EAVI Critical Thinking & Propaganda

EAVI recently participated in the Lead On, Erasmus+ Youth Exchange in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria funded by the European Commission. EAVI’s Luc Steinberg went as the leader of the Belgian group and gave informal training on media literacy and critical thinking skills to young people from Lithuania, France, Spain and Belgium.

By Luc Steinberg

The sojourn to sunny Gran Canaria was a welcome site for those coming from the cold of Northern Europe. On our first day I was happy to discover that the participants were from a diversity of ethnic, cultural and socio-economic backgrounds. This would later prove to be a challenge and an asset to the exchange as the participants, varying in age from 18 to 30, sought common ground and learnt to understand and accept their differences.

Group activities were designed to harness critical thinking and media literacy and so on the second day there I gave a presentation on media literacy and later I directed our attentions to propaganda. Presenting examples of propaganda used by both sides (Leave and Remain) in the UK referendum, I urged the group to dissect them by asking the following questions:

– Who created this message and what is the purpose?
– What techniques are used to attract the viewer’s attention?
– What lifestyles, values and points of view are represented?
– How might other people view this message differently to me?
– What is being omitted/left out?

Finally, I asked them to state why they liked or didn’t like these examples and whether or not they think their messages are effective.

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