About @MediaBarCamp

Who can apply?

INSPIRED BY @MediaBarCamp is an annual event for activists from BELARUS. We welcome activist from Russia and other Eastern Partnership Countries – Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, the Republic of Moldova – to join INSPIRED BY @MediaBarCamp community, but please note that the priority is given to activists from BELARUS.

Who is an activist?

An activist is a member of an NGO, civil society organization, political movement/party who is driven by democratic values and a will to change their community for the better. We invite activists from different spheres – politics and citizenship, gender and human rights, media and communication, environmental and urbanism or other active citizens to apply for INSPIRED BY @MediaBarCamp in Lithuania.

I don’t have any experience with democratic projects – can I apply for INSPIRED BY @MediaBarCamp anyway?

If you have the ambition but are lacking the tools you need to get started – don’t worry. Every activist has felt the same way at some point, and what’s important is that you have the drive and will to change your community. Just fill in the application and tell us what you want to do, what issues YOUR activism would tackle and how YOU contribute.

What is INSPIRED BY @MediaBarCamp?

Activists have gathered at MediaBarCamp since 2008. MediaBarCamp is a place where activists from all walks of life meet to build networks, inspire each other, and share their experiences of working with empowering civil society projects. During the four-day event, discussions, workshops, presentations and much more are held at different venues. At MediaBarCamp, what is essential is learning from each other regardless of nationality, language or organization membership.
In 2017 MediaBarCamp community celebrated the 10th anniversary of annual activist event which main idea was to inquire the sources of inspiration and discuss on INSPIRED BY (Belarus) considering the retrospective of the event itself and its focuses’ evolution. From a strong focus towards media the event has shifted towards multisector cooperation and collaborative dialogue among different sectors’ activist.

Yet another decade of event is ahead with new goals and focuses. This year the annual activist’s meeting is INSPIRED BY @MediaBarCamp where participants would have a chance to share their experience discussing on ideas, bigger picture of implemented projects and activities. The yearly activity cycle of the project is panned to be implemented in two segments: INSPIRED BY MBC international un-conference and post-MBC “INSPIRED BY MBC Goes Regional” where some of the participants will be invited to join to contribute and realize activities in their regions having focus to the fields of human rights, gender equality, environment, culture, media and politics.

What does INSPIRED BY @MediaBarCamp mean? Inspired Belarus/Inspired BY you. Every activist is inspiring in some way, and we all inspire each other. We want to know where you, as an activist, look for inspiration for your activism – it could be a cause, a book, music or anything that motivates you. When taking action locally, activists create a ripple effect that could impact not just the community but the region, the country and maybe the whole world.

What is the format of the event?

INSPIRED BY @MediaBarCamp is partly unconference, which means that part of the agenda is created by the activists as they arrive. In this format, INSPIRED BY @MediaBarCamp can remain open to anyone, with experienced and novice activists being given the same possibilities to organize and interact.

After selection process you will receive an invitation to join a group of other activists for an event activity you will be teamed with other participants who are active in the same areas as you are.

How should I share my activism experience at INSPIRED BY @MediaBarCamp?

When presenting your project at INSPIRED BY @MediaBarCamp, try to get to the core of your project and engage the audience. Don’t get hung up on presenting statistics and numbers, and try to focus on what your goals are, what challenges you’ve faced, and what strategies you’ve used to overcome them. Imagine that you were your own audience – would you be inspired by your own presentation? Where did you get the courage to act on your vision?

Ideas sharing aspect should be reflected here depending on the selected medium (discussion, workshop, presentation or screening), should be done in the team with other participants who are active in the same areas as you are.

Cooperation before, during and after the event

One of the aims of INSPIRED BY @MediaBarCamp is to promote synergies and knowledge sharing, mutual discussion and listening to each other by relating similar activities implemented in activists’ local towns and/or regions of Belarus. We help you do this by teaming you up with participants who are active in the same areas as you are, to reach better results and to gain more supporters.

After your application has been accepted, you will get an invitation to join a group of other activists for an event activity at INSPIRED BY @MediaBarCamp.

Examples of formats

Discussion – The discussion format doesn’t provide participants with clear answers to a question, but it raises awareness on a topic and strengthens our ability to work on new and complex issues that not everyone agrees one. This also reflects one of the core values of INSPIRED BY @MediaBarCamp – tolerance and respect towards those with differing opinions.

Workshop – In these seminars, the theoretical is mixed with practical elements to help with understanding different perspectives in an engaging way. This could mean crafting something with your hands, moving your body, speaking activities or thinking exercises.

Presentation – Activists present a topic in a concise 5-minute speech.

Screening – Is showing a movie with a following discussion for reflections and debate.

What if there are two of us representing the same project/initiative?

Sending two participants engaged in the same cause is allowed, but it is important that you present the project in different ways or formats. At INSPIRED BY @MediaBarCamp, we value personal insights, and those can differ even though the project is the same. Each application is processed individually.

Location and date

The event is four days long (17 – 20 May), with 2 full days of activities and 2 days with half days activities, having additional organized scheduled arrival and departure list. INSPIRED BY @MediaBarCamp has a dynamic location and is revealed only on the 1st day of the event. Previously the event has been taking place in Nida, Dubingiai, Šventoji, Giruliai, Trakai and Druskininkai.

Expenses and logistics

Travel (visa expenses and environmentally friendly transportation), accommodation and meals during the event are covered by the organizers.

Visa: Please state in the application form if you will need a visa for attending the event. Keep in mind that visa free entrance from Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova are only for the holders of biometric passports. Visa costs are covered only if you present original receipts from embassy or visa center.

Insurance: Insurance will be reimbursed only for the travel and event period. Please make sure you buy your insurance for 6 days maximum. Otherwise, the amount for reimbursement will be reduced accordingly.

Travel: All participants buy travel tickets themselves and are asked to present original (printed if electronic) tickets (return tickets also) during the event for reimbursement.

Participants from Belarus will be reimbursed only if they travel from Belarus to Lithuania directly. Travels by car won’t be reimbursed.

Participants arriving from other countries than Belarus have to agree with the organizer regarding the cost of the ticket before any purchases are made.

Accommodation and meals are covered only for the period of the event. If you arrive earlier or leave later, please make sure to arrange this on your own.

Transfer from/to airport: Participants flying by plane (other than Belarussians) will be asked to use public transport to arrive to the meeting point in Vilnius (public bus No.2; airport-express to Vilnius bus station; train to Vilnius train station (that is near to Vilnius bus station) – http://vno.lt/en/planning-a-trip/how-to-reach/train-bus/)

Meeting point in Vilnius Bus station. Transfer from/to meeting point in Vilnius Bus station to/from the event venue is arranged by organizers for all participants who go/come back together at the same time. The organizer will not arrange separate/individual transfers, unless this has been agreed in advance.

NOTE: Selected participants will agree to commit to the programme, in terms of attendance of all sessions. Only those participants who attended all sessions of the programme will be reimbursed.

We encourage applications from activists from the following areas:

  • Political activists working with democratic values working to change the political agenda in their home country, both on a local and national level.
  • Organizations working with disadvantaged groups and for causes such as gender equality.
  • Activists working with initiatives of a local/regional character with the focus to environmental and urban area.
  • Media and internet communication technology (ICT) area

When will I know if my application has been accepted?

Each year, the amount of received applications is bigger than there are places, which means that we unfortunately cannot accept everyone. When the selection procedure is finished, all applicants receive an answer. If you are placed on the waiting list, we will get in touch with you if a spot becomes available.

What is INSPIRED BY @MediaBarCamp Alumni?

Together, the participants from annual event since 2008 has formed a network that activists can use to seek help, advice, inspiration and contacts in their projects.

The language at INSPIRED BY@MediaBarCamp

INSPIRED BY @MediaBarCamp is an international event, and we want all our participants to feel welcome. English and Russian are the official languages of INSPIRED BY @MediaBarCamp, since they are most widely understood by all participants. Belarusian is one of the more common languages in informal talks and discussions. During seminars and workshops, we support the use of any language all participants can agree on. Multilingual participants are encouraged to volunteer as translators to overcome language barriers between activists.

NOTE: INSPIRED BY @MediaBarCamp regards language as a tool for communication and wishes to avoid discussions of language in political contexts.

Values at INSPIRED BY @MediaBarCamp

  • Active participation and attendance.
  • Respectful listening and expression of one’s own ideas.
  • We strive for an open and tolerant community and helping each other to create a safe, creative and inspiring working space.
  • The use of alcohol and drugs is incompatible with INSPIRED BY @MediaBarCamp.
  • The organizers have the right to dismiss participants from the event due to improper behavior.

Time line

Call for application is released at the beginning of March and everyone is invited to contribute with their proposals till 25th of March, 2018 when the application period will finish.

Selection process will happen from 26th of March till middle of April.

All the candidates will be informed about the selection results in middle of April, 2018.

Attendence of the event

Selected participants will agree to commit to the programme of the INSPIRED BY @MediaBarCamp in terms of attendance of all sessions, as well as to contribute with material that will be printed and/or published digitally and are all meaningful to your participation in the programme.

What are the selection criteria?

The following selection criteria are to be used in the process of selection of prospective participants for INSPIRED BY @MediaBarCamp 2018:

Formal criteria:

  • All fields of application are filed;
  • Links to required material are provided and accessible;
  • Youth under 35.

Qualitative criteria:

  • Readiness to share experience and cooperation;
  • Motivation;
  • Activism field description;
  • Prepared material to share your experience is presented in a clear, detail way;
  • Chosen format to share is engaging, practical and inspiring.

ONLY for MBC Alumni:

  • Activities implemented together with MBC Alumni or other activists / organizations;
  • Impact of MBC event(s) to your activism.

Priorities:

  • Activists from Belarus;
  • Activists based and working in regions of the country;
  • Field of activism:
    • political and active citizenship;
    • gender and human rights;
    • environmental and urban.

Who are the organizers of INSPIRED BY@MediaBarCamp?

MediaBarCamp Alumni, Civil Forum, Swedish International Liberal Centre.

Project partner: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania.