Watch the interview on YouTube

Dear Federica, your Association – “Trepuntozero” – was founded in 2012, and it sets a goal to develop a new way of communication shifting from the version 2.0, which we all know already, to the version 3.0. What do you mean by that?
First of all, I have to say that I was not in the founding group. But indeed, “Trepuntozero” was founded by three people. And that is the first reason – three people standing for the communication 3.0. Those three people, who were working in communications, realised that a typical Italian situation was that a lot of non-profit associations did not have any professional people working in communications. That imposed a certain limitation for their work. “Trepuntozero” decided to switch in for two reasons. The first purpose was to provide communication services for other nonprofit organisations. The second one was to actually to carry on their own projects – mostly about story-telling and counter-story-telling. By that they were combining three communication channels – 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0, i.e. the online and the offline communication as well as networking, current relations to other associations and projects.
As we know, “Trepuntozero” is also involved in migration issues. A couple of months ago, exactly in Torino, the new Forum’s Working Group on migration was established. Can you please elaborate more on that?
Yes, we were very lucky to be involved in this process. Since we are part of UNITED – a network against racism, we have been very closely working with other associations from Torino. We really want to make the difference regarding migration issues that are very urgent these days – both in Russia and in the European Union. Basically, the workshop in Torino was running for two full days. And we are happy that representatives from a lot of associations, which are parts of the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum, took their time to actually discuss the matters of migration in their home countries. We all had an opportunity – and it was really very interesting – to learn more about the migration issues in Russia, Eastern Europe, Italy and so on. Apart from the establishment of the Working Group, we wanted to decide on directions of our future work, as  we needed to find a topic, which could be developed both by Russian and EU associations in order to make the difference and do something meaningful. We had some ideas. Soon, we will meet again at the Forum’s General Assembly in Helsinki. We still don’t know the exact idea we would like to elaborate on. But all the ideas were very interesting, and we really cannot wait to start working on those.
Which other projects have been implemented by your organisation?
Communication issues are the most relevant ones for us, as “Trepuntozero” worked as the communications provider for other associations. Another project we have been working at is “The 21st of March” – this is the International Day for Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Some years ago, “Trepuntozero” started working in partnerships with other associations from Torino, also with the city of Torino, advertising a lot of activities, happenings, speeches. I think we can also share this project with other people. Our idea is to introduce this format to other countries and further cities in Italy, because the success is always great and people are happy. We see good results from this project and would really like to develop it outside of our city.
A couple of questions about the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum. A while ago, your organisation joined the Forum. What is the idea behind that? Why is it important for you to be a part of the Forum?
It is important for us, as the topics covered by the Forum most of them, are those we really work on – like racism, for instance, towards migrants. At the same time, since we have been working at communications for social campaigns, we have learned about associations, which have been doing amazing jobs all over EU and Russia. All together, we can really develop something meaningful, because we can provide effective communication services to the people, who have ideas and energy but lack the thing. Finally, we are interested in the EU-Russia relations, and the Forum is just the place for us to be.
Which current challenges do you see in the work of the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum and the EU-Russia relations in general?
That is a great question, especially considering what has been happening these days – be it France, the US, or Russia. These are the years, when the communication is a key. One really needs to be able to read, what they are telling you, and to communicate what you think and what you want to do. And this is a major challenge. In this regard, we can be valuable for the Forum, as we are experienced – as a part of UNITED – in working with the civil society, including the topics, which might be difficult in the European Union and in Russia. We can not only provide communication services but also seek action with activists. It is already important, but it will be even more important soon.
What would you like to wish to the Forum members?
Since I am going to be meeting them in Helsinki, I definitely wish them to have a meaningful General Assembly, to really persist on the topics we have been working on – not only migration, of course, but also other topics relevant for further Working Groups. I am excited to learn what they are doing and what they want to do. At the same time, I want to wish to all of us to be able to even more deeply develop our relationship within our network and to be able to make a difference. I am sure that is what we should do.

The interview was recorded on 23 January 2017 via Skype by the Secretariat of the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum.