Hello, everyone! Especially you who has just started to read.
Let’s meet first, I will start with my name.
My name is Didem Karagence. I am studying sociology at Middle East Technical University. More importantly, I am one of the participants of a youth exchange project named “ A European Dream” organized by Zavod Apis in Elerji, Slovenia on 6-14 May 2017.
One of the reasons I wanted to participate in this project was the Lycian Pathfinders as they organise activities with young people near the Lycian way. As I always want to walk in Lycian path to discover all the antique beauties in the nature.
I had a little idea about their teaching/learning methods but still I was keen to learn.
As a sociology student how Europe is concerned by other nations and cultures were also a very important reason for me to participate in. In my opinion, concepts does not have meanings without people’s interactive views on them. It means that, Europe’s meaning among the individual also shaped by them before moving it’s definition. All in all, it was a chance for me to see what Europe meant to people participating from different countries.
Nonetheless, to discuss European Dream in Slovenia which is the first former Yugoslav republic to join the European Union, in May 2004 were also important since they could also be considered as new.
Participants of the project come from different countries. These countries are; Netherlands, Ireland, Turkey, Poland and Slovenia. Every participant were coming from
different regions of their country and everyone had an opinion what was going to happen in their country right now. We were all wondering what Irish people were thinking about Brexit and they were also wondering what Turkish people though of refugee crisis.
Furthermore,we have different ideas about Europe and Europe identity, it was a very interesting week for us to discuss all of them through non-formal education methods . I believe that non-formal education methods helped us to better communicate and understand each other regarding differences and needs as its base on respect for share and listen other opinions.
I am personally interested in stories, I love to read them to myself and children. So that, I was excited about the sessions of storytelling methods.
Metka, I will call her as a storyteller women. She is on the right side in the picture.
I was fascinated by her storytelling methods and workshops. For example; in one of the workshops a person was starting the story and the person next to him or her continuing with a sentence beginning with, fortunately, then the second person continuing with unfortunately. It was surprising to see that how a story could change into one reality to another with one sentence.
This is a photo from a car in which Metka’s children reflected their creativity. While we were participating in workshops, Metka’s children( twins) were also coming to the centre to wait for her. Although the twins interrupted our sessıons with her, Metka’s relation with us and them created another harmony in which we express other spheres of ourselves as a group.
Metka was also the facilitator of the Theatre of the Oppressed workshop. During these days, we discussed the meaning of Oppressor and Oppressed, and try to examine their meaning in different concepts. Furthermore, we prepared ourselves for our performance which will be held in the center of the Ljubljana, on the last day of the program. Before the performance, we do a lot of exercises helping to express our emotions, know our body senses and trying to understand other people’s body languages.
At the end, we prepared three main problems of youth people that needed to be heard by local people, youth, and politicians; therefore all society.
We used our bodies to send our messages. I was shouting Unemployment scares my generation whenever a person comes to me or stand by me. It was hard than I thought because as a sculpture you shouldn’t move, laugh or smile.
I think that it is really important to do such performances in public space to take people’s attention to the problems of their own. Make them remember that we are the ones who uses the public spaces, as a right to use,speak and change. Personally, I had a chance to see how people were also sharing the same problems as were are trying to take attention to it.
In a way, you show them what they live in and give them a chance to speak up altogether. Like we did in this project. We discussed the problems of youth in Europe, try to understand the meaning of Europe by criticizing some aspects; however, most importantly, we were all together in this project and we looked for solutions altogether.