DiEM25 Academy in Athens highlights: Merging perspectives from across Europe

Our movement is only as powerful as the activists that drive it. That is why between May 1-3 we brought together a group of passionate DiEMers in Athens for the 4th DiEM25 Academy.

Following Belgrade (2018), Cologne (2019) and Lisbon (2019), the 4th DiEM25 Academy in Athens was a fantastic opportunity for our members to meet in person once again. This allowed them to merge perspectives from all corners of Europe and organise their common struggle. After two difficult years with restrictions due to COVID-19, being able to meet in person again was a great feeling for all. 

What happened during the three days?

Day One of this year’s Academy started with an introduction by Ivana Nenadovic who welcomed all participants and explained the itinerary for both days.

This was followed by an introduction to DiEM25 basics, covering how we work and the tools we use at DiEM25. This included also a quick introduction to policy and activism, led by Amir Kiyaei and Dusan Pajovic respectively.

Following lunch we talked about how to develop high-quality campaigns, the radicality of DiEM25 and MERA25 policies and the challenges of creating new political parties. We ended the night with a tribute to Rosemary Bechler, a former member of DiEM25’s Coordinating Collective, by screening a short video and the documentary Not Just Another Political Party.

On Day Two, we took a look at policy in more detail with Amir Kiyaei and Ferdia O’Brien. Specifically on how to build a realistic utopia of and for the many.

This was followed by a presentation by Dusan Pajovic on how to perform street actions and to campaign for DiEM25.

In the afternoon, Lucas Febraro spoke about why laughing matters. He thoroughly addressed contemporary meme culture and the value of humour in political communication.

Shortly after that discussion, member of our Coordinating Collective, Ivana Nenadovic, held a conversation with Milena Repajic, president of the Party of Radical Left from Serbia, and Erik Edman, the media spokesperson for MeRA25 Greece.

In the evening, META’s Research Director, Sotiris Mitralexis, gave a lecture on post-modern non-aligned geopolitics, in the context of DiEM25’s call for a new non-aligned movement. The Academy formally ended with a panel featuring guests Milena Repajic, Party of the Radical Left Serbia, and Pawel Wargan, Progressive International, who discussed the importance of learning from the past and deconstructing imperialist narratives, no matter where they originate.

Besides the intellectual stimulation that these sessions provided, members got to meet each other and have fun together, proving that politics is not reserved for grey suits and black ties.

The background of the DiEM25 Academy dates back to discussions among DiEMers, during our big events in places like Rome, Berlin and Brussels as well as other occasions, where we realised the importance of meeting face-to-face and getting to know each other.

Yet when it comes to putting our policies into practice, mutual support and trust play a pivotal role. We see DiEM25 Academy as a place where we can meet people who are fighting the same fight in different countries, exchange experiences, gain new skills, and appreciate the community that we have built.

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