Film by the KU Leuven LINC & the European Forum for Restorative Justice








On 20 April 2015, one researcher from each partner organisation came in Leuven to be interviewed on the ALTERNATIVE project. Interviewees shared their personal experiences during this ‘ALTERNATIVE journey’ and reflected on the lessons learned and possible implementations of the ALTERNATIVE project. This film includes parts of these interviews (which can be viewed entirely here) in combination with the images from the four action researches in the field. It can be used as an introduction to the four films directed by the partners in Austria, Hungary, Serbia and Northern Ireland, although all these movies stand on their own.

The film ‘ALTERNATIVE’ starts with a brief presentation of the ALTERNATIVE project and the definitions of the main concepts appearing in the title, ‘security and justice’, ‘restorative justice’ and ‘intercultural settings’. The European map is used to introduce the four sites of the action research:

  • social housing estates in Vienna, AUSTRIA
  • interethnic small town in HUNGARY
  • urban neighbourhoods in NORTHERN IRELAND
  • interethnic border towns in SERBIA


When speaking about the action research, interviewees speak about the steps taken for entering the field, the challenges for building trust and the role of the researcher in the field. Interviewees also present a series of lessons learned during the ALTERNATIVE project: they speak about the importance of collecting personal stories despite some ‘silence’s cultures’ act against it; they speak about the current obsession for security in our societies and the importance to bring citizens closer to each other; they speak about the existing diversity in Europe and the fact it should be seen as an opportunity, rather than a threat.

As one of the interviewers concludes, ‘we are not sure that restorative justice is the answer’, but during this project this alternative measure to security and justice has proven to be helpful to build bridges in local communities.


This movie has been directed by the European Forum for Restorative Justice (EFRJ) in collaboration with the KU Leuven Institute of Criminology (LINC) and edited by the KU Leuven Institute of Media and Learning (LIMEL). The project partners gave input on the contents of this movie, but they also contributed to the selection of images to be used in this movie.