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Shift. Shape. Mobilize. goes to Odessa!

Shift. Shape. Mobilise. goes to Odessa! | Illustration: Irakli Sabekia
Shift. Shape. Mobilise. goes to Odessa! | Illustration: Irakli Sabekia

We are very happy to announce that we renewed our partnership with the German Federal Agency for Civic Education (bpb) and n-ost to organise another tools & skills workshop for Shift. Shape. Mobilize.

This year, we have improved and enlarged the scope of Shift. Shape. Mobilize. We will cover more skills, in three different tracks: data, visuals and words, and we will offer a data security workshop. If you are an active blogger, or an online activist and you are interested in gaining new skills for storytelling with visuals, text or data, you’re in the right place. In 2016, we welcome you to take part in TRUE LIES, a 6-day workshop in Odessa, Ukraine, from July 31 - August 7, 2016.

True Lies

Shift. Shape. Mobilize. is a network for bloggers and online activists from Europe. The 2016 edition of this workshop aims to shed light on TRUE LIES. Last year’s event focused on getting a better understanding about the socio-political relevance of blogs in countries in transition. You can read more in our previous blog post.

This year’s theme of TRUE LIES seeks to dive into the topics of truth and reliability in reporting in polarising situations. Where does truth end and populism or propaganda begin? What does it mean to expose false information and what role does credibility play in the blogging sphere? Overall, this project aims to raise awareness, empower and support the role of bloggers in Europe as an alternative source of information in society.

Training elements

TRUE LIES will open with an introductory day on “True Lies” and the role of alternative sources of information in polarised societies. The opening day will be followed by three parallel tracks where you will improve your skills in storytelling either using DATA, VISUALS or WORDS.

In your application you will have to opt for one out of three tracks. Here is a short description of what you can expect in each of them:


In a world where information is more and more available data has become an essential source of stories for journalists. But datasets can be interpreted in many ways and can tell very different stories. In this track we will explore how to find data to support stories and how to find story ideas with data analysis. We will learn how to make simple analysis of datasets and finally produce stories with engaging data visualization tools.


Compared to text, images are more easily considered as evident proof of happenings in the world, and immediately determine how we perceive an event. This is why counterfeiting images always has been attractive. Manipulation nowadays extends through the whole production process, making it practically invisible and hard to debunk even by media experts. In Odessa we will discuss how visuals are made, distributed, and selected. Going out to the streets, we will also experiment with various ways of visual storytelling ourselves.


Reading between the lines is a basic skill of critical media consumption. In order to debunk the real motives of an (often anonymous or fake) author knowledge about the connotation of words is needed. Demagogues take advantage of subtle emotional effects on their readers to manipulate. In this track we will discuss the power of language and question our own habits in dealing with words.

Additionally, there will be an intensive training on DATA SECURITY offered to all participants. During four hands-on sessions we will discuss why encryption matters, how to use PGP on your devices and which software and apps to use for a better security of your communication and data. Furthermore, we will work with different open source blogging and publishing tools to support your work, such as Sourcefabric’s Storyteller and Booktype.

Who can apply?

TRUE LIES is open to all bloggers and online activists from any European country, but preference will be given to applicants from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and the Russian Federation.

You are...

...actively blogging or regularly posting on social media about sociopolitical topics (social, political, economic or environmental issues) or address them in an artistica way such as through photography, music, comics, campaigns, etc.

...proficient in English (the workshop will be conducted in English)

...available to attend the workshop in full, from July 31 (arrival) to August 7 (departure) in Odessa, Ukraine.

...18 years or older.

Please note that the selection will be made in line with gender and geographical balance.

What about the costs?

All costs will be covered by the organisers of the event, including travel to / from Odessa, visa, accommodation, meals and all materials to be used during the workshop. Note: Selected participants will be asked to bring their own laptop, camera and microphone.

How to apply

If you are interested and fit the criteria, there is nothing else to do than applying by filling out the application form. The deadline is May 22nd, so hurry up to get your chance and join us in Odessa this summer!

To take part, check the call and send in your application by May 22nd. If you have any questions, reach out to Annika. You can also follow the latest news from the Shift. Shape. Mobilize. network on Twitter through the hashtag #ShShMob16