Empowering refugee women to tell their stories, Letters to Europe – Female Refugees Telling Their Stories touches upon the topics of equal opportunitiesEuropean identity, and combatting stereotypes. The tri-national team will reach out to female refugees in Spain, Germany and the Netherlands to share their stories in a book with texts in the original language and an English translation. Book presentations will be held in Berlin and Brussels and will feature a short theatre piece inspired by the book.


Participants

How to get in touch? letters2europe@gmail.com

group 4_2
From left to right: Konstantin, Yolanda, Lea, Albert, Tom

Project description

The refugee crisis in Europe has raised tempers and become a subject of debate in almost every country. Over the course of the process, a stereotype has evolved, painting the ‘young, male Syrian refugee’ as the typical asylum seeker. This narrative leaves little space to talk about the often widely divergent backgrounds and identities of refugees and makes it easier to ignore refugee women, children, the elderly and their needs and role in the future of Europe.

Against this background, the Letters to Europe – Female Refugees Telling Their Stories project will draw refugee women into the public debate, making them the subjects and authors of their own stories, and not the object of somebody else’s narrative.

Through a mixed toolbox, composed of the collection of stories, a writing workshop, a book collection and a play, the project will offer a nuanced and diverse picture of the lives of refugee women in Europe. Stories will be collected in three countries: Spain, the Netherlands and Germany and will be featured in a book which will communicate refugee women’s needs, hopes, and fears without a filter. In their role as Europe’s newcomers, refugee women will have the chance to express why they came to Europe and what they feel about their new homeland, thereby informing the debate on European identity. The book will also aim to empower women’s voices, as its distribution both in refugee centres and in nearby neighbourhoods will make their stories accessible to a broader audience. Some of them will be translated into an audio-visual performance in the form of a play, which will be performed at the book launch. The book will be available in digital form on the FutureLab Europe website, where it can be accessed by policymakers, NGOs, and interested European citizens.


Concrete activities


Calendar of activities

  • Call for Stories – 24 April 2017 to 5 June 2017
  • Editing stories and book printing – June-August 2017
  • Developing theatre play – July-August 2017
  • Book launch/ Theatre performance Berlin – 16 September 2017
  • Book launch/ Theatre performance Brussels – FutureLab Autumn Conference, EPC, 21 September, 2017