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TeeNEXTers - Enhancing critical thinking for young people in Europe
Start date: Sep 19, 2016, End date: Dec 18, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

TeeNEXTers (Enhancing critical thinking for young people in Europe) is a youth exchange project which will use artistic collaboration to enhance young people's ability to express their opinions. An adventure for intrepid, European and young citizens !We will gather 36 young people (6 Irish, 6 Scottish, 6 Spanish, 6 Norwegian, 6 Belgian and 6 French) aged 16-22, and 14 adults (artists, professional critiques and youth workers/leaders) for an exchange that will occur in Lille-Tournai-Kortrijk eurometropole (France and Belgium), hosted by the applicant Le Grand Bleu, during 5 days (from the 17th to the 21st November 2016).Together, the participants will reflect on the ways that can be used to pass on a message, an idea, an emotion..., through different artistic media and will explore sensitive tools to express themselves. They will be invited and guided to express their opinions in a creative way about complex, intricate, non-manichaean issues.The project will be composed of 5 types of activities :- During recruitment and preparation (from September to November), the young people will be invited to think about and express what is important in an artistic piece of art for them, how one can relay a message, an emotion. They will get an opportunity to foster their curiosity, to question themselves and to start expressing their ideas while analysing the way they communicate. - During the exchange itself, they will discover innovative, striking, surprising artistic presentations (at least 4 pieces of living arts and 1 exhibition) at the occasion of the international, metropolitan and cross-border festival NEXT. The shows will be chosen especially for their ability to be a support for discussion, because they are audacious, sometimes provocative and very often leave the audience divided in opinion.- They will participate to critique workshops (led by 7 professionals artists and critiques from different countries), using writing, image and movement to elaborate critiques, reviews or responses to these shows. They will affirm their ideas and culture and share them with the others’. This will be a chance to discover new ways of expressing oneself and to acquire new competences. It will offer them artistic tools to enhance their ability to reason, to express their ideas and emotions and to present their arguments (using language, image and body movement). It will therefore strenghten their capacity to communicate with other people.- They will also get opportunities to reflect, discuss and debate over what they have seen/lived, to foster their sense of belonging to a same world, despite their differences. They will be encouraged to express their opinions, to produce argumentation and to enrich each other's ideas through dialogue. Those moments will train young people to build analytical minds and therefore, encourage pluralism and prevent one-track thinking.- Finally, we will share the results of the project (that is to say some tools about how one can use artistic practice to express an opinion) with local audiences and professional networks, in order to promote critical thinking with exercises or games than can be used by/with young people. We want to advocate the idea that artistic practice can be helpful to express opinions and feelings and therefore be a key for social and political change in Europe.With TeeNEXTers, we aim at reaffirming that freedom of thought and freedom of speech are core values in Europe.As we are all working with and for young people, we aim to foster their self-confidence, their ability to take a stand and to express their ideas through innovative ways.

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