This is a reference for Stefan Georgiev

Art in Action

The training activity took place
in Trofaiach, Austria
organised by Verein InterAktion
25.05 - 03.06.2018

Aims & objectives

This activity was a Youth Exchange (YE) under the Erasmus + Programme.
The Youth Exchange aimed to engage participants in a process of exploring challenges and problem relevant for young people in their community using the Action Research methodology and addressing the identified issues by the means of art.
In addition, the objectives of this exchange were:
- To create conditions for strong group dynamic development and establishing interpersonal relationship between participants;
- To invite participants to explore how Action Research methodology works and how the same could be put into practice, using real-life case studies;
- To identify main relevant issues which address the needs of the young people in local communities;
- To share and to reflect upon different solutions and approaches regarding the above mentioned issues;
- To share and explore Art as a possible answer to relevant problems and use Art as engaging tool for community work.

Target group & international/intercultural composition of the group & team

The group of participants was composed of 35 young people together with their leaders. Participants were coming from five different countries– Austria, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Poland and Spain. Participants had strong focus and interest in arts in variety of forms and genres – drawing, drama, dance, music, photography and cinema, etc. In the group there were also participants with migrant background, mainly coming from Syria. Coordinator of the project was the Austrian NGO InterAktion.
The facilitators for this YE were me and another colleague, both from Bulgaria.

Training methods used & main activities

For this learning activity, the methods and the educational approach was designed with specific focus on Arts, taking into consideration participants’ profile and their above-mentioned profile. This exchanged was designed considering the need for high diversity and level of interaction within the sessions. The session flow was created to maintain balance between artistic activities, co-creation of knowledge via common experience and sharing, but also dynamic interpersonal interactions. The activity was in line with the main principles of non-formal learning, with a focus on research (Action Research Methodology) and Arts.
During the exchange there were plenty of opportunities for:
- Energizers and short high group dynamic activities;
- Small group work followed by presentations;
- Brainstorming sessions and analytical tools;
- Prioritizing activities and debates;
- Creative processes, including drawing, dancing, singing, filming, all this under agreed common scenario and choreographic process;
- Intercultural public event (flash mob) in downtown, engaging the public and the local population;
- Tools to map challenges and opportunities related to the main topic.

Outcomes of the activity

One major outcome of the Youth Exchange was creating several pieces of art during the activity. One could mentions, paintings, songs, dances, poetry, drama, contemporary dancing, etc. All of them are kept in the Coordinator archives.
From visibility point of view, one outcome worth pointing out is the process of engaging local population which was followed by know-how for the whole group how this could be re-created in their local realities.

A main outcome in terms of visibility was the video, that was filmed and edited during the Performance Stage of the Action Research Cycle within the activity days. The video was uploaded and is still accessible for viewing here:

Your tasks and responsibilities within the team

For this activity, together with the other co-facilitator, I was responsible for:
- Designing the program flow for the whole activity;
- Adapting a research methodology for the purposes of the exchange;
- Facilitating 9-day learning experience for the full duration of the program;
- Providing participants with feedback.

I worked on this training for 9 days as a full time trainer.

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