This is a reference for Aldo Perez

Queer on Focus

The training activity took place
in Werftpfuhl, Germany
organised by Kurt Löwenstein Bildungshaus
30.03 - 06.04.2015

Aims & objectives

Queer Easter is a yearly seminar for around 100 participants from all over Europe and the Middle East, organized by the Kurt Löwenstein Education Centre. It had a general topic for each year and it consisted of around 8 groups, each with a specific topic related to the main topic. The topic that year was Sex Positivity and my workshop was called „Queer on Focus“. Our general goal was to speak about sexuality and sex positivity from a Queer perspective, this in order to fight stereotypes and internalized struggles related to discrimination.

In our workshop, me and my Co-Trainer Nitzan Menagen, our goal was to improve the self-esteem and the security of the participants regarding their own body. Queer on Focus aimed to reflect from a general and from a personal perspective on how society and our environment shape body image and our perception of beauty. I

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

The target group were young people between 15 and 28 from Europe and the middle East who are already active within youth organisations in their respective countries. The participants came from the following countries: Israel, Palestine, UK, Serbia, Spain, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Austria.

Training methods used & main activities

Besides well known methods such as open discussions, knowledge cafes, etc. We worked a lot with photography. After creating an atmosphere of trust and camaraderie, participants were asked first to do self portraits and to make a sort of gallery for the groups, we then reflected on their feelings due to the exposure of their picture and their self image. We continued working with pictures asking participants to use photography to further explore their self imagine and the perception of society on beauty and of queerness. We also included a session critically analyzing perceptions of beauty and of masculinity and femininity among LGBT People.

Outcomes of the activity

The first result was the creation of some very artistic and critical photographs, participants took this either as a memory or even as a foundation for further work in their organizations. Through the reflection sessions and the feedback session as the end, but also through out the increasing openness of the group, we could verify an improvement of may participants on their self image and on how they interact with this topic in society.

Your tasks and responsibilities within the team

My main task was to create and lead the content of the seminar together with my co-trainer. Further on, we were also all responsible for the overall functioning of the activity. I was also in charge of organizing a reflection session on masculinity while there was a parallel activity for Women and Trans* participants. I was also in charge of supporting participants for self organized workshops, among other tasks.

I worked on this training for 8 days as a full time trainer.

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