Latvian experience in Kalamata, Greece - C.A.S.T.

Ιανουάριος 06, 2019

Greece and theatre. A natural combination, based on the human cultural history. Though, what about Greece and Forum Theatre? Proven to be also a decent combination through a youth exchange that took place in the South of Greece at the beginning of November, 2018. The project’s title was “Community building, Awareness raising and Social inclusion through forum Theatre! (CAST!)”. The mobility of youth workers took place from 05/11/2018 to 10/11/2018 in Kalamata, Greece, where 24 people from 8 different countries: Greece, Romania, Latvia, Bulgaria, Italy, Spain, Croatia and Germany took part in.

One of the biggest and most influential NGOs from Latvia, Baltic Regional Fund sent 2 participants to this training course in Greece – Anastasija and Baiba, one of whom had a rich experience in the theatre realm and forum theatre, another – none, what also gave the balance to the whole group.

The overall aim and specific objectives of the project were:

-Introduce and familiarize participants with Forum Theatre’s Technique

-Map the challenges faced by young people

-Promote the exchange of good practices

-To train participants in adapting the forum theatre methods

-Develop skills in implementing activities for young people with fewer opportunities and the integration of young people

-Sharing the knowledge of the ERASMUS+ program

The project programme was a balanced and sapid entity that not only allowed to embark on the theories and practices of forum theatre, but also to enjoy the neighborhood of Kalamata’s city with its natural and cultural opulence.

Main contents and activities of the project were:

-group building activities

-activities connected to Forum Theatre in order participants to get more familiar with the techniques of Forum Theatre

-public event and presentation of Forum Theatre in order more people to learn about this technique

The team building activities in the first part of the youth exchange and further, the work in teams on a preparation of a Forum Theatre piece, whereby participants shared their own personal stories to each other, where they felt themselves as oppressed let the whole group become aware of their rallying, consolidation and sympathetic understanding, what was one of the objectives of the project. This common ground was a step for a successful creation acting through the Forum Theatre play that was presented in the centre of Kalamata to the local community later on and raised fruitful discussions.

The results of the project are the following:

– develop skills connected to Forum Theatre

– exchange experiences and good practices on working with NEETs

– improve their skills as youth workers

– gain intercultural experiences and skills

– develop interpersonal and social skills

The training course though, was not solely a revelation for several participants, for whom the techniques and methods of the Theatre of the Oppressed were new, but also an opportunity for the participants from 8 different countries to build a strong international and intercultural network, that was carried out through cultural evening as well as spending of spare time together in the city of Kalamata.