Since June 2022, Satibara has been the project lead for E-Mindful in Serbia, supported by the OSCE and ILO with funding from the European Union. We embarked on this unique and exciting adventure with a team of experts in sociology, psychology, philosophy, marketing, dramaturgy, and street art, with the goal of creating a prototype campaign. The idea behind the campaign was to raise awareness among citizens about the importance of migration. Colleagues from Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Italy, Germany, and North Macedonia had the same task, but each approached it in their way. Throughout this process, we relied on an analysis of the current state in Serbia regarding the prevailing narratives about migrants, which revealed a strong polarization in public opinion.
On one hand, the analysis of media content from 2015 to 2022, as well as public opinion research, showed an increasingly prevalent depiction of migrants as "predators," portraying them as potential demographic, security, and economic threats. On the other hand, there were strong tendencies in the public and in cultural content to view migrants as "victims." In Serbia, the humanitarian narrative is quite prevalent, which entails perceiving migrants from a perspective that aims to provide assistance, asylum, integration, and the like.
Based on these foundations, the campaign prototype was carefully constructed during the autumn and winter of 2022 with the aim of circumventing the polarization present in public opinion. Several cycles of idea exchanges were organized, both within the national team and with colleagues from abroad. The first meeting of all participants in the E-Mindful project was held in Belgrade in October 2022, and then we gathered again in Turin in December 2022. After developing a few concepts, we came up with the idea for the campaign prototype, which is based on a video spot that draws on "the music of our youth" (we picked one song each for rock, pop, and folk music enthusiasts). Specifically, communal singing takes center stage - like in some group karaoke sessions - but with the attention drawn to the fact that we don't all have equal rights to a "voice." We tested this idea through a focus group with young students, and after refining the concept based on their feedback, we proceeded to production!
The production involved extensive preparations, intensive work with 10 actors, including migrants, filming at six locations, a carefully selected film crew, and even a singing instructor. The participatory nature of the video emerged as the only meaningful yet challenging endeavor, which we managed to overcome. It was a challenge to overcome linguistic, generational, bureaucratic, and other barriers. Migrants, young, middle-aged, and elderly citizens, at different locations - from an apartment in Dorćol to a bike service and the market - sang transgenerational hits. Passersby would often sing along or happily comment on the shooting, and some even tried to buy goods at our staged market stand, thinking that the seller just liked to sing. For now, these videos are intended for research that will be conducted by the European University Institute (EUI), but with the aim of eventually developing an interactive karaoke platform, which would be publicly available. It certainly made us fulfilled that these videos brought us together, just as we want to say with the slogan at the end: "We sound better together!"
Project ID Card for E-Mindful:
· Donors: OSCE, ILO
· Implementation Period: June 2022 - June 2023
· Project Lead: Satibara: Marija Rodić and Antun Gverović
· Expert Team: Vlatko llić, Stefan Janković, Andrej Josifovski, Miljana Milojević, Branka Novčić Korać, Nataša Simić, Milena Toković
· Project Management: Aleksandra Marković and Ivana Ćurgus
· Website: www.e-mindful.eu
Film Crew: Marija Rodić, Milena Tomić, Aleksa Borković, Antun Gverović, Dunja Maksimović, Tamara Broćić, Maja Ćurčić