section of the site, by researching the different points of views of authors, directors and scriptwriters who express their thoughts on the notion of intercultural dialogue. There is a selection of news from the film world on the theme of intercultural dialogue. We wish to present different points of view in order to stimulate discussion, but also to draw attention to mutual representations and certain clichés that fuel prejudice and incomprehension. In 2007 and 2008, this section will be entrusted to women journalists from Southern Mediterranean countries thanks to the financial support of the Anna Lindh Foundation.
Interviews: Meetings with high-profile figures.
Contests: Visitors to the site can download the application forms and competition rules for "Another Look" and "Other Songs", and find out about the training course "Writing for the Web".
The "Another Look" contest is divided into two sections:
a) Short films: Selection of short films on the theme of intercultural dialogue.
b) Inspiration: Selection of synopses for short films; the winner must use the prize money to fund production of the project.
Euro-Mediterranean Partnership: All you need to know about the Euro-Mediterranean partnership. This section presents a list of the most important documents and collaboration agreements between the European Union and Southern Mediterranean countries (Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Syria, Tunisia and Turkey).
Organisers and sponsors: Introduces the partner institutions.
Contact: Contact our editors.
Links: Useful links on the theme of intercultural dialogue, articles, reference websites and links to online short films.