TADEJA PIRIH
slovenia

“It’s not just about equal rights because sometimes having equal rights doesn’t mean a lot. It’s implementation that truly gives people changes to be equipped.”

Q: What word would you use to describe yourself? – Feminist

Q: what are things are you facing back home? -I believe that on a personal level I can learn a lot. I can get knowledge, discuss things with other people I can be more comfortable and confident that I can do changes in the world.

People are being put down and disregarded as people and it’s important that we work to change that. My identify being omitted in society, I want to help others be visible. There are negative attitudes in the society and people are being more and more aggressive.

Q: when you hear the word hate speech what comes to mind? – Hurt, feeling lonely, anger, helplessness but also the need to change, there has to be a reaction to hate speech.

Q: Had there been a moment where you have felt confident to tackle hate speech? -I was a teenager and my class mate were using inappropriate language towards one of my friends, it didn’t hurt me personally, but I couldn’t stand there when someone I cared about was being treated this way just because of ignorance. Just because someone thinks they have the right to do it.

Q: What skills and knowledge have you gained from being part of this training course? – For me personally it was really important to connect with the group of people I am going to be working with. What to do, how to do it, and how can we do this in our national contexts, how can we address main focuses in youth worker’s key points, the process of empowering ourselves to do the work in practice.

Q: Why is this project important to you? – It’s important to me on so many levels, mostly I feel that with such a diverse group where we see how different backgrounds and experiences are so enriching for us I learnt so much from participants without even starting to deliver the trainings. And getting all these together, I think is very important.

We are creating an environment to create change. I see how important this diversity is, because without it, the world is not that nice place.

Q: What does equality mean for you?  – That no matter where you are coming from your experiences or colour of your skin, your faith or your abled body that is not able to do things that other bodies are, everybody has the opportunity the change the tools and knowledge. How to stand for themselves, how to be heard, make a change and just be there and be part of society who can say they have the power to make a change.

It’s not just about equal rights because sometimes having equal rights doesn’t mean a lot. It’s implementation that truly gives people changes to be equipped, to get knowledge, and to use that knowledge, to have rights that they desire as human beings.

Q; How is hate speech in Slovenia, how is it different from other countries discussed here? – A lot of times it’s not recognised or it’s not seen. We don’t have a definition of hate speech or hateful behaviour, and because of that, we have a lack of statistics.

It’s so imprinted in the language and culture, in the belief system that it’s not seen as a problem but as just how it is, its normal its natural, it’s how it should be. It’s being in denial as a society that we are racist, sexist, homophobic not talking about it at all not recognising this on so many levels. This I see as really problematic.

Not recognising that it happening at all, used by society by politicians and people that have a lot of power and in very powerful positions and that speech is not being punished legally or through the courts or anything, that allows people to think they can get away with it, gives people a feeling that they have the right to say it, they have the right not to be punished or sentenced, that they have the right to not just use hate speech but this goes on to the use of violence.

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