Activists discuss civic campaigns and tackling propaganda at international BarCamp in Kutaisi, Georgia

, 2017-03-24

Press release of NESEHNUTI and AbkhazIntercont, 24 March 2017

Today, civic activists from Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan together with those from Ukraine, Slovakia, Czechia and other countries start to discuss their campaigns at international BarCamp in Kutaisi, Georgia, organized by Czech NGO NESEHNUTI together with Georgian organization Abkhazintercont. Besides civic campaigns, the event will focus on tackling propaganda, hoaxes, fake news and intentionally spread misinformation – all being on the rise in European countries.

Both experienced and newly established grass-root civic initiatives from South Caucasus working on human rights and environmental issues will meet to network and strengthen cooperation. As a barcamp is a format which aims at removing the difference between lecturers and participants, everyone will have a chance to share their positive and negative experience. The event is held by NESEHNUTI, a Czech non-governmental organization that supports civic initiatives in South Caucasus and Ukraine through its programme “The Initiative Way” [X].

Besides civic campaigns, the event is focused on tackling propaganda, hoaxes, fake news and other forms of intentionally spread misinformation. “This has been a growing problem in South Caucasus, Ukraine and also the EU, including Visegrad countries. Civil society has to tackle the propaganda and misinformation and the BarCamp is an opportunity to share examples of success in this matter,” explains Martin Hytha, NESEHNUTÍ.

More than 80 activists are expected to take part in close to 20 lectures, workshops and discussions. Among them are:

  • Juraj Smatana, one of the first ones to bring attention to pro-Kremlin disinformation websites in Central Europe, currently he runs an online list of these websites; initiated creation of a system to limit profits of disinformation websites from online advertising.
  • Oleksiy Khutornyy, investigative journalist, who founded Hromadske.TV Cherkasy, Ukraine after Euromaidan.
  • David Pipia, Georgian camera-man, editor and producer for various television and radio companies
  • Ofelya Zalyan, Armenian human rights defender, member of Public Monitoring Group over the Penitentiary Institutions of the Republic of Armenia.
  • Maria Sereda, works in creative campaigning and communications, for example in Amnesty International.
  • Mzia Paresishvili, senior correspondent of Russian language program “Ekho Kavkaza” ( of the Georgian service of RFE/RL
  • Onnik Krikorian, journalist, photographer and media consultant

Hana Svacinkova, (in Czechia, speaks Czech, English)
Martin Hytha, NESEHNUTI: (in Georgia, speaks Czech, English, Russian)
Archil Elbakidze, Abkhazintercont: +995 599 17 08 05 (in Georgia, speaks Georgian, Russian)

More details about the event:
[X] More about NESEHNUTI and its programme The Initiative Way:

The Barcamp is organized with the financial support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic – Programme of Transition Promotion Policy, International Visegrad Fund and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands.