Κυριακή, 22 Μαΐου 2016

ΧΑΙΡΕΤΙΣΜΟΣ ΤΟΥ κ. ΛΑΚΗ ΒΙΓΚΑ ΣΤΗΝ ΠΑΡΟΥΣΙΑΣΗ ΤΟΥ ΠΡΟΓΡΑΜΜΑΤΟΣ "SOCIAL MEDIA ΚΑΙ ΜΕΙΟΝΟΤΗΤΕΣ" ΣΤΟ ΠΡΟΞΕΝΕΙΟ ΤΗΣ ΑΥΣΤΡΙΑΣ (ΣΤΗΝ ΑΓΓΛΙΚΗ)



Greeting speech of Laki Vingas at the Austrian Consulate General in Istanbul, 18th of May 2016, Presentation event of the "Social Media and Minorities" Project

Your All Holliness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew,
Your Excellency Ms. Christine Wendl, Consul General of Austria,
Your Excellencies Consul Generals of Greece-Spain and representatives from the United States of America-Hungary ...

Distinguished clergies and lay members of the minority communities,
Dear friends,
Today we are gathered here on the occasion of the completion of the project "Social Media and Minorities", which has been sponsored by the Ministry of European Union Affairs. It is an honour for us, as the local Greek/Rum community of Yeniköy, to host you in this magnificent historical building of our neighbourhood, under the kind auspices of the Consul General Ms. Christine Wendl.
The Austrian state, through their representatives in Yeniköy, has been always generous in hospitality and welcoming in sharing our values, and this is proved by our today's event, where we have the chance of presenting to you the first launching of the film of the project and of the two booklets consisting the reports.
As citizens of Turkey and members of minority communities making new efforts to open up and break new ground, we wished to contribute to these efforts by implementing our "Social Media and Minorities" project.
The concept of 'community foundations' and that of social media belong to two different eras, two different worlds. Would these ever be able to make sense side by side? Could they create something with value together? Keeping these kinds of doubts and worries far from our minds, we set to work and managed to bring this significant project to life.
The topic of "Social Media and Minorities" was chosen because of the vital importance of the minority communities in our society, as they are an extension of it at large, and therefore take part in the same interactions. Social media is a free space where members of minority communities may express themselves. It works as a mechanism contributing to citizenship and integration.
In our day institutions - even our religious institutions, who have withstood the passing of centuries by way of the power of tradition - have become active users of social media just like persons. Nowadays the activities of churches and synagogues are on twitter, their prayers are on periscope. This has allowed minorities to form networks in their own communities, as well as make their voices heard by the society at large.
Although community foundations represent traditional structures, they also constitute the dynamic links of their communities, therefore involving as well as advancing religious, cultural, social and philanthropic matters. The fact that the implementation of a European Union project was part of this process for the very first time has opened up a brand new field of activity. We are living through such times that social, economic, technological and political developments have a transformative impact on all borders, ideological boundaries and even ancient religious institutions with time-old traditions such as churches and synagogues.
This project, which came into existence through the initiative of a Greek Community Foundation, had to be implemented as a supra-community activity, in order to develop the notion of change and collaboration.
As the very first project brought to life through the cooperation of the Ministry of European Union Affairs and community foundations, this carries significance in that it demonstrates that these foundations are more than religious congregations- that they also function as non-governmental organizations. For our common future, we must become communities with greater ability to contribute in social, economic and political areas. To make this possible we must first shake off the century-old slump that has all but completely locked down the infrastructure of our communities. Then we must look at restructure ourselves.
This is why there is great need for these kind of projects and activities, in order to reshape community foundations according to the internal dynamics and needs of their own communities.
Dear All,
I would like to thank and show my appreciation to our co-partners the Bilgi university, ELIAMEP and KONDA research company, as well as our advisory board members and our project coordinator. Finally, I would like to thank the almost two thousand people who has been kind enough to participate in a way, during the implementation of this project.
Let us now proceed in the projection of the film, where I would like to give my last but not least thanks, to Giorgos Demir and his team in the production company, for working extensively with us, through the whole process of the "Social Media and Minorities " project.
Please enjoy!