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'Carnival Culture: Dancing Waste Away'
Start date: Aug 1, 2015, End date: Apr 30, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Carnival Culture: Dancing Waste Away' was an artistic and cultural trans-national youth project that brought 16 young people from Malta and the UK in a two-way youth exchange sharing together the creative expression of Carnival Culture in Malta and the UK, combining influences and heritage with the ethos of sustainable development and the process to learn about sustainable resources and recycling materials in the creation of costumes for Malta's annual Carnival in Valletta and Nadur. We worked with cultural organisations and looked at costume design, performances and traditional dance and music, and built a basis of knowledge of Carnival Culture in both countries. Besides, the participants worked and developed their own original music/dance piece and performed during Carnival in Malta in February 2016 and also in the UK in October 2015 during Black History Month. We carried out this project because it is a fact well-known that nowadays young people are very savvy with social media. Despite having its benefits, it is also proving to be detrimental and isolationist. For this reason, we as a group, are constantly seeking to find ways in which to foster our love for the environment while engaging in physical activity on the premise that when we work together, we become more expressive, creative and communicative instead of slouching to the Omni-present ‘Facebook culture’. This approach to a sustainable healthy lifestyle raises our awareness of current issues and brings impetus for us to change by connecting more deeply and solidly with our own needs, desires and thoughts. The participants in the project became aware of waste management and the benefits of upcycling, and got engaged to create original dance/music pieces and created artistic costumes from clothes and items that are normally thrown away. This was a good platform for learning sustainable ways to waste reduction through the experiences of others and demonstrated really good practices, which was integrated in the young people lives, impacting their families, friends and the community. These proven long term benefits will be effective and sustainable over a long period of time.
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