Jose Miguel Calatayud, a journalist based in Barcelona and covering Europe, argues that in many European countries the human rights discourse is increasingly seen by a majority of the population as alien and sterile, with little relevance to their own lives and political realities. This situation has come about, he believes, because of the elite and technical nature of conventional human rights practice, and its inclination to rely on international law rather than engaging with the local history and politics of the places where human rights organizations usually work. His fellowship will investigate the extent to which human rights in Europe can be re-situated within citizen-based political movements working on democracy activism.
Calatayud received an MA in International Journalism from City University, London. He was based in East Africa between 2009 and 2012, and then in Turkey until 2015. He has been a correspondent of Spanish newspaper El País and his work has also appeared in other international media such as GlobalPost, Al Jazeera, The Independent, and Agence France-Presse. In July 2012, a feature he wrote about a child sentenced to death in South Sudan won the Dario D’Angelo Award, given by the Marco Luchetta Foundation.