‘Derry has become much more than the Protestant-Catholic division’

DEMO collaborated with the award-winning 
media-outlet Are We Europe. 
The independant group was established in 2016, and describe themselves as a “Pan-European magazine of border-breaking stories”.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 21st July 2022, 10:27 am
"It is through the shelter of others that we thrive."
"It is through the shelter of others that we thrive."

DEMO collaborated with the award-winning 
media-outlet Are We Europe. 
The independant group was established in 2016, and describe themselves as a “Pan-European magazine of border-breaking stories”.

The Brussels based outlet works with over 800 
storytellers and journalists from across the continent to explore the different issues and topics affecting everyday life in Europe. Mick ter Reehorst is from the Netherlands, and is the founder and director of Are We 
Europe.

“We are a non-profit, multimedia collective and foundation,” he said.

“Are We Europe publish print magazines, but also multimedia stories from across the continent, all trying to make Europe, and all of its forms, mostly its people, to come to life; and to make it more 
accessible as well.

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    “I have always been very 
interested in international relations, and I have done a lot of travelling. There was a point where I wanted to study journalism because I thought there was so much missing in the media landscape, especially with short- documentaries.”

    Mick studied journalism and international relations in Amsterdam and Paris. 
During his studies he met like-minded people who shared his vision and beliefs with traditional media.

    “Europe is an abstract border in many ways,”

    said Mick.

    “I decided to start up this platform. I got a lot of people together, and since then Are We Europe has been going 
really well. We had a great time in Derry. I always love coming to Ireland, and it was my first time in Derry.

    “We got together a multimedia team of localjournalists, creatives and filmmakers from across the island. The story-design sprints is a concept that I developed.

    “It is a high-pressue week long workshop which
brings together local 
talent, and telling them 
‘Hey , by the end of this week, you got to make a story.’ 
We created (In)visible Walls and I am so proud of that. You always have to see if it works in every situation.

    “This group was so 
willing to talk to anyone, so we went all around Derry to look for the (In)visible Walls. This multimedia team really 
complemented one another. They never worked together, but had to work together to create a news story.”

    Mick says he loved how open Derry people were during his week in Ireland. He sensed that people were keen to move on from the turbulent the past, and described Derry as a very “vibrant and relaxed” town.

    “I was genuinely impressed by the friendliest and accessibility of the people in Derry,” he said.

    “In my own view and opinion, it has been 100 years since Irish independence... even though this island yearns to move past the divisions after the long period of violence and struggle - but now the 
British government 
decides to stir that all up, just to make a point about trade 
agreements with the EU.

    “It is incredibly sad to see that, and in the end, it is politicians in Westminster who flame up this conflict, and its the people in Derry who want to move on.

    “I believe the regular 
people on both sides want to leave it behind, they have had enough; I think it is politicians and some very active people flaming it up,

    “You can see it with the bonfires now - it literally flames it up again, and that is incrediblely sad to see.

    “But looking at the future, I have good faith that people will try and move past conflict. I am a huge Bob Dylan fan, and I will quote a song of his I love - ‘A hard rain’s a-gonna fall, but we’ll get through it’.”

    *The (In)visible Walls multimedia story is now available to view online at www.northern-ireland.untold-stories.eu.

    You can also follow the “Derry on the Bench” campaign at www.instagram.com/derryonthebench. If you wish to view the other Untold Stories projects in Cyprus, Romania, Estonia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Greenland or Hungary, please visit www.untold-stories.eu.