Youth Exchange “Representation matters”: The Representation of Minorities in Media

The project #Representation Matters aimed to guide young people to reflect and discuss the use of stereotypes, prejudices, and discrimination in national and European media.

Youth Exchange “Representation matters”

For 10 days, 45 participants from 18 to 30 years old from Bulgaria, Finland, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Romania worked together on the topic of minorities and marginalized groups’ representation in media and how to respond to this issue in a European context.

Through non-formal education activities, they critically analyzed the issue, debated consequences and solutions and experienced creative approaches to face the problem. 

The Youth exchange was organized in 3 connected parts: 

  • The team-building process: During the first days, in order to create a safe space where everybody could feel free to share and express himself/herself, we mainly focused on team building and intercultural learning activities. We made our differences a strength and built strong bonds among us to start the other part of the project on a solid pillar based on respect and solidarity.
  • Definition of misrepresentation and discrimination: During this phase, we started working on the topic of the project. We discussed the danger of stereotypes and analysed the views of minorities in each country as well as the concept of “polarization” and hate speech. Through diverse activities, we developed our critical thinking and went deeper on the topic of discrimination.A workshop on polarization allowed the participants to put themselves in their “enemies” shoes to analyze some polarised and controversial tweets and try to understand the point of view of their authors. This was the starting point to initiate a collective work on empathy. Together we learned to listen and understand each other, to question ourselves and the other to better understand and deal with our emotions and feelings.
  • Creation of videos: The first two parts led us to the third and last part. During the last days of the youth exchange, the participants worked on the creation of videos about examples of misrepresentations or discriminations they wanted to talk about and stand against. Together they designed their project, created a scenario, shoot their video and edited it.

youth exchange representation matters

The topics of the videos were 5:

–          Same-sex marriage matters: aimed at showing the lack of law in favor of homosexual marriage in different European countries

–          Metamorphosis: was a sensibilization about domestic violence 

–          Stop bullying was a short representation of the different kinds of bullying and their effects on people

–          Actions matter: represented the dramatic consequences all kinds of discrimination can generate

–          Masked society: addressed the non-vaccination polarized topic

To increase the power of these videos, the participants had the opportunity to project and present them in a youth center in Milano. The dissemination of the videos not only aimed at raising awareness about these topics but also increasing solidarity and respect among us despite our differences.

To watch the videos, click HERE.

Results of the project 

The project itself allowed the participants to develop a broader understanding of what representation means and what intercultural dialogue consists of, especially in a multicultural society.

In a nutshell, It allowed 45 European young people to learn about new realities, new lifestyles, through the comparison with different cultures and gave them the keys to better understand the society they live in and go beyond their prejudices.

In other words, it gave them the possibility to stand for their own rights and help those in need to fight for theirs too. Because in the end, only OUR actions matter.


Willing to take part in a Youth Exchange yourself? Let’s find out first what a Youth Exchange actually is.

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