May 10, 2014, 4:39 p.m.

We are the other Europe...

European Alternatives is based in capital cities across Europe. Where the centres of power are: political power, economic power and cultural power.

This is the tip of the iceberg of what we call civil society, that's in the spotlight.

But hidden below the surface, from the migrant squats of Calais to the student markets of Canterbury, you can there is a different conversation.

Voices which aren't being heard by the politicians, needs which aren't being met by the state, solutions which aren't being supported by the institutions.

But whether it's Alice from Cambridge using her personal experiences to help others rebuild their confidence, Phillipe who moved to Calais to help give back a sense of dignity to migrants, whether it's Miek from Utrecht who helps people campaign against infringements to their privacy, they are the other Europe.

From a resident-led tour to expose corruption in their neighbourhood in Valencia to a community fighting to save its mountain from gold mining in Rosia Montana. 

The other Europe are the people who want to understand what it means to try and save their local environment from being destroyed, what it means to rebuild their dignity with others while doing the things they love, what it means to give a new lease of life to the spaces and people in your neighbourhood.

The other Europe are the people who you don't see in tourist brochures or Eurovision song contests.

The other Europe are the people who are campaigning to break through the barriers holding society back.

The other Europe are the people that are working together to imagine a new future.

The other Europe are the people who are putting the building blocks for the future...now.

Imagine that Eugen, Aysha or Rosa were sitting next to you.

What would you say to them? What would you ask them?

Because you are the other Europe too. And by the stories we've documented on our website, the videos, the illustrations, we want to start a different conversation, not a conversation between the representatives of our respective countries on our behalf, but a conversation between European citizens

We are all the other Europe.

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EUROPEAN ALTERNATIVES

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