On request of the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum, Olga Fedorina, Administrative Officer at Östgruppen (Stockholm, Sweden), is telling about a new project of the group – the Human Rights Camera:
In May 2016, a brandnew project – Human Rights Camera – was initiated by Östgruppen (Swedish Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights). It will last until December 2016.
We picked up a photo blog format for this project, since it enables us to display the information in a very specific way. Every week, we publish 1-2 pictures with news followed or a story provided by one of our four participants. Our goal was to convey the state of human rights in Russia and engage the Swedish public in the topic by showing a view of civil activists encountering a lot of obstacles in their field of work. We decided to use English as our blog’s language, as we are sure that it will help to broaden the audience and attract people not only from this country but also from abroad.
As a part of the project, four human rights activists from different parts of Russia tell about their daily work giving us a chance to get to know their plans, activities, friends, and colleagues.
Human Rights Camera’s attention is drawn to the LGBT rights, environmental protection, gender equality, free legal advocacy. Yet, we strive above all to show people, who are passionate about their duty – the human rights protection. How does environmental activism in the South of Russia look like? In which way do human rights activists manage to find adherents in Tatarstan? Which obstacles do LGBT activists have in their work? What is going on with women’s rights in Chechnya? Our photo blog can provide you with answers to these questions but also with activists’ personal views on such issues.
New legislation in Russia often hinder operating openly, while the constant pressure on the civil society representatives and non-governmental organisations obstructs actions by human rights activists. The shrinking space for organising open discussions, share of opinions, educational activities as well as complications at the events make their work risky and sometimes even impossible
By the means of this project, we would like to provide Russian civil activists with an opportunity to get in touch with the foreign audience and let the others feel, what it is like to be a human rights activist in contemporary Russia.
More information on the project is available at our websites https://mrkamera.org and www.ostgruppen.se.