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  • Writer's pictureMadeleina Kay

Performance at Pulse of Europe Conference in Berlin

Updated: Nov 6, 2023

On Saturday 4th November, I spoke on a panel discussion and performed at the Pulse of Europe Europolis conference at Fabrik 23 in Berlin.

The panel discussion was interesting but challenging as the majority of the conference took place in German, and the simultaneous translation by WhatsApp call which non-German speakers listened to through headphones was difficult to understand because of the competing loudness of the German speakers who were amplified by a sound system.

I was asked a lot of questions about the Remain and Leave campaigns and what European acitvists could learn from Brexit to inform their campaigning to combat the rise of populism ahead of the EU elections. I emphasised the need for creativity in their campaigning, suggesting the use of slogans, simple messaging and engaging visual imagery. I explained how negative messaging and the tedious, fact-based, economic arguments of "politicians in grey suits" fails to enagge or inspire people to support a campaign. When asked about propaganda, I remarked, "If they are going to play dirty, we have to play dirty too" - which resulted in some sharp intakes of breath, as well as a cheer from the audience.

I was also asked about engaging young people and how to combat apathy. I highlighted the need to take campaigns to young people's spaces; cultural events, university campuses and social media - citing the demographic of the audience at the Pulse of Europe conference as an example of how organising events and expecting young people to show up doesn't work. I gave examples of brilliant campaigns targeted at young people which I have seen work; the EU liason office tent at Open'er music festival in Poland, self-organised youth societies at universities as well as empowering young people with funding and resources to lead their own campaigns, such as the YEUF project which I am currently working on to mobilise voters for the EU elections.

There was a beautiful and well-behaved, Romanian resuce dog at the conference.

After the panel discussion, I performed my song 'We Are Europe' which has the chorus translated into French and German.

My favourite part of the day was after lunch when we went outside to take photos with the Pulse of Europe's enormous flags.

At the end of the day I also performed 3 more of my songs; 'Hearts Will Rejoin', 'We Won't Go Down Without A Fight!' and 'It's Time To Vote'. I taught the audience the chorus lyrics to the last two songs, so they could sing with me in a beautiful moment of European solidarity.

Listen to the podcast from the event on Spotify.

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