By Marius Merz – Second year student
The second year in the University College Groningen offered me the chance to partake in the project ‘Shelter City’. This project is organized by the organization ‘Justice and Peace’, which strives to improve the access to social and environmental justice, by providing support to human rights defenders from all over the world. At the time we were working with them, a journalist from the Gaza stripe was looking for shelter. We, the UCG students, were part of the ‘working group’, meaning that we were mostly involved in the practical tasks, like taking her around the city, or helping to organize a public lecture for the whole RUG. The most formative experience to me was when our guest had a four hours long talk about the daily life as a journalist in such a, politically and socially, instable area. Not only the somehow absurd idea of pursuing such a career under those circumstances but also the determination of our guest to keep fighting against human right restrictions made this project a revealing experience to me.
After this special project day, we got back to our actual activity, the ‘The Submariners’ journalism project. Our group consists of second year students from all kind of different majors. We, ‘The Submariners’ established an online platform, on which we publish our journalistic pieces. The topics vary from the increasing power of populism in the western world, to the issue of transgender identity in Malaysia. After working on this project for almost one academic year now, the final product will be a book, consisting of all the work we have done. Next to the independent work, we also attended workshops, which taught us the basic foundations of journalism. This project gave us the opportunity to get to know the work of a journalist as well as it challenged us to critically look at controversially discussed topics in the contemporary world.
Two articles written by Marius: