The project C4C has the support of the European Commission DG HOME – Programme ISEC

In recent years we have observed a growing awareness of the fact that the fight against terrorism lies also in the field of words, stories, narratives and propaganda that turn around it. If it’s self-evident that the terminology of “terrorism” has become part and parlance of daily public discourse at the level of the globalizing international environment, on another side, it becomes very relevant to establish which stories take part in creating our idea of terrorism. In fact “stories are so important for structuring human thought. (…) Most of our experience, our knowledge, and our thinking is organized as stories. (…) Stories influence our ability to recall events, motivate people to act, modulate our emotional reactions to events, cue certain heuristics and biases, structure our problem-solving capabilities, and ultimately perhaps even constitute our very identity.”(1) It is well known that the “intersection of radicalism and technology” is the most serious threat facing us in the world today. So Internet and social media are the place where recruitment, self-radicalization and other processes linked to terrorism development are occurring, but they are also one of the main fields for the competition between stories and narratives around terrorism. About this topic there are two rather interesting suggestions by Antony Kubiak about the fact: a) that the media and terrorists need one another, they have what is fundamentally a symbiotic relationship b) that terrorism aims at telling its stories not through its victims' gaze but through the spectators' gaze.(2)

If terrorism searches the spectators' gaze, spreading fear and terror, our aim is to counter-narrate such stories improving the victims' gaze. The victims’ gazes are their stories, of course. As terrorism invests, by means of the new media, a large number of young people with their stories bearing a message of hate and violence, of intolerance and despair, in the same way, the victims can express an opposing view to the extremist / terrorist narrative by their stories. In making use of the same pervasive medium, the Web, the stories of the survivors, of the victims’ family members, may create a counter-narrative bearing alternative values: those of dialogue, of tolerance, of peace, of no-violence, of respect of diversity and of democratic values.

In ‘Assisting Victims of Terrorism: Towards a European Standard of Justice’, Ines Staiger writes: “ It is important for the victims’ healing process that they are heard but also that they have a platform where they can release painful emotion because such a re-evaluation often replaces trauma and allows the person to move from ‘passive victim’ to ‘active survivors’.”(3) So, it is a precondition for local, national and international policies to ensure to the single victims all the health and psychological helps they need, and all the other social support that can meet their needs, so that the victim could begin a resilient path and become an active survivor. In such a way victims become owners of positive stories that contain strong narrative messages about what concretely a terrorist act implies for the life of ordinary citizens. This prospective gives the terrorism survivors a new role toward the future, where their painful memories of the past shift to a proactive storytelling: a permanent garrison to prevent its return and to fight the new outbreak in the bud.

We can compare the stories of terrorism survivors to those of Nazi concentration camps survivors. The collection of testimonies by survivors, which occurred after the World War II, either publications or audiovisual interviews, constitute a body of literature that is one of the founding values that built Europe and played a determining educational factor in the cultural identity and the critical thinking skills of entire Western generations. So we can consider this body of literature a counter-narrative to the fascist, racist, nationalist, and chauvinist propaganda that spread through many European countries. In fact, the constant message from many Shoah testimonies was the following: "I'm telling this story today, so that it will not be repeated tomorrow."

While paying attention to the differences between the two narratives cases(4), our challenge is therefore to empower and disseminate a new ‘body of literature’ concerning the survivors of terrorism acts, starting firstly from the European countries, but with the ambition to cover afterwards the entire world. “Counter-narration for Counter-terrorism” (C4C) is a cross national project, supported by the European Commission – DG Home Affairs (ISEC program), started at the beginning of 2013, involving several private, no-profit and public partners (see “partners” page), but open to the collaboration of other interested subjects (see “get involved” page). Our project aim - through ‘The terrorism survivors storytelling’ web platform - is to spread the stories of the victims to the general public and to specific target groups, by collecting, categorizing and giving ecollaborative tools and additional resources for the practical use of these narratives - for example, in educational programs for students and young adults, to empower people with a critical thought toward hate narratives, or to prevent people from becoming attracted by or permissive towards violent movements, or to de-radicalize people engaged into a radicalisation path.

Then we are proceeding along three main procedures: a) the selection, cataloguing, digitization of the materials that contain survivors stories and testimonies, retrieved through the Italian and French associations of victims of terrorism and through their own relationships - with the availability of other European associations; b) the design and development of a multilingual platform (The Terrorism Survivors Storytelling) that contains the archive (Global data-base) of the selected materials files. Some of these will be made directly available in their various forms of text, video, photos (Multimedia deposit). That digital material will be used for digital storytelling activity to create new communication/didactic products through the e-collaborative tools, currently on the platform. Furthermore the platform will offer some selected didactic and methodological resources to help its practical usage at the ground floor carried on by practitioners, teachers, tutors for educational/prevention/deradicalisation programmes (see “Resource” section). c) the enhancement of the strategic value of the C4C project and dissemination of its achieved results during the first two years of its life. A specific target will be a group of students in Italy and France who are going to test the platform and its e-collaborative tools.

The framework policies in which the C4C project is involved and develops are: a) The ‘Radicalization Awareness Network’ (RAN)(5), in particular the Draft Policy Recommendations for High Level Symposium by the RAN working group: “Voice of Victims of Terrorism - VVT “. b) The 'Global Counterterrorism Forum’ (GCTF)(6), in particular the “Plan of Action on Victims of Terrorism”.


(1) William D. Casebeer and James A. Russell, “Storytelling and Terrorism: Towa rds a Comprehensive 'CounterNarrative Strategy',” Strategic Insights, Volume IV, Issue 3, March 2005 (2) Anthony Kubiak, Stages of Terror: Terrorism, Ideology, and Coercion As Theatre History , Indiana University Press, 1991; Philipp Schweighauser and Peter Schneck, “Terrorism, Media, and the Ethics of Fiction: Transatlantic Perspectives on Don DeLillo”, Continuum, 2010. (3) Ines Staiger, Assisting Victims of Terrorism: Towards a European Standard of Justice , Springer, 2009 (4) Speech by Luca Guglielminetti for the PLENARY MEETING OF THE RADICALISATION AWARENESS NETWORK (RAN) on 28 January 2013 (5) The ‘Radicalization Awareness Network’ (RAN) is as an umbrella organization - established by the European Commission in September of 2011 - composed of local actors, professional intervention practitioners, research experts, policy makers, and civil society groups – whose intention is to increase community strength and resilience in the face of the challenge posed by extremism. By design, the RAN is divided into a number of working groups, which currently include Community Policing, Deradicalisation and Exit Interventions, Inner- and Outer European Dimension (Diasporas), Internet and Social Media, (Mental) Health Services, Prevention (Early Interventions), Prison and Probation Services, and Victims of Terrorism. The collective aims of these working groups are to exchange experiences, knowledge, and good practices, and to draft policy recommendations for the EU and its member states. (6) The 'Global Counterterrorism Forum’ (GCTF) is a consortium of nations including emerging economies such as India, China, Russia and 11 Muslim countries along with the European Union, New Zealand, Japan and Australia. It was launched by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on 22 September 2011. GCTF is a major initiative to build an international architecture for dealing with 21st-century terrorism. It intended to provide a unique platform for senior counter-terrorism policymakers and experts from around the world to work together to identify urgent needs, devise solutions and mobilize resources for addressing key counter-terrorism challenges. The GCTF consists of a strategiclevel Coordinating Committee, co-chaired initially by Turkey and the United States for two years until 2013; two thematic and three regional expert-driven Working Groups; and a small Administrative Unit. The initial Working Groups and their co-chairs are: Countering Violent Extremism (United Arab Emirates and United Kingdom), Criminal Justice and the Rule of Law (Egypt and United States), Horn of Africa Region Capacity Building (European Union and Turkey), Sahel Region Capacity Building (Algeria and Canada), and Southeast Asia Capacity Building (Australia and Indonesia).


Proxima Centauri s.r.l. (Leadpartner – Technologic company) Torino IT Koinetwork e.g.e.i. (Linguistic and international dissemination partner) Paris FR Aiviter (Associations of victims of terrorism) Torino IT AfVT.org (Associations of victims of terrorism) Paris FR Kore Multimedia s.a.s. (Company for ontological development and content management) Torino IT

Associated partners: Consiglio Regionale del Piemonte (Local dissemination partner) Torino IT Città di Torino (Local and international dissemination partner) Torino IT

The project C4C has the support of the European Commission Agreement Number: HOME/2011/ISEC/AG/4000002499


Dear Sir / Dear Madam, This letter is intended to address your Association or Organization in order to pray you to collaborate with our partnership within the project “Counter-narration for Counter-terrorism” (C4C), supported by the European Commission. Our project aim - thought “The terrorism survivors storytelling” web platform - is to spread the stories of the victims/survivors of terrorism to the general public and to specific target groups, by collecting, categorizing and giving e-collaborative tools and additional resources for the practical use of these narratives - for example, in educational programs for students and young adults, to empower people with a critical thought toward hate narratives, or to prevent people from becoming attracted by or permissive towards violent movements, or to de-radicalize people engaged into a radicalisation path. You can find further info on the C4C project and its platform at the page “Presentation”. In that context, what we are requesting on your part is to inform us, as far as you are aware, about the material produced in your language which contain stories of victims/survivors of terrorism, whatever they consist in books, interviews, videos, photographs, online resources, monuments or art products of any kind. If among such material it happens that something would belong to your direct production, we pray you to make us able to put it on disposal in a digitalized shape within the C4C platform, so that with the record card, this product could be available also via internet for the purpose of didactic and pedagogic activities addressing the students. In this case, we shall provide an appropriate agreement concerning the transfer of the reproduction rights for didactic use, excluding any commercial use, and guaranteeing the rights of the authors of the work. Besides, it would be extremely useful to receive also the list of all the victims of terrorism in your country, even if not exhaustive. The collaboration we are requesting cannot be recognized in economic terms, due to the limits of our budget – however it will allow you, at the end of the project in 2014, your free admittance to the Consortium which will manage the platform with its contents and its instruments and methods of elearning. That Consortium will have, beginning in 2015, the ambition of expanding beyond the limits of Europe, so as to reach the narratives of the victims of terrorism produced all around the world, thus of globally enlarging the audience of young people and students, which will be able to make use of the technological platform. Further, your collaboration will be formally recognized, no later than in the coming months, being signalized on this web site and in all the actions of dissemination in Europe of its results, expected to take place in the course of years 2013 and 2014. We remain ready to give any clarification you would feel necessary. Yours faithfully, for the C4C partnership, Luca Guglielminetti

Please contact: info@vittimeterrorismo.it

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