News#2 RISE UP Workshop Review: Weaving an Enduring Net! Nourishing Minoritised Language Community Networks

#2 RISE UP Workshop Review: Weaving an Enduring Net! Nourishing Minoritised Language Community Networks

The RISE UP Project continued its series of Networking Events with the second event in June 2024. Consortium members, presenters and participants came together for the online event called “Weaving an Enduring Net! Nourishing Minoritised Language Community Networks” on June 3, 2024. The event was a great opportunity for language activists, researchers and anyone else interested in minoritised language community networks to exchange experiences, get to know initiatives from different communities, and connect to each other.

What are the aims of the Networking Events?

RISE UP hosts regular online networking events on different topics in the field of minoritised languages, this being the second one. Our aim with these networking events is to provide participants with the opportunity to gain knowledge in the field of language activism, to give them tools to strengthen their language communities, learn from each other’s challenges and solutions, and get to know each other. This event specifically aimed to share initiatives and projects taking place in different minoritised communities to connect members, hoping to inspire activists and facilitate exchange.

The presentations

RISE UP invited different actors in the field of minoritised language community networking to share their experiences and projects with the participants – going from individual social & online media networking on the micro scale over organisational youth networking to large-scale institutional networking.

Our first presenter was Gabrièu Pelisson, Occitan content creator and owner of the YouTube channel Parpalhon Blau (“Blue Butterfly”). During his presentation, he talked about his personal experience as a speaker of a minoritised language and his journey to becoming a content creator. “Doing what’s lacking”, as he put it, Gabrièu founded his YouTube channel during the pandemic, where he speaks about a diversity of topics in Occitan – but not necessarily about the language itself. He also shared insights about the political status of Occitan in different countries, and how much it differs on the region. Gabrièu also works for OCTELE, an Occitan web television.

The second presentation was held by Christoph Graf, Vice President for External Relations at YEN (Youth of European Nationalities), and member of the Sorbian community. He presented the work of YEN, an umbrella organisation for national, ethnic, linguistic and autochthonous minorities in Europe – led by young people for young people. Christoph gave insights into the main aims of YEN: empowerment, protection of minority rights, integration and cooperation between minorities, and awareness raising. YEN also hosts regular activities and seminars, as well as several exciting projects and initiatives.

Lastly, Jelske Dijkstra, project manager at Mercator European Research Centre on Multilingualism and Language Learning, gave an overview of the work, history and structure of Mercator, as well as the organisation’s projects, including Lingotell, OWL+, and Read with MEE. She shared insights into their regional dossiers and wikis, as well as the Mercator Network Newsletter, which regularly sends out updates on activities of the research institutes, as well as the latest news on minoritised languages and education. Mercator also regularly hosts conferences and workshops in the field of multilingualism and language learning.

The workshops

The second half of our Networking Event was filled with more interactive sessions taking place in breakout rooms. Three sessions were hosted on the following topics:

Social media and online networking – Maria Cucliciu Crăciun

Maria Cucliciu Crăciun held a breakout session on social media and online networking. Working for an Aromanian NGO (Comunitatea Aromana din Romania), specifically the branch Consiliul A Tnirlor Armanji (CTARM), Maria presented their weekly podcast project, Armanamea Media. Through their podcast, they aim to show that Aromanian is a language that can be used to talk about everyday modern things and should be used in any way one wants to. Apart from the podcast, Maria also shared insights into the Aromanian language and community, traditional music, ways of reaching out and campaigns that have been organised so far.

Youth Networking- Vera Buranits

In the breakout session on youth networking, Vera Buranits – member of the Burgenland Croatian community, Vice President of Internal Relations at YEN, and Secretary of HAK – presented the activities of HAK organised for and by Burgenland Croatian youth, and emphasised the importance of community events targeted at people aged 18-30. Vera shared insights into inter-community events across borders, Dan Mladine, a music festival of Burgenland Croatian youth, and Novi Glas, HAK’s print and online magazine.

Mercator & Large-Scale Networking – Jelske Dijkstra

The third breakout session was hosted by Jelske Dijkstra. Within this session, participants were able to dive more deeply into the activities and projects of Mercator, learned more about existing initiatives and were invited to share their insights. Jelske presented the work taking place within the triangle of policy, research and practice, gave an overview of recent studies related to minoritised languages, as well as campaigns hosted by Mercator.


The Networking Event was a great success, providing opportunities for minoritised language community members to share their experiences, learn from others and exchange practices. We would like to thank our presenters and participants for your eager engagement, for sharing your inspiring stories and constituting such an important part of our project!

In case you missed the event, you can watch the recording on our YouTube channel.


Author: Violeta Heinze


Contact the presenters

If you would like to get in touch with the presenters, you can find them here:

Gabrièu Pelisson

·         Email:

·         YouTube:

·         Instagram:

Maria Cucliciu Crăciun

·         Email:

·         CTArm: |


·         Christoph Graf:

·         Vera Buranits:

·         Jenny Browne:

·         HAK: |

·         YEN: |


·         Jelske Dijkstra:

·         Mercator: |




Minoritised languages, networking, community, youth, research, social media, podcast