LTTA – TRAINING COURSE
Europe for all youth – Innovative art based methods in youth work (EU for YOUth) is a cooperation partnership project founded by the European Union through the Erasmus+ Programme, no. 2022-1-RO01-KA220-YOU-000089323. EU for YOUth is coordinated by Be You Association from Romania in partnership with Alphabet Formation – Belgium, Universita Degli Studi Di Firenze – Italy, Universitatea Valahia Targoviste – Romania, Youthfully Yours Sk – Slovakia, Terra Di Tutti Srl Impresa Sociale – Italy.
The main aim of the EU for YOUth project is to counter Euroscepticism among young people using innovative art-based methods and increase their active involvement in the society. From the 13th to the 19th of November 2023, a training programme took place in Capannori and Lucca, Italy, hosted by Terra di Tutti partner with the involvement of 18 youth workers coming from Belgium, Italy, Romania, and Slovakia. The purpose was to transfer competences from the elaborated Manual of the project, which focuses on addressing Euroscepticism and promoting European values by using art.
Different kinds of artistic techniques contained in the Manual activities were tested. The workshops were based on the principles of inclusion, diversity, tolerance, and accepting others. As a result, during activities participants were mixed in different nationality working groups.
Particular attention was also paid to the aspect of sustainability in youth work, as the materials used for the activities were waste materials which found a new purpose.
Prints of Solidarity
Firstly, the participants engaged in a textile printing activity called „Prints of Solidarity”, aiming to identify several European values and principles. They created printed designs that symbolised unity, freedom, inclusion and equality, and presented them in a joint discussion.During the workshop it was approached the topic of Euroscepticism and its main root causes.
Another form of art that was experienced was tailoring, explored through the “No Flag” workshop. The intent was to use the national flags of the participants’ countries as an identifying elements and reworking them in a personal, decorative, and collective way. Ethnic and cultural identity led the groups to a new vision of relationships, identities, and a united Europe.
Handcrafting was also included in the training programme though ”Many Faces” workshop, and clay was used as a tool of self-definition to understand one’s own uniqueness and the originality of the different characters of people. The general aim was to increase the sense of cooperation, community and inclusion, and this was confirmed by the final discussion on the inclusion through art.
Through the theatre activity „Cultural Festival” the programme sought to promote cultural diversity in Europe, tolerance towards other cultures, and mutual understanding among all citizens living in Europe’s geographical space. Following the theatre performances, the discussion emphasised similarities and differences among all European regions, with special attention to cultural diversity and breaking stereotypes.
Capturing European values through photography
The training course ended with a workshop on photography named ”Capturing European values through photography”. Participants explored the city to seize images and signs that they felt were representative of EU values and their practical uses. This activity also had a particular focus on digitalisation and the power of digital storytelling to counter Euroscepticism and promote EU values.
To sum up, the activities served to equip youth workers with the necessary skills to employ art-based methodologies in youth activities. The acquired competences will be applied in work with young individuals to increase their active involvement in society, foster inclusion, and combat Euroscepticism.