Roma Cultural Influencer Training Program for H2020 AMASS ProjectThe verbal, visual and digital communication skills development program for young Roma girls and women boasts positive results
The verbal, visual and digital communication skills development program for young Roma girls and women boasts positive results
The major objective of the Roma Cultural Influencer Training Program, realised in two iterations in the framework of the HORIZON2020 AMASS Project is to design and implement a verbal, visual and digital communication skills development program that is motivating and useful in many ways for young Roma girls and women, whether at school or already employed.
In a social media course with 18 participants representing the whole cultural spectrum of the young Roma community, the first part of which had been finished in January 2021 and reported here, we enhanced their communication skills in primarily visual media. While preparing them for individual creation of social media pieces, we also motivated them to explore and represent their cultural heritage integrating it with contemporary social issues concerning Hungarian Roma in a youthful, easily accessible environment. The training program was accompanied by a participatory observation and portfolio assessment study.
Intended results of the Roma Cultural Influencer Program were artistic and communicative representations of Roma cultural heritage: social media sites featuring art and media works on current issues of Roma life and values of their artistic heritage. Young women of the Roma community can establish themselves in social media through cultural messages, although to gain a popularity similar to female influencers who post on cosmetics or fashion will never be achieved. This is not their objective, either: we want to train the girls to have an appeal and impact among their own community – and potentially, also among Hungarian youth. We are following the media presence of the girls and will evaluate their impact after the end of the second part of the training program, planned for May-June 2021.
Our influencer trainees have already had an impact on the attitudes and publication practices of mass media covering Roma issues. More than twenty media pieces in media organs of national coverage were produced about our course and the intention of the Roma girls and young women to change the image of their community in the media. All reports were positive, emphasizing the need for the recognition of Roma culture and the potentials of meaningful social media presence in reaching the goal of mind change among youth.
This research was supported by the AMASS – Acting on the Margins: Arts as Social Sculpture project, 2020-2023 of the Socioeconomic and Cultural Transformations in the Context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution subprogram of the EU HORIZON 2020-SC6 Framework Program.