Movie screening “Bigger than us” and panel discussion with Commissioner Gabriel

On Monday 10th of October 2022, YouthProAktiv was invited to the screening of a documentary film “Bigger than us” followed by a panel discussion with the EU Commissioner Mariya Gabriel. The event took place from 18.30 to 21:30 in the social club “TheMerode Club” in Brussels whose President Denis Knoops warmly welcomed all the attendees before the start of the screening.
During the first part of the event, the long-form documentary “Bigger than us” directed by the French film director Flore Vasseur was released. The film follows the journey of seven young people living in different parts of the planet who fight for a better, more just and cleaner society.
More specifically, the plot of the documentary starts with the story of Melati Wijsen, an 18-year-old girl from Indonesia, has been fighting the plastic pollution that is ravaging her country.

The youth activist after having founded the Bye Bye Plastic Bags movement decides to start a trip around the globe to meet other young people involved in a wide-ranging number of projects. This heterogeneous group of youth people shares has one thing in common: they are investing their talent for the betterment of their communities and working for change on both a local and global level.

During her trip, she will be dealing with different stories, including education for Syrian refugee children, environmental justice to freedom of speech, survival skills for refugees in Uganda and the creation of a journal to share information on the Brazilian favelas named “Voz das Comunidades”. Although these seven young leaders live in multiple countries, including Malawi, Brazil, Uganda, Greece, Lebanon and the United States, they are nevertheless linked by a deep commitment to their causes, striving toward lasting change. In the exact words of Melati Wijsen in the film: “you are change. A great mantra to start every day”.
After the screening of the film YouthProAktiv attended the roundtable discussion composed by Mariya Gabriel, the European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Flore Vasseur (the film producer and activist) along with three young change makers. These last three young leaders were Silja Markkula, President of the European Youth Forum, Antoine Wirtz who is project manager at Pipaillon and Basma Abajadi, a young activist.
The conversation constituted an insightful moment to exchange ideas on how we can each find our “bigger than us” to start acting upon current societal challenges and how our small actions can have a ripple effect in the world we live in.
The empowerment of youth people as a key enabler of action to struggle against current concerns along with the necessity of trusting youth leadership were also at the core of this constructive debate in which EU Commissioner Mariya Gabriel seized the opportunity to underline the importance of making youth voices heard during the European Year of Youth 2022.