The encounter of radical ideas through the media is inevitable, whether you are part of an urban lifestyle or live a quiet life in a rural mountain village. That is why it is particularly important to understand the root of radical ideas and to develop critical thinking. You may ask yourself: why? Because it is necessary to be able to think critically about the phenomenon of radicalisation from different angles, as well as to understand the political and social dimension of radical acts. This is the only way to better comprehend the messages of the media and to shape one’s own attitudes towards them.
To encourage young people to be messengers of peace, tolerance, solidarity and to enable them to critically address conflicts that arise in the community because of their beliefs and political affiliation, the youth organisation Udruga Prizma has so far organised six film screenings followed by a debate for young people in Croatia. The series consists of films dealing with issues of radicalisation, ideology and extremism (right-wing or religious extremism) as well as films promoting intercultural and interfaith discussions, human rights and democratic values.
Power of Nightmares – Phantom Victory, He Named Me Malala, Conviction, Path of Blood, Keep Quiet and White Right: Meeting the Enemy movies were shown in online and offline film screenings at the Tamo Iza youth club in Gračac. Each movie session was followed by a debate. The debates were led by a youth worker and a radicalisation expert who provided a safe environment for the discussions.
The value of organising movie sessions is reflected in a better knowledge of the human characteristics of radicalised people and youth and the brutality of extremist acts, an increased awareness of the basic needs of young people, the strive for community, belonging, camaraderie and a greater cause in life. Young people can better understand the personal and political motivations behind the resurgence of right-wing extremism, as well as the influence of politics and ideology on religion and the resulting radicalisation of believers.
A better understanding of how radical and extreme views take root in closed communities will therefore enable young people to be fighters in the defence of basic human rights in these communities.