The EPIC local alternative narrative campaign in Alcorcon

Apr 6, 2023

The #SameDream campaign launched by the EPIC Spanish partner Solidaridad Sin Fronteras (SSF) has the important mission of deconstructing harmful narratives against unaccompanied foreign minors in Spain, a group that has suffered from racist attacks from different media and political parties in recent years, further polarising the migration debate in the country.

SSF was clear and determined when they decided to design their local campaign: we need to do our part in deconstructing harmful narratives against unaccompanied foreign minors (MENA in Spanish – migrant boys, girls, and teenagers under the age of 18 who are separated from their parents and who are not under the care of any adult).

Much of the narrative against children and adolescents is based on misrepresentation of reality. Some media, political parties, and civil associations have tried to alarm society about the “high” number of minors arriving in Spain, accusing them of generating insecurity in the neighbourhoods where the centres for unaccompanied minors are located and claiming that they are perpetrators of various crimes. However, many have been denied as false news and, in other cases, national statistics are used that do not differentiate between unaccompanied foreign minors and the rest of foreign minors in Spain. 

At the beginning of December 2022, SSF was invited to participate in the Regional children and youth leisure Fair (Juvenalia) which brings together social organisations, educational centres and young people. SSF was asked to carry out an activity to address discriminatory attitudes and behaviour among young people so it was the opportunity to present the campaign #MismoSueño, to reflect on the reality of MENAs with youngsters and some professionals and test the activity of creating a poster with counter narratives of hatred towards MENAs.

But the full campaign was officially launched on 16 December 2022 in a face-to-face event, on the occasion of the commemoration of International Migrants Day. SSF, in collaboration with the Intercultural Mediation of the City Council of Alcorcón and together with other CSO, organised an event in Alcorcón to present the #MismoSueño campaign and other initiatives to raise awareness on the origin-based discrimination toward migrant population in the Municipality of Alcorcón. The campaign kicked-off with the presentation of a video and the development of a participatory activity with all participants in the event. SSF carried out an activity where residents of Alcorcón were proposed to fill in the blank for the following slogan with their inputs: “_______ is dangerous, an unaccompanied foreign minor is not”.

Launch event of the campaign in Alcorcon, Spain

Participants had to fill in a sentence stating that unaccompanied foreign minors are not dangerous, but that the danger comes from other parts of society. Terms such as racism, discrimination, loneliness, prejudice, dehumanisation, fake news, lack of empathy, etc. came up. This material was used to create a video campaign. Following the activity, SSF organised a round table with representatives of migrant organisations with the intervention of migrant beneficiaries as well to reflect and discuss the reality of migrant people in the municipality, their needs, obstacles and challenges. 

Example of a poster disseminated by the campaign

During the month of February 2023, different posters to counter-narratives of hatred towards MENAs, extracted from the participation of citizens in Alcorcón during the activity developed in the launching event, were weekly published on social media.  

The last phase of the campaign was the creation of a final video with the materials from the participatory activity carried out during the launch event of the campaign and its dissemination through different channels. 

The City Council of Alcorcón has collected the feedback received from the campaign activities to
improve their own services and propose new initiatives in the Municipality to address origin-based discrimination.

For the purpose of the campaign, SSF created and disseminated a website where the campaign was initially presented https://nodiscrimina.wixsite.com/concurso/campa%C3%B1a  

The website shows the development of the MismoSueño campaign, and all materials produced. 

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