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CULTUREGRAPH – knowing cultures by photography
Start date: May 1, 2015, End date: Jan 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

NAME OF THE PROJECT: CULTUREGRAPH – knowing cultures by photography CONTEXT: Zona Livre is a cultural association that, although recent, is composed by very active members with vast experience and maturity in relation to activity management. In its activities with youth, the association started to diagnose a certain isolation of our youngsters in relation to European multiculturalism and European citizenship, which should be part of our identity, as youth from Europe. Young people from Vila Real see this city as the only possibility to live and work in the future. Although Vila Real is a big city, with a good and dynamic university, opportunities of intercultural dialogue are still rare, which makes young people still uneasy with cultural differences and not feeling part of Europe. We were challenged by Psientifica, an association from Agueda, to create a project related to our needs and problems. We believe that it will expand our horizons, as young active people, willing to be part of change. This project will be an excellent opportunity to improve fundamental competences and skills in the life of a European citizen and it will stimulate youth participation in European actions which will fight against common ethnocentrism. By using photography as the theme of this project, we had in account youth interests and an different way to approach interculturalism: by artistic expression and a common interest to all participants, in spite of their nationality. Art by photography portrays not only the photography but also the photographer: it becomes a bridge of discussion , a way to experiment and observe other culture and ours. By bringing photographs of their own local community, youth will discuss their cultures, based on how they are similar or different, with respect and curiosity. OBJECTIVES - Promote intercultural dialogue and cultural sensitivity; - Promote active participation and interest in European issues; - Promote social values, such as respect, equality and dignity; - Develop youth competences in relation to knowledge, skills and attitudes; - Promote peer learning; - Develop responsibility and organizational skills; - Develop initiative and creativity in the youth field; - Strengthen international dimension of organizations; - develop oral English skills; NUMBER/ PROFILE OF PARTICIPANTS: Youth between 16-25 with interest for photography. 6 participants+1 group leader DESCRIPTION OF ACTIVITIES: 1) VAP; 2)Youth exchange in Vila Real, Portugal - icebreaker activities; getting to know activities; Group dynamics; Orienteering in multicultural teams; Culture by Photography: Visit a vineyard and typical regional lunch; Visit the local and craft markets; Reflection on culture through the photographs brought by participants; daily reflection on individual and peer learning. 3) Project evaluation phase with the associations and participants; METHODS: Discussion and reflection among peers; group dynamics based on non-formal education; exercise photographic experimentation and observation of cultural aspects; challenges posed to multicultural teams. RESULTS AND IMPACTS: For young people: - Increased intercultural knowledge and awareness and acceptance of differences; - Acquisition of new skills and values; - Recognition of non-formal learning and cooperation; - Improved conversation in English. For associations: - Acquisition of experience and skills that allow an improvement in future actions; - Increased capacity planning and management of activities and development of non-formal and informal education strategies; - Increased visibility of the work done by the youth associations at national and international level; LONG-TERM BENEFITS: We hope that this project is just the beginning of an extensive collaboration between these associations that have missions, values and very similar contexts. We hope that our dissemination allow greater regional dynamism. At the same time, the fact that engage young people in various stages of will make them gain skills and project experience that enables them, in the future, to be themselves agents of change and social entrepreneurs.

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