Story of Abroadship’er Justinas:

0 meI came with the last minute call, with low confidence in the arts field and was pleasantly surprised about the human borders and the methods available to extract these borders from non-artistic participants, such as me. I always felt desire to pursue some artistic form and always had passion for many forms of arts (theater, painting, drawing, movies, photos), but never really felt confidence or time to enter the field seriously. And here it comes the opportunity that is just impossible to miss. And it happens in Armenia, a country I have never visited but always wanted to visit! The expectations were high, but the result was even higher – it was a magic self discovery time, full of inspirations and, what is very important, four new follow-up projects to develop in the future with the participants i met there. Thank you for this opportunity.

“The training was so amazing and inspiring that it lead to a birth of 4 follow-up projects afterwards” Justinas

Project title: training course „IMPROVISION – Inclusion through Art“

Place: Armenia

Time: August 2016

Organizers: International Center for Intercultural Research, Learning and Dialogue and Dialogos

Description: One of the ongoing challenges in youth work is the integration of disadvantaged groups in the society or in regard of the European youth work sphere, their involvement in international projects. There is a constant need for new and innovative methods, which would ease this process and also give them an inspiring environment to develop their potential.

Artistic forms of expressions are very promising in this field for several reasons. Regarding the aspect of personal development, artistic methods are very powerful as they give an opportunity for self- discovery. In the process of creation we always express more than we are consciously aware at the moment. Especially the spontaneous creations in an improvisation setting are very useful in this sense and the outcomes can be used as a mirror to reflect on your ‘inner world’. Especially youth who are not very strong in verbal expression can gain a lot through the expression in creative ways.

Apart from the benefit regarding personal development, it also becomes an important topic for the work with mixed-background groups in a local context and is already used, e.g. while working with groups of refugees and locals in integration projects.

Despite their usefulness and potential as described above, artistic methods are not very wide spread and far away of being in the standard tool box of youth workers. Especially in the EECA region this field is still underdeveloped and it would be therefore highly beneficial to educate multipliers in this field. The training gathered 29 youth workers and youth leaders from program and EECA partner countries to explore the potential of artistic forms of expression in (international) youth work setting with disadvantaged groups.

The training was organized and trained by Oliver, Laura and Hasmik. The training was sponsored by Erasmus+ programme of the European Commision.