Refugees Welcome!? - artistic reflections of youth..
Refugees Welcome!? - artistic reflections of youths from Israel, Italy and Germany
Start date: Jun 1, 2015,
End date: Oct 1, 2015
The project “Refugees Welcome!? –Artistic reflections of youths from Israel, Italy and Germany” had the objective of bringing together young people from different cultures and of different ages and creating a cross-cultural sense of togetherness within the European context, in order to strengthen their cultural and historical awareness. The project took place partially in Leipzig, but also in a schools field centre close to Leipzig. A total of 36 participants from the countries Israel, Italy and Germany were involved.
The central issue we dealt with during the project week is how the refugees are treated in different countries and what they need to feel welcome in the foreign countries. We looked for answers to these questions and we tried to find out to what extent this problem affects us in everyday life.
The participants handled intensely the current situation in their own country, learnt more about the condition of other countries and at the same time discovered similarities, but also differences. The focus was also the relationship between the countries. Three countries where the acceptance of refugees, the interaction with them and the understanding for this situation is experienced in many different ways. We got an input from the leader of the Refugee Council in Leipzig. Already here it was clear the vivid interest of young people bumping into this issue, since they discussed it intensively. Furthermore, we watched 3 movies that represented the refugee issues in different ways. All three groups were very well prepared for this topic, they reported on the situation in their country as well as on their own initiatives.
The participants, guided by experienced and qualified artists, dealt with the subject and the input in three different workshops. They worked in 2 theatre workshops using different methods as well as in a media workshop. The groups worked mixed, in order to let also the various experiences and opinions influence each another. The results of each workshop were presented to the public at the end of the week in a final presentation. Here interested persons, friends and representatives of cultural institutions were reached and faced with the topic through artistic debates.
Beside the activities in the workshops the participants actively helped to create the group life and through this they strengthened their social skills in dealing with one another. There was a comprehensive programm, through which the team spirit was strengthened and the learning of other cultures was promoted. These activities included amongst other things mini-workshops, the organisation of an international evening in which every country presented itself in a creative way, as well as joint leisure activities.
During the project it was created a short movie on the subject developed by the media group. This as well as pictures and the recording of the presentation was made available to all the participants on Facebook. At the end of the project we went to Berlin. There we visited among other things the exhibition "We will rise – refugee movement".
This project gained a huge impact. Before it we were not aware that there was such an enormous need for exchange on this topic. All young people were strongly concerned with their issue and they also exchanged their experiences about the workshops. Especially the short films from Italy caused a big concern and the wish to play an active part in this European challenge. In the project the social cooperation within the group was for us very important. The participants had to exchange experiences and opinions, become aware of the current situation, build friendships and keep in mind the aquired values also after the project.
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