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Start date: Oct 27, 2014, End date: Mar 27, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The project "Move Shake Act and Share! - MASS 2014" was held in Tortona from December 3rd to December 10th, 2014, thanks to the meeting of two organizations, La Fenice APS and SIW, and of two groups of youngsters aged between 14 and 16 years old, that after an exchange experience shared in the Netherlands in February 2014, have decided to continue the path taken together. The exchange from which this project was born, "Move to meet", had allowed the participants to express themselves in front of others and overcome fears and personal "blocks", working together for a common goal (the final show). This second project developed together ("MASS2014"), however, was the opportunity to give the kids, 23 young people between 14 and 17 years with very diverse social and cultural backgrounds, the chance and the spaces to express an idea, a message, a request and to do so through the their most congenial tools: dance (hip hop), theater and social media ... tools that were able to channel their positive energy and allowed participants to learn to have confidence in themselves without fearing the judgment of others, to speak in public, to meet each other, to discover their bodies and others'. The actors and authors of MASS2014 were then 11 Italians and 12 Dutch guys (from Utrecht), in addition to four group leaders (youth workers). The goal of the exchange was to provide participants with tools and opportunities to express themselves, to discuss, to transform ideas and messages and actions and to convey them to others through dance, theater and media technologies such as video and photography. The work done in the two art workshops (theater and dance), complementary to each other, made sure that all the young participants acquired self-confidence and confidence in making their voices heard, to bring their point of view in front of the adults, to make the world listen to their messages. The theater and dance also helped them to know each other, to be open to others and to express themselves, without fear of judgment, to express their emotions, to create empathy, without shame ... The two laboratories associated with the use of technology as a vehicle of social messages (photo lab and lab video) have instead given them the technical and practical tools to use in their daily lives in order to share and disseminate ideas and messages, to reach and engage others . All activities were carried out using the methods of non-formal and participatory approaches in which decisions are always taken as the result of sharing and discussion and in which young people were empowered from the very first moment (analysis of expectations, creating shared rules, etc. .). All workshops and activities were aimed at the free crea(c)tive expression of the youngsters, through different techniques and "trick"s (also including new and alternative methodologies, as the ideas of the "guerrilla marketing"). This path led to the creation of a final show that managed to collect the different experiences made during the week (in a series of theatrical, dancing and "virtual" performances), to "show-case" the topics discussed and the messages / ideas processed by the group. The show was also a moment of great visibility and dissemination of results to the community and the local administration, who attended the event in the person of the Deputy Mayor of Tortona. The project has also been fully accepted and shared by the local High School G.Marconi, which attended part of the activities with some of its second year classes (about 40 youngsters in total), encouraging and promoting the meeting, the comparison and the mutual exchange (of knowledge, ideas and opinions) between students and participants of the project ... and thus expanding the opportunities for visibility and dissemination. Finally, the project MASS 2014 not only managed to give young people ways and spaces to express themselves and to transform their ideas into action, but also managed to leave participants with lasting impressions and with concrete tools to be used in their daily lives in order to overcome difficulties and obstacles that adolescence often places in front of them (being heard and being able to listen, speak in public and do small acts of courage: such as in doing something new, in getting involved, in taking responsibility, in sharing their opinions, in proposing solutions and stand out from the crowd, in participating and being active and proactive citizens.

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