Bias-motivated crime (hate crime) is a deed punished by the Polish law. Bias crime is due to prejudices concerning color of the skin, faith or identity of another person. It can be directed against other people or their property. Jabbing, kicks, threats, insults and encouraging others to do so, is also concerned a bias crime.
In a short movie and comic book we want to sensitize opinions and views of people who have been exposed to such attacks. As they emphasize, the reaction to xenophobic attacks is necessary. A Lack of response may support perpetrators and may be understood by the whole community as a manifestation of acceptance of bias crimes.
We have been working on Sukurs project since 2011. During this period we have supported many people who had direct contact with violence because of the color of their skin, religion, gender or sexual orientation. For some of them, these are not single incidents, but rather repetitive experience and even a part of their daily life. A lack of witnesses’ reaction becomes a harmful experiences for many of them. We want to emphasize that violence motivated by prejudice is a severe social problem and it is in the social interest to counteract it.
In 2014 prosecutors in Poland had 1,5 thousand open cases concerning bias-motivated violence. Many similar actions are never addressed in court’s and police’s statistics. The only people who know about them are perpetrators, those who are attacked and witnesses. The movie “See, Understand, React” emphasizes the need of reaction and the important role of witnesses – it often depends on them in which direction the case will develop, whether a person who experiences a bias-motivated violence will receive any kind of support. This movie is a result of team work of many people, also those who are exposed to the manifestation of racism or in a wider sense , xenophobia. Their voice is very important in this movie.
Referring to the gesture in which witnesses of xenophobic attacks close their eyes, we want to stress the importance of reaction. Viewing from the perspective of people who experience bias crimes, provides us a better insight into and understanding of this matter. This brings us closer to the reaction.
The comic book consists of eight real stories drawn by professional illustrators. Six of them have also drawings and guidelines that show different perspectives, for example witnesses and different ideas for reaction. This comic book was only possible to be published because of the team work.
Stories that were told us by people who experience this kind of violence were also discussed on workshops with different groups. All groups had many different ideas how witnesses could react on violence motivated by prejudice.
During those workshops we wanted to sensitize participants, share the knowledge, but also encourage them to act. Today, when publication is ready, we want to convince the potential readers that every single person should react, that racism and xenophobia is a social problem. We cannot run away by pretending we do not see it. This kind of attitude only helps to create more space for intolerance, violence and lack of social solidarity.
If you want to order the comic book, please write to us: [email protected]
Train the trainer workshops
We provide workshops about bias crimes, show possible reactions and also encourage reacting on acts of violence. Victim’s view is very important in this process and we want to discuss the witness’s role from this perspective as well. Our publication 3Z (Zobacz Zrozum Zareaguj – see, understand, react) is one of the tools that can help us find out more and to discuss about possible reactions and possibilities that are included in the Polish law.
We offered workshops for other trainers and teachers – how to teach about bias crimes and on theneed of reaction to such attacks. We are sill inviting trainers to our education group that shares the knowledge about violence motivated by prejudice.
If you are interested in our workshopa, please contact us: [email protected]