Turning Tables is a global non-governmental organization working to empower marginalized youth in different global contexts by providing them the means to process and express their challenges, hopes and dreams for a better tomorrow, through the Creative Arts of music and film. Our programmes build creative environments through inspiration, learning and transfer of technology that enable artistic self-expression in spaces where this would otherwise have been thought impossible.
The initiative is rooted in empowering youth, by youth, for youth in order to amplify their voices on issues that concern them. Turning Tables supports marginalized youth in responding to cross-cutting issues and integrates our programs within marginalized communities in order to find innovative spaces to support youth to strengthen their resilience, mental well-being and provide more links to nurturing social cohesion through positive identity development. Turning Tables' youth engagement focuses on:
Promoting peace dividends through a non-violent approach, addressing the root causes of conflicts and marginalization.
Searching for sustainable solutions to support youth in their transition into adulthood through trainings and programs.
Equipping youth to positively navigate complex environments and bring about meaningful positive change.
TT strives to address the root causes of inequality and provide support to psychosocial challenges faced by youth and the communities in which they reside. With the provision of digital tools to produce genuine artistic content, we are committed to trauma processing, youth character and skill-development, empowerment, innovation and resilience, recognizing and cultivating the tremendous potential and courage within young communities in challenging contexts.
Turning Tables' methodology creates both individual and collective empowerment and awareness-raising on community, national and international levels. Our unique approach where we tap into using music as a universal language for youth communication has proven itself to be very effective in areas where simply reaching out to marginalized youth is often wrought with obstacles. This approach has granted us access to even the most critical, vulnerable and oppressed youth.
Turning Tables believes that an integral part of supporting youth is to provide a space that enables them to positively develop their identities and support them in their transition into adulthood. Turning Tables’ programmes thus strive to support youth, their peers and the communities in which they reside to collectively build healthy dialogue and self-reflection in support of the development of positive coping mechanisms.
Turning Tables’ product-based approach is designed to strengthen networks and build bridges within and outside communities. Building and designing products reduces distances between people while working towards a common goal. The process also promotes a technical skill building capacity in an open space from where youth can self-reflect and advocate for change through their products.
Through our programmes, the youth embark on a multi leveled process where they are able to interact with peers and mentors. The process creates an opportunity to develop character skills by supporting one another, through youth-to-youth communication, positive role-modeling and preventing negative coping mechanisms, improving networking capacity, building connectors, accessing resources and contributing towards social cohesion within their given context.
Recognizing shared experiences with respect and dignity, reinforces a sense of collective identity and belonging in diversity, as they build their own tools and capacities to positively transform them. Reinventing and reweaving the broken fabrics that they locate in their society closes the distances between marginalized youth and their communities.
Turning Tables aims to amplify the voices of youth so that products that they produce can be heard at policy and decision-making levels, thus providing supportive structures in greater participation, though youth mobilization, and contribute to policymaking and leadership opportunities. This process further increases the networking capacity towards stakeholders and actors otherwise out of reach of communities for future opportunities and reducing youth vulnerability.
The turntable lab
Based on 7 years of success, we believe that we have now found a truly efficient and operational concept in the Turntable Lab. The Turntable Lab is a music and film 0 % energy production facility launched by sending in an experienced team of international filmmakers, music producers and studio engineers to a selected location. We bring the equipment, build the studio and train local music and film instructors to become caretakers of the Lab.
We currently have up-and-running Labs in Denmark, Sweden, Kenya, Myanmar, Lebanon and Jordan. The Lab functions not only as a production facility, but also as a creative safe-space for youth to come together and learn, exercise and practice their skills, nurturing a safe environment for mutual understanding and common ground and a safe environment for all youth.
Our overall development objective is to transform Turning Tables into the leading organization for empowering and giving voice to marginalized youth worldwide through music and film production. In order to do this, we are seeking long term strategic partners that share our belief that music and film can be powerful tools in supporting social movements and generating sustainable social change by empowering people to become the change they want to see in the world. Turning Tables’ main thematic areas across our global reach are integrated through:
Strengthening Positive Identity Resilience
Improving Mental Health
Promoting Gender Equality
Amplifying the Voices of Youth
These key thematic areas are highly interlinked and connected. Our impact on marginalized youth integrates preventative approaches, rights-based approaches, engagement and participation, skill development and promoting positive coping mechanisms in order to build resilience and break the cycles of youth marginalization.
Youth are in a position to create community-based research and generate evidence on how this process is conducted and integrated, providing documentation of their process to finding sustainable solutions and unleashing their power as leaders, change-makers and advocates within their communities. The process reinforces a better understanding of what the most relevant challenges surrounding youth are, and how they can best be supported.
Turning Tables' international reach has the potential to connect youth in different contexts, expanding their networks and impact, providing room for multiple exchanges, documentation through lessons learnt, and best practices.