- United Kingdom
- Target Audience
- key themes association
- Violent right-wing extremismVulnerable youth and youth engagement in P/CVE
- Peer Reviewed practice
Collaboration between Leicestershire Prevent on behalf of the Home Office (Government department), St. Philips Centre, Leicester (multi-faith centre, registered charity) and StreetVibe (Young People’s Service, Leicester)
Type of Organisation: Other
RealTalk aims to raise awareness of far-right extremism and build resilience to radicalisation amongst young people. Using augmented reality technology, a series of interactive workshops aims to:
- challenge stereotypes, particularly around Islam;
- create open and safe spaces for challenging conversations;
- enhance critical thinking skills;
- help participants spot the signs of fake news and propaganda;
- highlight the current local, national and international threats of far-right extremism.
The workshop has the following three components.
The main aspect of the workshop uses augmented reality, a mixture of real life and virtual reality viewed through a tablet or smartphone, whereby life-size banners of various individuals effectively come to life to share their personal experiences. Participants hear directly from diverse voices: among others, a former gang member, a former English Defence League organiser, a former football casual and a former recruiter for the neo-Nazi group Combat 18. Their stories demonstrate how their lives have been affected by extremism, and they challenge the preconceptions that people may have about them, based solely on their appearance.
The workshop also utilises a large magnetic wall which represents the political spectrum; cue cards feature a variety of organisations including extreme right-wing groups, far-right groups, far-left groups and mainstream political parties. The challenge for participants is to place the cue cards at appropriate points on the wall to indicate where the groups fit into the broader landscape.
This serves to start a conversation about how students perceive groups such as Britain First and the English Defence League (EDL), and encourages discussion about what constitutes an extremist group.
RealTalk tackles the issue of fake news and propaganda by giving participants a series of cue cards detailing genuine local and national news stories. They are then asked to determine which are true and which are false. Facilitators then offer tips on how to effectively sort fact from fiction, and read between the lines.
Extremist perspectives give rise to an outlook of the world in binary, black and white terms. RealTalk’s aim is to introduce shades of grey, and encourage deeper thinking and dialogue in order to promote critical thinking and build resilience against radicalisation.
The workshop lasts approximately 1 hour in total, and may be held in a variety of settings, e.g. classroom-based settings for up to 20 participants; dynamic pop-up sessions in large social spaces (foyers, canteens, etc.); or street-based sessions (basketball courts, housing estates, etc.) The materials required for RealTalk are fully collapsible and portable.
Interactive workshops using seven roll-banners and videos viewable on smartphones or tablets, cue cards and a collapsible magnetic wall.