The perception of minorities is controlled by the media and by public discourse. When those minorities are not included in media and public discourse, it is detrimental to the public perception and the wellbeing of those minorities. Specifically, Roma are often excluded from these spaces. In a mass media world that is often controlled by white and wealthy folks, stories and narratives about Roma can be corrupted by those who do not understand it. There is a need for young Roma to be included in the media, to create spaces for Roma voices that would otherwise be barred by social barriers, and to train Roma using professional media equipment. There is a need to empower young Romani women, empower Romani NGO’s, and to include Romani voices in public discourse. This is the mission of BUVERO, a two-week residential summer camp that is going into it’s 6th consecutive year. It is a program that runs across borders, having been implemented in Hungary, Macedonia, Germany, and Serbia. The camp is for young Romani women and is directed by Katalin Barsony under the Romedia Foundation.
BUVERO is an innovative, grassroots, cross-border project that enables young Romani women in several communities to start a process of change in their lives and their communities. Romedia Foundations BUVERO is aimed at young Romani women in hopes that the new generation of Roma women will be able to be involved in public discourse, film, and media. Not many are currently involved because of deep-rooted prejudice, ignorance, intolerance, as well as a lack of formal training. BUVERO was created with this in mind, setting up the tools and skills for young women to become professionals in the media and cultivate their own true narrative.
This year, Romedia Foundation is excited to continue its tradition of implementing BUVERO training! This year does come with an extra set of challenges because of COVID-19, travel restrictions, and safety precautions. But nevertheless, BUVERO will continue on. This will be done through the use of video chats like Zoom, and a carefully planned schedule. The mission of BUVERO- “to create Roma a space for Roma voices to be heard in areas where otherwise, social barriers do not allow Roma to be heard in public debate” has stayed the same, and we are very excited to get this year’s 2020 training off the ground!
In 2013, the first BUVERO project was launched and very successfully carried out. This training took place over the span of 15 days in Hungary and Serbia. In addition to this, training created by Romedia Foundation and carried out through a partner organization took place in Germany. In Hungary and Serbia, there were 24 Romani women who attended the residential camp. Among these young women was a group of staff consisting of an expert committee, eleven trainers and mentors for the camp, seven guest lecturers, a physiotherapist, physical education teacher, and an insurance expert.
The camp consisted of 5 days of theory and 10 days of practice and hands-on training. Through this training, participants learned how to identify and tell a story, how to use a camera, how to use sound and other technical equipment, how to use digital/mobile tools to tell a story, how to use social media as a development tool, and learned about journalistic ethics. While this was occurring, a stream of multimedia was produced and posted online. This media included images, interviews, videos, and blog postings about BUVERO. Once participants were adequately trained, they took over the responsibility of posting these things to online surfaces- mainly on Facebook.
After the close of BUVERO training each year, Romedia Foundation organises a large networking event. The purpose of these events are to create a “platform for the participants, instructors and mentors of the camps of different locations to meet personally and to get to know each other’s work.” During the event, there are also screening of the short films created and round-table discussions. It is important to foster a community where Roma participants can form connections.
The following year, BUVERO received increased press coverage and new creative opportunities! According to evaluations filled out by participants:
“The majority of the participants considered the leaders and the organizers of the training very professional. They agreed that the trainers made them involved, and communicated clearly. All the participants thought that the training was valuable, inspirational, and motivational regarding their future. They believe, without exception, that they would recommend others to participate.”
The emotional impact was strong on the participants, in addition to gaining professional skills. In their evaluation, most of them emphasized the unique, life-changing experience, the regaining of confidence, the acquisition of new friendships, getting to know the importance of learning, and the motivation to change their situation at home.”
Along with the camp in 2014, a contemporary Romani video, art, and media installation called BuveroEXPO took place in Berlin. The best short films were screened here, as well as four art installations about Romani. Four out of the 24 BUVERO participants from 2014 and two of the 12 participants of 2013 were chosen to participate in the BuveroEXPO.
The next year, in 2015, BUVERO was successfully run again, this time with a greater publicity campaign through platforms such as Duna TV and Index.hu, new partnerships, a new fundraising plan, testimonies, and a diversification of financial resources to include the support of private donors. Romedia Foundation reached out to 161 companies for funding and submitted 25 applications to various donors. We received financial support from four funding agencies and in-kind donations from more than 10 actors in the private sector, including Coca-Cola Hungary, and others.
BUVERO 2015 training took place in Hungary and in Macedonia. The Macedonia camp received wide media coverage from local and national media, including Reporter, Kumanovo News, TV Plus and K3 TV. In Hungary, mainly local papers visited the camp and the final event, including Délmagyar and Szabad Föld.
The outcome of these camps is seen on social media and in the world of film. After the participants go through BUVERO training, they are added to a Facebook group that fosters a positive Roma network of activists. Here, information is spread about cultural programs, professional programs, calls for applications by third parties that are relevant to the camp, news of the professional achievements of BUVERO alumni and mentors, scholarship and internship calls, job opportunities, contests of photo art and film criticism, new documentary releases and suggested readings. Also, with 7,834 followers, the BUVERO- I’m a Roma Woman Facebook page plays an important role by educating the general public about the camps.
The participants have achieved many great things, including internships and Kreatív online subscriptions, involvement in the Budapest TEDxYouth conference, and have received tablets which are suitable for high quality photographs, filming, and editing. In addition to this, at the end of each BUVERO training, participants are split into small groups and are able to create a short film. Many of these are films about Roma history, and family, culture. A particularly popular video, shown below, is one that has won best film of BUVERO 2014.
CALL FOR PARTICIPANTS 2020:
What is BUVERO?
The word BUVERO means shell in Romani and symbolizes the power of good communication, positive relationships, and femininity. The Romedia Foundation and its partners are using new digital technologies, this year in an unusual way in an online form, to do media training for Roma girls aged 16-24. In this course, you will learn how to process today’s social issues in a video report. You will also have the opportunity to make an individual short film about issues related to other cultural communities and individuals. You can be part of an online community built by young Roma women and be able to influence and shape conversational topics about important issues affecting your local and Roma community.
WHEN IT WILL BE?
The 5-day training will run from August 12-16, 2020. In these 5 days, our professionals will introduce you to the following topics: storytelling, media ethics, identity, basics of journalism, basics of photography, video production, and television editing.
The two-day online preparation is followed by one-day practice day, followed again by a two-day online follow-up with the films made on the practice day. During the exercise, participants prepare, shoot and cut their own video report on a socially relevant in groups of 3.
WHERE WILL BE?
The training will take place online over 4 days, and on August 12 we will hold a practice day with the involvement of partner NGOs.
WHAT WE EXPECT FROM YOU
If we select you as one of the participants of BUVERO, we ask you to participate in all 5 days of the training. We will provide support, guidance and an interface for your stories. Learn everything you can do to help improve the perception of your community to open up the world! Commit to using what you have learned in your community and reporting on it!
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO DO?
If you want to participate in the BUVERO training:
Fill in your personal information (below).
Write a cover letter about why you would like to participate in media training. How would you change public opinion about the Roma?
E-mail these materials by August 5 to the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Enter the following information in the email:
Your school name / city:
Which organization recommended this call to you:
Your e-mail address:
Your phone number:
Your Facebook profile:
I am Roma: yes / no
I need internet and computer access to join to the online training: yes / no
I have a passport or ID card with an address card: yes / no
FINAL NARRATIVE REPORT BUVERO: 2013 – 2015