Fanny Grandchamp

Fanny Grandchamp (Victimology Society of Serbia - International Action Network on Small Arms - IANSA): Fanny is from the town of Annecy in the French Alps. She earned a BA in Public Administration from Grenoble University, and also studied abroad in Truru, Canada and at the University of Exeter in the UK. In 2006, Fanny spent a month in Senegal helping to build a school. The following year, she spent three months in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam as an intern in the social affairs department of the French Consulate. At the time of her fellowship, Fanny was pursuing a Master’s degree in International Organizations at the Institute of Political Science of Grenoble. After her fellowship, Fanny wrote “This challenging experience has revealed itself very formative and useful, opening up my interest in the Balkan region and helping me find confidence. I'm grateful to AP for this.”

The shadow victims at light

07 Jul

For the French readers who got on the boat with us for this blogging adventure in English, the language is somewhat a barrier they overcome with more or less trouble…  So I decided to thank you all for your contribution, by giving you the honor of a blog in French.  Si here you, as a première, the summary of the episodes since the end of the conference, sprinkled with attractive academic contributions ! Just to give you a taster, of course…

Once the event was finished, another kind of work started for me. In the NGO technical jargon, the 18th June conference would be considered as an action of the top-down kind. That is to say, social change is triggered through addressing power centers, politics. By lobbying, diffusing information, the aim is to set the change rolling within those decision making centers.  This traditional approach to advocacy consists in “changing society from the top”, by adopting laws which will then change the acts and behaviors of all the society members;  Another trend, if you allow me to speak like this,  conceives social change on a reversed model.  Drawing from a « bottom-Up » approach, its advocates consider the first priority should be to change people’s mindset and habits, and that what should follow will follow. Being as pragmatic as possible, -we will consider that no action can be considered too small- and that because of this, the association of these two dimensions is nothing but beneficial. Working for IANSA has given me the chance to test a little both of both sides…    

I tasted the « top-down »  with the 18th June conference were all reporters from media circles were present.  And I can only hope the authorities who came to it (-and notably the public prosecutor of Belgrade or one of their representatives) will keep in mind the recommendations of our three experts when it comes to judging an affair dealing with armed domestic violence.  

I have now been working for more than a week on the second side of the project.  The Bottom up dimension that  Advocacy Project proposes is obvious.  The latter gives itself as a main objective to « give a voice to those who can’t ». Write their stories. Advocate for people to know they exist. Pick out the victims. And broadcast, broadcast, broadcast, the gathered testimonies to the largest audience possible.   Why? Because as my mother says: “ When somebody still talks about you, you’re not yet totally dead”.  Advocacy project aims at making of every one of us, through the telling of a singular story, aware citizens who can act.    

Far away from public relations, I have now  turned to the interior and private sphere, seeking testimonies of situations of armed domestic violence.  The subject matter, you’ll agree, is of a sensitive nature. That is not to mention that to tell a story,  not only you need to write it, but also, you need to have people agreeing on sharing it with others, offering it to the eyes of the world when those very people are struggling to cope.    

This is why I came this week, in search of contacts, and I was cautious enough to take the widest sample of representatives.  Because thought I still sincerely hope , after talking to you so much about armed domestic violence, to be able to associate a face, a voice, a story, I’m not sure this entreprise will be possible. I’m working on it, I promise. But don’t worry. There are other actors in our story who will be able to tell us more about that phenomenon: let’s not forget the indirect victims, social workers, associations’ members,  witnesses… judges, why not, who could have heard about it.  There’s a need to establish with every one of them, a relation of trust and free speech.  So this is my schedule for the week.  After identifying  useful power  centers in Belgrade and around (and this included deciphering Cyrillic when websites refuse to be polyglot ),  I completed my novice journalist agenda … And I am therefore ready for a crazy week full of appointments!

Posted By Fanny Grandchamp

Posted Jul 7th, 2009

Enter your Comment


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *