First stop: Gliwice, Poland
After a productive, but also challenging training in Warsaw, that prepared the ambassadors of Europe on Track #9 for their travel month, we, the Purple Route Team, Elia, Omnia and Anna Lena started our journey on Monday morning. First stop: Gliwice, Poland!
Our hosts from AEGEE-Gliwice welcomed us with sun and showed us around the cosy city. Gliwice is a student city in the south of Poland and with 180.000 inhabitants, is the fourth biggest city in the Silesian Voivodeship. We learned about the history of the old town, the different influences of architecture, visited the old post office and some other historical buildings.
In a city with an AEGEE local, a university can not be absent. Over 20.000 students study at the Silesian University of Technology, which makes the city with its big campus very lively.
In the evening we had our first workshop about ´Gender based discrimination and violence in the Digital World´. Our participants got to learn about digital violence, which different types occur in the online world and also how they can become serious issues offline. We discussed how to detect, tackle digital violence and what can be done by our society and the authorities to fight GBV online. Even though our audience personally did not use a lot of social media and were therefore not confronted with many issues that we talked about, they could still relate to the serious threat of, for example cyber bullying, being confronted with trolls or even revenge pornography – especially when thinking about their younger siblings or friends that are more active online. ‘Identify, Prevent, React’ was our goal for this workshop, therefore we closed it by brainstorming which measures can be taken by our community, as part of a youth organisation and also as an individual to minimise GBV online and how to become an active bystander when people that we are close with are confronted with it.
The new day started with workshop preparations and some editing. Afterwards we visited “Palmiarnia”, an indoor botanical garden where we learned about different plants and animals around the world. Surrounded by all these tropical trees, we nearly became invisible with our green Ambassador Hoodies!
In the evening, another highlight of the Silesian region was awaiting us: the ‘Guido’ Coal Mine in Zabrze. What once was only a small mine between others in the Silesian region, is now an industrial cultural heritage site, and the deepest mine open to the public in Europe. Secured with our helmets, we went 320m beneath the surface “under days” to learn about the history of coal mining and the different methods used since the 1850s. For us it was very exciting to experience a little bit of a miner’s life, but we were also happy to see sunlight again and finish the day with board games.
Our last day in Gliwice included delicious food and a visit of the ‘Funzeum’, an exhibition where we could experience the different atmospheres of colours and take great shots of our team.
We finished the first stop of our journey with the workshop about gender based violence in context of the Istanbul Convention where we also had a closer look at the situation in Poland and which gender stereotypes they are facing.
Thank you to our amazing hosts and organisers in Gliwice that even gave us farewell presents and all AEGEEans we met – see you somewhere in Europe!