Fighting extremism with comics

Student life 14 June 2017

UT students and representatives from Tyumen’s Department of Sports and Youth Affairs have discussed new approaches to the prevention of extremism among young people.

The roundtable took place at the Tyumen Regional Duma as part of the Tyumen Respect youth comics contest, organized by the University of Tyumen with support from the Respect international comics project, the Open School of Law and the Tyumen Department of Sports and Youth Affairs.

The Chairman of Tyumen Region’s Council for Citizens’ Legal Awareness and Culture, Vladimir Nefediev, noted that issues of relations between different nations and faiths and the prevention of extremism are a top priority for the Tyumen Regional Duma.

“The territory of Tyumen region is home to more than 150 races. Dialogue and cooperation between nations, combined with respect towards a person’s national identity, allows our region to remain a major center for intercultural interaction." said Vladimir Nefyedev. He added that the main tasks facing lawmakers include ensuring inter-religious harmony and socio-political stability in Tyumen region, creating conditions for the national self-realization of local ethnic groups, as well as the formation of their public, civic and spiritual communities.

The first report was presented by the coordinator of the Respect International Educational Comics Project in St. Petersburg, Sergei Simonov, who spoke about the Respect project and the prospects for using comics in the education system.

"We are working hard not only with the matter of interethnic discourse, but also with the perception of different countries and nationalities, in particular, with the topic of discrimination. It started off as an art project, but soon we realized that with the help of comics we can really get through to youth groups", he said.

Simonov also added that classes have begun to take place in schools, universities, colleges, orphanages and penal colonies: "Respect Comics are drawn not only by Russian artists, but by artists from Israel and some Arab countries. The aim of such projects is to eliminate fear of foreign people and to break down stereotypes of other nationalities".

The session was continued by its moderator Alexei Kraev, chairman of the Youth Policy Committee of Tyumen, who presented a report on modern approaches to Internet security in Tyumen and Tyumen region, in particular the Cyberpatrol project, which is designed to help protect people from dangerous and forbidden content.

"Tyumen is quite different from other regions in providing online security. Any resident of the city and the region can join Cyberpatrol if they are eighteen years old. Volunteers never search for content independently, they are assisted by inspectors and specialists in these fields. Specialized services try not only to identify and block prohibited content, but also to look for the people behind it", he said.

The Head of the Tyumen State University Center for International Education, Pavel Kuznetsov, in his report "New Approaches to Intercultural Education" argued against focusing on negative and anti-negative phenomena and processes.

In addition to the roundtable, two open training seminars entitled "The use of comics as an innovative pedagogical technology in the educational process" were held by Sergei Simonov, as well as a comics workshop in English for foreign students studying in University of Tyumen.


Source: UT Office of Strategic Communications 

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