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Hidden beauty of graffiti
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: Sep 30, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The idea of the project "Hidden beauty of graffiti" was born on a training course in Sweeden focused on non-formal education and innovative methods, attended by two members of the non-formal group Youth leaders of the RCM. Graffiti is an "organism/structure" independently growing in public places, which was through historical wall painting transformed into what it is today. It represents a specific form of social - artistic communication. Many young talented people (future artists) are looking for a way in which they could present or express their feelings and emotions. Modern graffiti was created as a product of the social situation - high unemployment and lack of funds, accompanied by an increase in crime in the most vulnerable social classes and ethnic groups. The aim of this project is to help young people in today's society to find their place and style of modern art and develop their natural talents, to highlight the differences between legal and illegal graffiti, to get knowledge of how this art is created by using creative methodologies and methods of non-formal education, to underline the necessity of education based on the principles of equality and anti-discrimination. The Project of International Youth Exchange „Hidden beauty of graffiti“ was attended by 43 young people (including leaders) of 8 European countries: Belgium, Finland, Greece, Lichtenstein, Spain, Italy, Sweden, and Slovakia. The project took place in Kysak (20 km from Košice) on the dates from 19.7.2015 to 26.7.2015 (including arrival and departure dates). Participants were young people interested in gaining knowledge about graffiti and generally in art with an active interest in what is happening in their surroundings and in their community. They were interested in various cultural values at home and in Europe. Participants were also young people having less opportunities in life and facing economical, geographical barriers or / and health issues. The methodology of youth exchange was based on the principles of non-formal education. We were using methods as: work in small groups, discussions, workshops, team-building games and creative work; Activity description of the methods are attached to the application form. The aim of the project was to provide information and skills to the participants that they acquired during the process of non-formal education throughout methods and forms that they were able to implement in their own environment. Youngsters participated in artistic workshops focused on the creation and sense of graffiti, dance workshop, various activities of non-formal education, they have presented their own country and prepared a program for the others, visited places with legal graffiti and at the end they have presented the results of their work to the public on the final exhibition in Košice. The impact of an international meeting is always a strong experience for young people. Staying abroad contributes to a strong self-reflection. An expected impact was also the activation and motivation of young people getting involved in local projects aimed to enhance public spaces. This kind of exchange also increased awareness about the importance of self-realization of young people and support of such arts and activities that contribute to crime reduction and promote the development potential of youth. The international context contributed to a better understanding of the "message" of young people to the world throughout this art.

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