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On the move - International Youth Circus Camp
Start date: May 1, 2015, End date: Sep 1, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"Bienvenue, Tervetuloa, Vitajte and Welcome" become true on July 13th in 2015 on the Castle in Windischleuba, Germany. Over ten days 37 young circus enthusiasts between 13 and 18 years from France, Finland, Slovakia and Germany had the opportunity to put their skills to the test in exciting workshops as well as meet young people of other nationalities. The international youth exchange "Imagining Circus Arts - on the move" of the LKJ (non-profit Saxon State Association for Cultural Child and Youth Education) was a collaboration between partners who are committed to the field of child and youth circus as well as Social Circus: Circus Helsinki from Finland, CirKusKus from Bratislava (Slovakia), Cie Charivari from Saint Brieuc (France), the MJC Le Sterenn (France) and the Child and Youth Circus KAOS from Dresden (Germany). The project has been successfully realized thanks to the funding from Erasmus +. In this youth exchange social learning and self-efficacy were the main objective. Looking at the content, the focus was on the creative engagement of the topic "on the move" within circensian and artistically expressions. Intercultural skills of the youth have been fostered. Particular attention has been paid not only to the contact between different countries but also to the participation of young people with different social and educational backgrounds. Circus pedagogy has special qualities for the success of such inclusive projects. The objective was to promote the interest for cultural diversity. The workshops have been dealing with the subject of crossing borders not just in terms of their content, but also methodologically. They were run by an international team and concentrated on bringing circus together with other art forms; juggling met puppetry, acrobatics met dance. The youths were free to choose which workshop they want to participate in. They have been required to come up with their own creative take on the theme of “on the move” and pursue issues relevant to them. Finally, the youths presented their results from the workshops during a public performance, where they included and experienced up close their own ideas about mobility, barriers and motionlessness. The joint activities in the workshops encouraged communication and helped participants overcome language barriers. This allowed them to discover common interests. Nonverbal as well as verbal processes of coordination required social skills; the youths contributed their ideas, expressed themselves creatively and shared. Professional artists and educators provided specialist and methodological assistance for the youths, their work approaches were characterized by participatory methods. Country-themed evenings and language animation activities reinforced an interest in the languages and cultures of other participants. This in turn promoted acceptance and intercultural understanding. Such encounters and exchange arouse openness and curiosity. The project encouraged young people to think outside the box. This represents a positive way for them to truly experience the European idea. Excursions into the surrounding area, open stage, campfires and other leisure activities ensured plenty of variety. The common work of the participating institutions made a professional exchange on inclusive methods and interdisciplinary approaches possible.

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