Kata BitowtSound Engineer
Adomas ZubėAudio Journalist
Melita VilkevičiūtėNewsletter Author
Ieva BurneikytėSocial Media Coordinator
Gabrielė JanilionytėProject Coordinator
Ula Rugevičiūtė RugytėIllustrator
Eglė MurauskaitėExpert in International Security
Ina ŠilinaRussian Podcast CoMeta Host and Producer
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Denis Vėjas photo became one of the winners of the "Life Framer" photo contest
This hill was built by the hands of ordinary people to serve as a reminder that each and every effort to support Ukraine in war is valuable. Part of the NARA team contributed to the implementation of the idea. The hill, blooming in Ukrainian colors, was built in two days in collective and voluntary action. This collective action was aimed at bringing together the thoughts of all the dead and fighting Ukrainians.
Denis Vėjas publication "Belarus: escaping Lukashenko’s regime at any cost" took second place in the public discourse category of the "European Press Prize"
The publication "Belarus: escaping Lukashenko’s regime at any cost" by NARA journalist Denis Vėjas about Belarusian Sviatlana and her family, took second place in the public discourse category of the European Press Prize. The European Press Prize is an awards program for excellence in journalism that operates in all 47 European countries.
Audiovisual exhibition "Ukraine: breaking point"
"Ukraine: breaking point" is an audiovisual exhibition that brings together authentic stories, photographs and testimonies of war against Ukraine survivors.
LRT photojournalist Benas Gerdžiūnas, NARA multimedia developers Denis Vėjas and Tomas Valkauskas spent a total of two months in Ukraine, where they recorded the anxiety of waiting, the first airstrikes and strikes on civilians, their desperate evacuation to the West and humanitarian convoys hurrying back. After the withdrawal of the Russian soldiers, they were together with the people who went home, who found their cities destroyed and their loved ones hiding in cellars, who had to endure torture.
Adomas Zubė is a radio producer and cultural journalist who currently cooperates with the journalist collective NARA. In his creative practice, Adomas explores how audio journalism can intertwine with sound art and how authentic voice recordings, together with other audio elements (soundscapes, vibrations and music), can merge into a single, flowing sound texture. His sound installation is part of the exhibition.
"Swimming Through" performance
Thanks to NARA, colleagues and partners, the artistic performance "Swimming Through" took place near the Russian Embassy in Vilnius. The performance aims to encourage more active actions to save the people of Ukraine from the genocide carried out by Russia.
It is an invitation not to turn away from the pain, not to remain an indifferent observer. This is a call to continue to defend the people who are currently being tortured, raped, killed, to defend people fundamental democratic values, the right to freedom and life. The pool of blood testifies to Russia's responsibility for war crimes in Ukraine. Olympic champion Rūta Meilutytė's hopeful swimming through the blood symbolizes constant, tireless, unceasing efforts to swim.
Idea and implementation: Berta Tilmantaitė, Neringa Rekašiūtė, Rūta Meilutytė, Aurelija
Photos and video: Neringa Rekašiūtė, Berta Tilmantaitė, Mindaugas Drigotas, Andrius
Repšys, Karolis Pilypas Liutkevičius
Music: Viktoras Urbaitis
Berta's Tilmantaitė's photo was selected among the 100 "Women Photograph" photographs of the year
Women Photograph is a non-profit organization founded in 2017 and dedicated to promoting the voices of female and non-binary photojournalists. Women Photograph's private database features the work of more than a thousand photographers from more than a hundred countries. The Women Photograph Year in Pictures exhibits 100 photographs that reflect on the past year – the fight against COVID-19, political unrest, the climate crisis, and also the intimate moments experienced thanks to the pandemic that gave us the opportunity to spend more time at home with loved ones.
We announce the winners of the competition "Africa is not a country"
Twenty Lithuanian schoolchildren prepared original journalistic stories about the present in Africa in order to show the diversity of the continent.
NARA journalists and experts from the African Research and Consultancy Center "AfriKo" assisted them during this process.
On the evening of February 25th, two winners were announced at the final call of the contest. This summer - or as soon as the coronavirus situation allows - they will fly to one of the African countries to continue their journalistic work.
One of the winners was Julija Stankevičiūtė and her work "LGBTQ+ rights in South Africa: everyone is equal, but some are more equal than others". The 12th grader of Kaunas "Veršvų" Gymnasium contacted three people of the LGBTQ+ community from the Republic of South Africa via Instagram in order to understand whether the country's progressive constitution ensures equality in everyday life.
The second winner is Arnas Rasimavičius, who chose the comics medium for his story "Rhythm in the blood". The 11th grader of the Prienai "Žiburio" high school connected threads between slavery songs and African fine art and showed how the long-ignored culture of black artists became dominant. Creators such as Miles Davis, Jean-Michel Basquiat or Kanye West come to life in his illustrations.
All works will be published
NARA journalists have selected five works that they plan to publish in the NARA space. The works of other participants will also be published online to be publicly available and thus help to change the often stereotypical narrative about Africa that dominates the Lithuanian media and has real consequences for the people living there and for Africans living in Lithuania.
"The works of the students gave us a lot of hope that we can create more diverse stories about the world. And in general, to imagine journalism in a different way, demanding more from this profession. We started the competition in order to share knowledge with the participants, but in the end we learned just as much from them," says Berta Tilmantaitė, co-founder of NARA, whose work has been published in National Geographic, AlJazeera and other international media.
"AfriKo" co-founder Eugenija Kovaliova drew attention to the fact that the most important thing in the competition was not even the result, but the process leading up to it. "The highlight of the last virtual session was not the announcement of the winners, but the students' comments about the internal transformations during the competition. They shared that the time spent together gave them self-confidence, pushed them to overcome challenges when it seemed they could give up. It also helped some to discover themselves. This gave me a lot of optimism about what kind of people will create the future of Lithuania", says Eugenija Kovaliova.
81 schoolchildren applied to the competition which was held for the first time this year, 44 of them were invited to the training. During the project, students went through intensive courses on the basics of African history and journalism. Completed works were submitted to the competition by 20 students who went through the entire project process from the selection in September 2020 to the finish in February 2021.
The competition "Africa is not a country" is financed from the funds of the Development cooperation and support for democracy program. We will inform about the publication of students' works on NARA and AfriKo social networks.
Changes in the team
We share the message of Ina and Artūras, the authors of CoMeta, to the listeners: "In a year and a half, CoMeta released 45 episodes in Russian on the NARA platform. But the 46th will go somewhere else. Ina Šilina and Artūras Morozov are leaving NARA.
We want to thank our colleagues for giving CoMetai space to run smoothly. It is said that what you name a ship is what it will sail. The same thing happened to CoMet - it follows its flight path. We move out, but we don't say goodbye to the listeners. CoMet can continue to be followed on Podbean and other podcast platforms and on Instagram. And you can see our new cycle about Belarus, which is currently being prepared, on the portal LRT.lt/ru. Ina and Arthur"
We thank our colleagues for their work to show the diversity of the Russian-speaking world. Their publications will serve as examples of good journalism and inspiration for our further work. CoMeta and Artūras's individual documentary projects and photographs will remain available on the NARA website. We wish them success in their new endeavors.
We won the competition of the Active Citizens Foundation
We have important news: NARA has won the Active Citizens Fund competition, which will enable us to speak even more about the human rights situation in Lithuania. We have been doing this since the beginning of our journalism, but now we will be able to include more authors in this work and publish human rights stories from the regions of Lithuania.
NARA and AfriKo organizes an educational program for schoolchildren "Africa is not a country"
Although the African continent is a place of growing technologies and global culture, these news almost does not reach Lithuanian media - negative messages related to violence and poverty dominate, as well as popular impressions of Lithuanian travelers from "black Africa", who exoticize this continent and talk about tribes, surprising customs or other "uncivilized" phenomena. The educational project "Africa is not a country" for Lithuanian schoolchildren, prepared by the NARA team of journalists and the African research and consulting center "AfriKo", will seek to change this narrative.
During the project, training will be held, during which students will get to know the history and present of the African continent, and will delve into the social and racial problems of the continent. Students will also be taught the basics of storytelling and photography, the importance of journalistic ethics, and learn to recognize biased information. The two best performing young journalists will travel together with the organizing team to a selected African country to create professional journalistic stories.
A New Beginning
September 22nd is the launch day of NARA. This new website is a space for responsible journalism where we present people’s stories in different formats: podcasts, texts, photo stories and videos. Publications in NARA are available in three languages: Lithuanian, Russian and English.
This day also marks a change for our brand: starting today Nanook and Nyla become NARA, but all the material published under the old names will still be available for you to view on the new website. We invite you to read about the reasons for this decision and the story of our team in the introductory publication of NARA.
Producer of NARA Podcasts Wins European Audio Documentary Prize
We are proud to announce that Martyna Šulskutė, a producer of NARA podcasts, has been chosen as one of the three winners of this year's Åke Blomström Prize.
European audio documentary producers have been awarded this prize named after a famous Swedish Radio Journalist since 1986. Each of the winners will work with a professional mentor on their new documentary and participate in an international audio documentary conference.
We invite you to remember some of Martyna‘s works, in which she tackled topics such as the city of Vilnius and the history of its people, Lithuanian Roma Genocide, as well as asylum seekers‘ stories and the use of animals in medicine.
LOGIN conference award for the Best Lithuanian Podcast – NYLA, 2019
Sheffield Adventure Film Festival – Best Spirit of Adventure Film Award for "Traces: Traversing the Past" mini series, 2019
New Media Writing Prize – What’s New in Publishing Award for "Traces: Traversing the Past," 2019
Prix Europa – A nomination in the Multimedia category for "Traces: Traversing the Past," 2019
National Press Photography Association Awards – second place in the Sports category for "Will to Win", USA, 2017
Lithuanian Press Photo awards – first place in the Multimedia category for "Will to Win", 2018 and
New Media Writing Prize – The Gorkana Journalism award for "Will to Win", 2017
About NARA online:
Hunting for Change in Baltic Journalism, Baltic Media Health Check
A journalist’s efforts to dismantle the Soviet Union’s legacy of media censorship in his country, AlJazeera’s Contrast VR
How Nanook used an audiovisual exhibition to promote its podcast among hard-to-reach Lithuanians, Engaged Journalism Accelerator, European Journalism Center
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