The ‘Artivism’ Olympics Came to Albania! Artivist Stafete passing the art and activism flame from Tirana to the next city!

Written by Ragda ElHalawany

It is incredible to witness what the young Albanians can do in three months of activities from storytelling, filmmaking, street, and podcast across the city led by the partnership of three leading CSOs in Albania!  Social Contract Institute (SCI) together with People in Focus (PIF) and DoArt managed to set Tirana on fire (the good one) in three months.
These activities come as part Artists Stafetë, the new addition to the MasterPeace portfolio of projects unleashing the talents of youngsters flipping the narrative from ‘negativity’ to ‘creativity’
Artists Stafetë project is a project funded under the grant for Support to Active Citizenship by the European Commission and is funded by the European Union awarded to MasterPeace and Stichting art.1, along with their Albanian partners Open Mind Spectrum Albania (OMSA) and ACT for SOCIETY Center (partners of MasrerPeace on ACT! project) to support CSOs in Albania.
This week, we conclude the activities of the first cycle of the Artivist Stafete project in Tirana with 3-days of closing hackathons that bring together all the activities in a marathon of 72 hours of events across different artistic and cultural venues. 
Every cycle needs to work on three divisions of activities:
1- The cycle will host a series of training on artivism methodologies (storytelling, Walls of Connection, podcast, and film-making) during the duration of the first part of the cycle with the concept of train the trainers 
2- Creating a safe open space as a temporary (one month) creative hub as a physical space for participants to create their artistic productions.
3- Creating different cultural presentations that showcase the artistic work of participants which includes (Film Festival, Femme Salons (TEDx-styled talks), studio-recording of podcast, Walls of Connection, and hackathons).
The project is a creative and innovative alliance that empowers Albanian civil society organizations and young people in their path to change and create social awareness on human rights, diversity and gender equality through the arts. Artivist Stafëte aims to make a significant contribution to the understanding of youth of human rights and democratic EU principles, within Albania’s EU membership accession.
The cycle in Tirana is part of a 9 consecutive cycles project, where the winning consortium works in empowering the civil society scene in the city and bringing creative new outlets to young groups especially of LGBTQIA+ and vulnerable women 
SCI, is Social Contract Institute (SCI) is a nonprofit organization registered in Albania, established in July 2015 by a group of experienced Albanian experts and the US-based East-West Management Institute (EWMI). SCI contributes to the strengthening of democratic practices and institutions through:1. civic engagement,2. participation in the development and implementation of policies at the central and local level,3. promotion of regional cooperation for sustainable development based on fairness and equal opportunities, together with People in Focus” is a non-governmental, non-political and independent organization that operates in Albania and was established in 2015 focused on skills of film-making and beyond, putting people in the centre of the narrative and DoART is an NGO, where all members are connected by the desire to improve themselves (where it all starts) and the community, through Art!
As the Artivist Stafetë – Tirana Cycle comes to an end, the participants and organizations present the activities for the closing hackathon, which includes artivism outputs from the podcast, film, and walls of Connection training. 

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