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"The Life Before Us: Playwriting techniques for multipliers of anti-discrimination youth work"
Start date: Jul 1, 2014, End date: Dec 31, 2014 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The training course (TC) "The Life Before Us: Play writing techniques for multipliers of anti-discrimination youth work“ was held from the 25th of July to the 2nd of August 2014 in Potsdam, in the seminar-house „Hochlland“ of our partner Hochdrei e.V.. 34 participants from Albania, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegowina, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, Macedonia, Malta, Spain, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Turkey and Germany took part. The participants of this training course were active youth workers and educators in non-formal and formal sectors as well as members of youth initiatives. The organizers, Mostar Friedensprojekt association (MFP), encouraged participants to improve their working methods, experience theater practice and expand their knowledge, which they started to collect in earlier engagements, by learning new techniques. In addition MFP has invited youth workers,to adapt innovative and playful art methods to reverse prior failures in changing an attitude of deisinterest from the side of youth, when dealing with the topic of discrimination. The main aim of this training course was the refinement of quality youth work by using new creative methods, such as playwriting techniques. The main idea of the TC emerged from our last very successful theatre training courses (Resist the beginnings: A training for multipliers in theatre techniques for anti-discrimination youth work“ in 2012 and 2013). During these training courses it became clear, that not only acting and analyzing theater plays, but also creating them is a powerful tool to strengthen the capacities of anti-discrimination youth work. The use of art practices as tool for youth work, its dynamic and unusual processes, motivates youngsters to think about discrimination and xenophobia and to reflect it on personal, local and global levels. By changing own perspectives during the process of creating new stories it is able to get a view from another angle as well as the „insider-view“ into the different traditions and rituals, which are often stereotyped and unknown in the society. Theater enables to rethink such issues as discrimination, racism and xenophobia from the perspective of created characters and opens the doors to the life of „the others“. This is a start of building and creating an environment of trust and mutual respect not only on the stage, but in everyday life.We are strongly convinced, that recognition of the procedures of the historical events in nowadays society and the active operating against it, is a way to ban it in the present and future life. That is why, we have chosen to work on a basis of the story „The Life Before Us“ (1975) written by Romain Gary. This book continues to elaborate on the events, that were described in the theater play „The Races“ (by Ferdinand Bruckner, 1933), that is the November pogrom and start of the genocide, which we have analyzed in the previous training courses. „The Life Before Us“ thematizes the life of Auschwitz survivors, shows the relationships between people in a multinational neighborhood and reflects the religious and ethnic diversity and approach to it.
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