• About

    The M.A.D. project is a non-profit [educational] initiative that aims to challenge mainstream narratives and thus contribute to tackling such issues as racism and islamophobia.

    “The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.” - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9Ihs241zeg]

    The words of the famous Nigerian novelist is a stark reminder of the dangers of the single story, which enables and justifies marginalisation and discrimination of certain groups, be it Muslims, blacks, Roma people, refugees or LGBT+ community. The M.A.D. project aspires to challenge mainstream narratives by seeking authentic knowledge beyond media headlines, encountering the so-called “other” and exercising solidarity with the oppressed and marginalised. These three elements are the core principles of the M.A.D Project. Through the lenses of arts and cultures from all corners of the world, we aim to give voice to empowering and humanizing stories that challenge dominant narratives affecting marginalized groups and communities. Taking positive actions that help to eradicate any form of discrimination and oppression is another key activity of the M.A.D. project.

  • What we do

    Education

     

    As we educate ourselves through traveling and research, we bring collected stories and knowledge back to the classrooms, communities, organizations and institutions that wish to look beyond mainstream narrative formed by media and/or politicians.

    The M.A.D Project offers lectures and workshops that can be tailored specifically to your group depending on age, group background, its size and interests.

    We also organize conferences and cultural events as we always seek to contribute for a better and deeper understanding of the world we live in.

     

    Training & Consulting

     

    Drawing from our vast experience working in non-governmental sector, we can provide individual consultations or lead training courses on these topics:

    • intercultural understanding;
    • African culture, creativity and politics
    • cultures, political issues and beliefs in Muslim majority countries
    • team building and team management;
    • volunteer training (both online and in London) for projects in developing countries;
    • management of volunteers;
    • racism in the contemporary world

     

    Traveling

     

    We organize field cultural and political trips for schools, university students, groups and companies in Europe, Asia, Middle east and Africa.

    Travelling is the essential part of the M.A.D. project. Getting in touch with new cultures eye to eye is the best way to challenge perceptions and conceived ideas. In our globalised World it is simply not enough to learn from books or lectures. Encounters are empowering and have a long lasting impact. We travel and anyone can join us. We also organise group trips (for schools, organizations, companies) which do not follow conventional touristic paths. Our trips are tailored in such a way as to allow its participants first hand experience of local culture, including home stays with local families, meetings with artists and activists, with minority communities.

    Exhibitions

     

    Photo exhibitions from our travels as well as from artists we’ve met in our journey.

    During our trips we capture interesting people we meet, amazing places we visit, injustices unfolding before our eyes, historical events taking place. Through our exhibitions you can meet inspiring artists and activists from around the world, visit spiritual places or simply be a witness to daily lives of people from far away corners of our world. This way we hope to give people a positive glimpse of our shared humanity.

     

    Activism

     

    We take action together and in solidarity with the most marginalized groups whether affected by social or political injustices such as poverty, racism, land dispossession etc.

    In the M.A.D Project we believe in the power to educate ourselves and others, but it is also important and necessary to take actions for justice, solidarity, equality and dignity. We take our own actions in solidarity with the most marginal groups or communities but we also join forces with other like-minded groups if particular issues need to be addressed.

     

    Writings

     

    We prefer telling stories in person, but it would be impossible to squeeze all our stories, ideas, opinion and emotions into a lecture or workshop, therefore writing is a very important part of the M.A.D. project. Writing gives us possibility to analyse our experiences, put them into context and make connections. Telling stories through writing enables us to reach more people, in fact, heroes of our stories are able to reach more people. We hope that the M.A.D. project can be a platform for marginalised groups to be heard, to challenge negative and one sided narratives, to break down the single story.

  • Meet Our M.A.D. Team

    Our multicultural team combines experience with passion, creativity, and dedication. We travel, we experience, we learn, we share, we care, we act.​

    Eugenija Kovaliova

    Founder

    After a couple of years of working as an assistant to attorney-at-law in Lithuania, Eugenija Kovaliova decided to change her life style and went to Mozambique in South-East Africa to volunteer in an educational project for 6 months. Empowered from that amazing experience, she decided to remain in the field. For two years Eugenija was responsible for training volunteers from all over Europe who came for a year of training in Denmark to be qualified to work in development projects in Africa. She is now involved in development, cultural and activists’ projects while pursuing a MA in African Studies.

    Kamal Ahamada

    Founder

    Kamal was trained as International Teacher in Denmark and he also holds a M.A in postcolonial studies. Since 2005 he has been involved in educational, development and cultural projects in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle-East. He was also a trainer for a group of volunteers from all over Europe, who came for a year of training in Denmark before going to Africa to be instructors in development. He, now works with Special needs teenagers, write articles, blogs, and keeps his passions going: arts, culture, politics and traveling.

    Elizabeth Reid

    Marketing & Design

    Lizzie is a multimedia artist currently studying Illustration and Visual Media at LCC, University of the Arts London. Her varied specialisms include design, film, image maker and Illustrator. In 2015 she co-founded Prgrm2ed Perception, a creative events partnership to support today's up and coming artists and musicians through accessible pop up 'exhibition gigs'.

    Sharing the common love for travelling comes her passion for raising awareness about local and global social, cultural and political matters. This is reflected through her artwork, event curation and general dedication to help those in need. Check out her work here: https://lizziereidillustration.myportfolio.com and www.prgrm2edperception.com

    António Oliveira

    Technical Assistance & Training​

    Right after he was awarded with a M.A in psychology, Antonio started to travel the world. Since 2012 he has been working and mobilizing people for actions in countries as Malawi, Malaysia, Lebanon or Trinidad and Tobago. Involved in various socio-educational projects throughout these years, António acquired significant knowledge at a multicultural level. In 2016 he joined the M.A.D.team and has already greatly contributed to the project by stressing on the importance of keeping up strong values and principles as a team. He is also a very positive person who can motivate individuals or groups to achieve their goals and reach the maximum of their potential.

  • NUSANTARA: UNITY IN DIVERSITY

    Nusantara literally means the outer island and today this term is used to describe territory that includes Indonesian archipelago, Malaysia, Singapore, part of Thailand and the Philipinnes. These territories were united in its diversity under the rule of Majapahit empire in XIV century.

    During our travel through Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia we witnessed the legacy of the uniting power of old empire: tolerance, peaceful coexistence and maintenance of respect, that were actively promoted and supported in XIV century, are still a distinct feature of the region today.

    Nusantara is exceptionaly rich in cultures and arts, Indonesia alone being a home to around 300 distinct native ethnicities, for example. Within 5 fruitful months we tried to collect as many examples of different arts as we could, learning on the way how many of art forms are used to serve unity in diversity.

    In this presentation we will present rich diversity of the Nusantara region through various examples of both traditional and contemporary arts, stories of artists with various religious backgrounds, and images from different parts of the region.

     

    12th MARCH 2012

    PALESTINE: CULTURE OF RESISTANCE

    Palestine often receives very negative media coverage with the focus on suicide bombers attacks, islamist Hamas party activities in Gaza, and efforts of Israel to defend itself. News of ordinary Palestinians living their life under the occupation rarely make the news headlines and thus creates misguiding image of who Palestinians are.

    For about two months, we have been exploring various peaceful forms of resistance in Palestine, something that we decided to call – the Culture of Resistance. Palestinians themselves say “To exist is to resist”, therefore everyday struggle became a culture. We met with circus artists, musicians, poets, animation creators, painters, peace organizations, farmers, entrepreneurs and both local and international activists, christian and muslim communities, who are all part of the popular resistance in the occupied Palestine.

    This lecture will focus on the everyday struggle of Palestinians to get freedom, justice and dignity with the focus on art and other cultural ways for resistance, for example – growing olive trees.

     

    13th MARCH 2012

    EGYPT: ART OF THE REVOLUTION

    Egypt’s popular perception is that of grand pyramids standing in the desert, temples designed for numerous gods and goddesses, rich history of pharaohs and intriguing hieroglyphs colourfully scribbled on old papyrus.

    During our stay in Egypt we looked at a totally different side of Egyptian art – the art of the revolution.

    Since the start of the revolution in January 2011, the Egyptian art scene has literally exploded. From graffiti painters to comedians, artists are playing an important role in the ongoing revolution. For about a month we have met different artists in Cairo that keep challenging the social and political situation of their country and exploring vast potentials of contemporary art, blending it with well known Egyptian symbols and drawing inspiration from history.

    This presentation will focus on the arts of these revolutionaries by telling their stories, showcasing their arts and transmitting their hopes for the future.

     

    18th MARCH 2012

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