It's almost 100 years since the birth of the Harlem Renaissance, which brought together and empowered black communities from across the diaspora. In researching this period we discovered its success was due to the connection & conviviality of formerly dispossessed people. Using Afropean as a hub, we'll create a Harlem Renaissance in Europe for the 21st century by producing an interactive online map of black European artists, organisations & professionals, to promote engagement & networking.
By increasing connections and networks between organisations, practitioners and communities with similar aims, this will unify these numerous yet disparate platforms in the fight against neo-nationalisms, xenophobia and far right groups, strengthening their combined political efficacy in individual countries and Europe as a whole.
The Second EU Minorities and Discrimination survey suggests North and Sub Saharan Africans are two of the most targeted groups, but the long-term goal of the map is to create a framework which can be used by all ethnic minorities across Europe. We will create the interface and tools which will then be made available for other umbrella organisations to utilise, making the idea easily transferable across the continent.
Our idea will encourage a new model for interaction and increase mutual awareness between NGOs/activists and the African diaspora in Europe, specifically in regions and cities that have a high number of listings on the map.
Organisations and individuals will see an increased rate of general enquiries/contacts, businesses will see an increase in new customers, and communities will see increases in election time outreach and rallies in areas that have a high number of listings on the map.
Ultimately, we hope to play a role in combatting the disintegration of the European project at the hands of far-right populism, by strengthening the agency and engagement of those most victimised by it.
Our web application will allow visitors to submit details of orgs/individuals and then display the data on an interactive map. The data will be screened, translated and vetted manually. The map will be a “mobile first” web application that allows visitors to filter the data by country, city, org type, etc.
We will work with a technology partner selected via an RFP process. The web application will be built delivering working software using an incremental approach. We will conduct A/B tests and run workshops to gather user feedback as we go. Initially marketing campaigns will focus on the UK and France before being expanded across Europe. A second iteration would allow trusted users to gain an account on afropean.com that will allow them to log in and submit/update data themselves.
The mood of the map is fuelled by three individuals who have arrived at the intersection of Black and European identities from different, lived positions of race, class and gender, and our work is an attempt to build bridges amongst Black communities, and in turn between Black communities and Europe in the widest sense. We believe the European project can only work if it is an inclusive one. It is within Europe’s grasp to decide where the loyalties of immigrant communities lie and we see our map as a response to The EU FRA’s Second Minorities and Discrimination survey, which revealed most victims of discrimination weren’t aware of their local support organisations. Our map will be an invaluable resource to change that, a protection against racism and an intervention against extremism.
Our initial target group would be The African diaspora and organisations across Europe which provide resources for the African diaspora in the following areas:
Arts and culture
Sports and recreation
Medical and health
Education, occupations and careers
This idea, which is being built by members of the community it is serving, will achieve several distinct objectives:
1. Increasing visibility of the African diaspora in Europe
2. Creating a unique dataset that can be analysed and leveraged to influence European policy
3. Creating a tool that can be used by NGOs to engage/mobilise people based on geographic region.
Also, once our technology platform is built and we have completed several increments of collecting and publishing data on the map we could “package” our technology platform together with the lessons learnt along the way and make them available to other orgs/groups that have an interest in mapping out other ethnic minorities within Europe (e.g.: Map of Roma Europe, Map of Jewish Europe, Map of Muslim Europe, etc).
Funding requested from Advocate Europe
Fees and honoraries (inc: Graphic design & Software development): €17,150 Personnel Costs: €12,000 Office expenses: €8,460 Travel Costs: €3,000 Accomodation and subsistence: €2,400 Public relations: €2,350
I would love to know how effective people think our idea could be in influencing policy, and how we might get exposure within NGOs as well as governmental circles. How should our map look and what information should we give precedence to? What kind of organisations should/should not be on our map?