School on Interculturalism in Vrnjacka Banja
Group 484 organised School on Interculturalism in Vrnjacka Banja, in the period 29 October – 1 November 2019. The most active youth from different cities were invited, together with their mentors, to participate in the programme of the School.
The main idea was to make schedule and plans of the campaigns in every city and to offer additional education and training to students on interculturalism and peaceful coexistence, research, writing and directing of scenarios, public appearance, etc. In addition, this was a great opportunity for participants to meet, present their research materials and ideas, present the programme of their “neighbourly corner”, exchange experience, share their impressions on research process and communication with other members of their groups, discuss different topics, such as intercultural education, stereotypes, the rise of right-wing politics, migration, cultural policies etc.
The School consisted of theoretical (lectures on different topics) and practical parts (workshops and participants’ presentations). The theoretical part was intended for additional education and giving new ideas on how to create a campaign, while the practical part engaged the participants to rethink their scenarios, explore different ways of presentation, and overcome “stage fright”.
Lecturers at the School were: Ivana Bogićević Leko (theatre director and youth worker), Jelena Mijić (painter and visual artist), Luka Knežević Strika (visual artist), Ružica Marjanović (literature teacher, founder of Literature Festival “Halfway” intended for high-school youth), Jana Danilović (street artist and art theorist), Dijana Milošević (DAH Theatre director), and Ivana Milenović-Popović (DAH Theatre actress). The practical part was held by Ivana Bogićević Leko, Miloš Janković, together with 6 mentors of “neighbourly corners”, and Group 484 staff, to make sure that everyone equally participates, understands the tasks, and gets translation, since the participants spoke several different languages.
Workshops with participants:
Finalising plans for the realisation of the campaigns consisted of several stages during the School on Interculturalism. Integrative activities, introductory speech, and workshop on stereotypes and prejudices were aimed to set the goals of the School and present the expectations of the participants. At the beginning, the groups from every city presented their community and themselves (migrant students were the members of Sjenica and Loznica groups, and they presented their country of origin and their impressions about the community in which they live now), as well as the research findings on the intercultural heritage of their cities and all the stories they plan to include in the scenario of the campaign.
Further, after every lecture, the groups had a task to develop, together with their mentors, different parts of their play: a draft of the whole scenario, the parts of dialogues, ideas for the promotional material, and finally – one complete scene of the play. Later, every group presented the scene they had previously developed. To make them rethink the scene and see their work from a different perspective, we have developed a workshop “The city in the mirror”. Namely, all the participants were divided into the mixed groups (from different cities) and these new groups got a task to make a parody out of presented scenes: every group for one city. This exercise strengthened the integration of the whole group, made them rethink their scenes and approach to the topic.
Finally, at the last workshop, final plans were set – dates of the campaigns in every city, dynamics of the preparation and meetings with mentors for casting and rehearsal, agreement about the content of the promotional material and publication.