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Czech Republic: Romani journalist starts media "incubator"

12.7.2015 23:22
The "Media Voice" program in the Czech Republic is a space for young people to express themselves and realize their creativity. (2015)

"Young Roma have a lot to say about what is going on around them. However, they come up against the fact that they are unable to express their opinions in such a way as to be able to participate in a public debate, and frequently they never have the room to present their opinions about matters other than inter-ethnic coexistence," says Věra Lacková, the author of the "Media Voice" program in the Czech Republic.

"I have decided to change that," Lacková says in a press release issued 25 June. Her "Media Voice" project is an educational "incubator" focused on helping people between 15 and 25 from various cultural and social environments to acquire professional skills and develop their personalities.    

Over the next two years, young Czechs, immigrants and Roma will learn to work with editing equipment, photography, sound equipment and video cameras, as well as acquiring basic media and PR skills so they can present themselves or topics they are interested in. The program currently has 12 participants.

Romani teenagers and young immigrants, together with Czech students, learn how to make themselves heard through the day-long workshops. At the end of June they spent time at the television studio at Masaryk University in Brno learning how to work with sound equipment and video cameras, as well as how to work on themselves.

"After the two years, the incubator will be followed by working for a social enterprise focused on the production of audiovisual materials that will be the first job for some of them, a springboard for further work in this field," says Lacková. The 26-year-old Romani filmmaker and journalist completed her studies in journalism and media at the Faculty of Social Studies at Masaryk University.  

Lacková made the documentary film "Because There Is A Hope" (Protože je naděje), which was created as part of the "Europe:  Homeland for Roma" (Evropa:  Domov Romů) project. Currently she is producing films about the Jewish and Romani victims of the Holocaust and about Romani women artists in Europe; she has interned in the MRS production company in Finland and for mainstream media outlets in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.  

press release of Media Voice, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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