Soundous Boualam, Head of Communications at Alliance4Europe and curator of the popular multimedia storytelling and arts project ‘Humans in the EU’, discusses the unity of the human condition and bridging the gap between the Euro-bubble and all Europeans.
E&M: First things first: What is ‘Humans in the EU’?
Soundous: ‘Humans in the EU’ is a project bringing together creators, storytellers, and influencers to be agents of change and produce content that will engage broader audiences with the European public disclosure. ‘Humans in the EU’ uses diverse creative media to tell human stories, fostering intercultural understanding, dialogue, and feelings of belonging and togetherness between people in Europe.
E&M: Why did you decide to launch this project?
Soundous: When I started ‘Humans of the EU’, the goal was to show how deep down, no matter who we are, no matter our background, we all feel similar emotions and experience similar things in life. We all have much more in common than we tend to think. In a sense, ‘Humans in the EU’ combines dimensions of anthropology, sociology, as well as visual arts to bring people closer in Europe.
As of now, we at Alliance4Europe, a civic tech not for profit start up are re-launching ‘Humans as Humans in the EU’, a collaborative multimedia storytelling and arts project, that accepts various formats of arts and is particularly open to submissions about people/subjects from underrepresented communities: ethnic and religious minorities, members of the LGBTIQ+ community, women.
deep down, no matter who we are, no matter our background, we all feel similar emotions and experience similar things in life.
It simply wasn’t enough to present stories of people from the Euro-bubble, what we want is to bridge the gap between this bubble and all Europeans out there, who should be an integral part of the European discourse. Through civic arts and storytelling, ‘Humans in the EU’ aims to provide a solution for bridging this gap and amplify all voices on an equal footing.
E&M: What has been your biggest takeaway from this project so far?
Soundous: Doing this project has indeed confirmed me that beyond differences in political affiliations, genders, ethnicities, religious practices, sexual orientations, and any other differences you can think of, when we focus on each other’s human condition and show more empathy towards the other, we start to find many similarities. We could almost forget all the differences from how similar we are! How we feel, the personal experiences we go through: family life, friends, work and colleagues, lifestyles… We are all in this together.
E&M: What is one of the most memorable profiles you have done in ‘Humans in the EU’?
Soundous: Amiovi & Kathy, two barristas working at the Mickey Mouse bar of the European Parliament.
It was so important for me to be able to portray the stories of people working within the European institutions, occupying other functions than the typical political ones. ‘Humans in the EU’ is about amplifying the voices of people regardless of their status, rank, personal experiences or background. The EU is about equality and diversity and stories that portray the EU should be in line with these values.
E&M: What reactions do you get from other people on ‘Humans of the EU’?
Soundous: Very positive! Thankfully. I hope further down the line, more and more people resonate with these stories. Particularly people from marginalised communities, we want them to feel connected to the European discourse.
We thank Soundous for her time. Answers may have been edited for brevity or clarity. To learn more about Humans in the EU visit the Instagram account here and website here.
Also featuring work by:
Irma Fadhila @cadudasa – founder & photographer behind the @whereamireallyfrom.project
@diatakacsova & Trudy Kazangu for @areweeurope