CARE’s partner organization Centre E8 organized a major regional AWESOMEST Conference from 27 to 29 November 2015 in Belgrade, within the campaigns REACT AS HUMAN and 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.
On this occasion, 70 young men and women weregathered from the “Be a Man”clubs from around the region, from the following cities: Belgrade, Zagreb, Sarajevo, Mostar, Kosovska Mitrovica, Banja Luka, Tirana, Čakovec, Valpovo, Priština, Niš, Sombor, Kikinda, Ivanjica, Pančevo, Pirot and Vranje.
The AWESOMEST Conference is supported by CARE International Balkans, CARE Norway, Telethon Funds, Austrian Development Cooperation, Swiss Development Cooperation and the OAK Foundation, within the regional project “Boys and Men as Allies in Violence Prevention and Gender Transformation in the Western Balkans”.
On the first day, at the opening,the participants had the opportunity to see the Centre E8’s “Macho Men” at the Bitef Theatre, followed by a fruit cocktail and it was interesting that on the same day it was the 70thbirthday of CARE International, which was yet another reason for celebration.
Throughout the Conference the program was led by AWESOMEST guys from Macho Men and the second day was marked by a major program,which was a combination of performances, discussions, speeches, and video materials. The participants especially liked forum theater session, where many young people were engaged in various shown scenes and situations, in order to reach the best solutions to respond to violence. This was followed by a panel discussion in which members of the “Be a Man” clubs from around the region took part, where they spoke about their experiences, about the changes they experienced, about what it meant to be the real men, among other things. The afternoon was marked by shooting a new REACT AS HUMAN promotional video in SC Kolos, followed by football and free time for sightseeing of Belgrade. Screening of the current domestic film “Pored mene” (“Next to me”), in which the Centre E8 is associate producer, was organized in the evening.The film is of course socially engaged and deals with topics of violence, new technologies, alienation, discrimination, and it happens in a high school.
The third day was also marked by the nice weather and successful game of “Treasure hunt”,which was at the same time the opportunity for our guests to visit the different sights in Belgrade. Seven Macho Men led 7 groups of participants in completing fun tasks whose results were recorded by mobile phones, such as “Make a selfie with most people in it,” or “Do and record a good deed.” This was followed by a brunch and panel discussion with almost the entire lineup of the film “Pored mene” that the participants watched the night before, and they had plenty of questions for these young and popular actors and actresses. After that, the Conference was closed and the participants returned to their cities.