Moments from the project
pictures by Amine Yaakoubi

A journey towards the Community Sourced Film Festival فينا منا

Syrine Rekhis from Inno-PEACE (Innovators for Peace), Tunisia, shares thoughts on her Tandem project "Community-Sourced Film Festival". Syrine was working in Tandem with Stephano Mendelek from Beirut DC, Lebanon.

The journey, not a typical one, started back in October 2021, when Stephano and I, from respectively a cultural activism background and a Human Rights activism experience, have built together an idea of a newborn project that aims to democratize culture and launch dialogues around Human Rights.

From one meeting to another, building on ideas, mobilizing teams, thinking of a plan B, C, starting and restarting, it was already September 2021 when the first edition ‘Fina Menna’, a Tunisian expression meaning ‘from us, among us’ was about to take place in Tunisia, thus far an atypical experience for many of the team members.

15 of the active youth in the Youth House Ibn Khaldoun, with different backgrounds, have been mobilized, based on a common will to contribute to the change, and to build a different space to discuss culture within their community. The experienced with the less experienced ones, all formed a team, and prepared for their own Festival: Theme selection, film selection, Communication and marketing, logistics, and film debates facilitation.

The selected theme: Diversity and Migration related to Human Rights

Moments from the project
pictures by Amine Yaakoubi

This experience seemed to be a life-changing one for many of the active youth who, by the end of two months of hard work, felt confident and competent ready to organize more and more festivals within their city and for other communities. The festival was more appealing to children and teenagers who attended the festival in dozens.
The team organized parallel workshops to help promote the Human rights addressed by the selected films and InnoPEACE implemented a Human Library* during the festival.
For the Tandem partners, the first edition is a success and is to be definitely duplicated.

What about challenges?

Challenges were not missing. In fact, our respective associations Beirut DC and Inno-PEACE collaborated, across a few borders that were not easily broken in a covid crisis, added to a social and economical crisis in both countries: we had from one side youth preoccupied with an unbearable situation in Lebanon, and faced from the other side a government allowing all manifestations happening except cultural ones- as if culture was responsible for the covid situation.


Tandem was a starting point for the two organizations to meet and build a common project aiming to democratize culture and Human Rights activism. The collaboration and the project are both duplicable, we do invite civil society organizations from both Cultural and Human Rights backgrounds to work together as the aim could be the same.