Designer: Maxime Benvenuto
Collaboration: We Are Human Rights
Maxime Benvenuto works together with Valentina on the the topic of propaganda and the dynamics of public opinion.
Thanks to a law passed in 2012, the Russian government can classify NGOs that work on human rights and receive foreign aid, as foreign agents —a.k.a. spies. Valentina has been targeted by the foreign agent law on three occasions. National media and the use of propaganda reinforce this law. The majority of media outlets in Russia have become instrumental in spreading the official propaganda and narrative of the state.
Maxime and Valentina are looking into the logic of national propaganda in Russia, identifying weak points and possible ways to disrupt it. In this perspective, they aim to establish a collaboration with one of the Russian independent news media, to develop a format that will cover a global and multi-faceted view of conflicting propaganda narratives. In practice, the concept addresses a new kind of newspaper column, where the same event is portrayed through different points of view. This strategy strives to enable the readers to construct their understanding of news with a critical attitude.
Next step: trial
Valentina and Maxime will approach one of the independent Russian media to establish a collaboration. He will then travel to russia to work with the news and editorial teams to find suitable formats and presentations. Also, he will work an anthropologist, to discover the narratives that young Russians identify with.
Valentina is a human rights defender from Russia. She works as the chair-coordinator for the union ‘Women of the Don Region’, established in 1993. The strategic objectives of the union are the formation of human rights infrastructure in the region, protection of human rights and peace making. The organisation focuses on capacity-building of HRDs in the Russian Federation and Ukraine, through methods of mediation and dialogue facilitation.