Music workshop: Creating sounds for scenes – On&Off

On December 12th we all gathered in the Social Centre of San Antonio in Logroño, in a small place with various musical instruments. With a total of 9 participants, we carried out a very interesting activity about the use of instruments to create an atmosphere in a concrete scene. We wanted to discover which instruments we could use in order to transmit fear, sadness, joy, love, and other emotions.

We started out by explaining how the activity was going to be executed to the youngsters, and discovering the instruments we had in the room. Most of them knew how to play a minimum of two instruments; the guitar, the flute, the piano, the saxophone, the drums… everyone had an instrument they felt comfortable with.

Once they knew what the activity was about, we watched together some scenes from movies and series that transmitted different kinds of emotions.

For anger we watched scenes from Star Wars and The Breaking Bad. After watching both scenes we sat down and discussed about the instruments used to create the anger atmosphere. We then decided which of the picked instruments they would play and we started to create an atmosphere similar to the ones on the scenes we watched.

With the help of Silvia Sáenz, the coordinator of the activity, everyone tried their best to portrait the emotion with the instruments we had. At first it was a mess, but once we had an idea of what we wanted to do, we were able to pull it off. The instruments we used for anger were: the electric guitar, the piano, the saxophone, the drums and the rain stick. Two of the participants decided to sing a creepy melody as well.

After we felt satisfied with the atmosphere we created, we moved on with another emotion: fear. For this emotion we watched scenes from The Shining and IT. We then continued to repeat the process and came up with the following instruments: the bongos, the piano, the electric guitar, the rain stick and the flute. We also added some participants heavy breathing and screaming.

The last emotion that we did (even though we had more planned, we got caught up in the moment) was love. We watched scenes from Call Me by Your Name and 500 days of summer. We repeated the process once again and decided on these instruments: the electric guitar, the piano and the flute. Two of the participants also added a singed melody in order to create the atmosphere we wanted.   It was very interesting seeing how the group of young participants worked together to coordinate themselves and achieve something. They were coming up with great ideas, trying to include everyone, and making sure that everyone had an instrument or something to do with every emotion. It would have been interesting seeing them work with different emotions as well but we unfortunately ran out of time. We still had a lot of fun, and discovered ways to create an atmosphere with instruments for a scene.

2 workshops on Photography and Street Art in Karlovac (Carpe Diem)

Carpe Diem carried out two workshops in 2020.

The first one was centred on photography and involved 6 young participants between the 5th and the 9th of March.

The second one was on Street Art. The first part strictly followed the training curriculum, then we decided to add a second practical part. These 2 joint moments of the workshop were carried out between the 10th and the 17th of October, involving 20 participants in total.

Dance Workshop “Ostinati” in Florence (C. Virgilio Sieni)

For four days, from October 4-11, in Florence (Italy) at PIA Palazzina Indiano Arte, the workshop Ostinati was held under the guidance of Delfina Stella and Lucia Sauro.

This transmission and learning project geared towards boys and girls from the Le Piagge neighborhood, an area hard hit by social exclusion and neglect. Those who feel the strongest impact of the situation are certainly young people, who manage to find opportunities for redemption and social inclusion in these types of small-group cultural activities.

The young people in the theater group come from varied backgrounds, and the project is an opportunity for study and participation, with the aim of engaging the group in an experience of collective creation and sharing on languages of the body and dance. The challenge of Ostinati was to bring together each participant’s capacities, making the fullest use of them while emphasizing the experimental nature of a choreographic process based on the discovery of movement.

The work began with an open question on what it means to be obstinate. During work sessions, participants were guided through exercises and experiences of body language in evolution, in the shared pursuit of a repetitive, obstinate movement in which each could find his or her own identity, going beyond the expected in a progressive advancement towards the other. The group had the chance to join the festival Long Playing Cantieri Culturali 2020 organized by the Virgilio Sieni National Center of Dance Production with a project set in their own neighborhood.

The course is part of the InterArts (Youth Communities for Social Inclusion) European project that aims to impart a sense of responsibility to young people in the fight against discrimination and social exclusion.

“My City”: Two Painting Workshops for Social Inclusion

For two Saturdays, 26 September and 3 October, Inter Alia organised a painting workshop in the frame of the InterArts project.

Visual artist and arts teacher Alkyoni Divari guided the participants in the fundamental principles and the basic concepts of painting.

Through non-formal methods they explored visualisation of words and stories, light and shadow, analogy and form, textures and materials, colours, the colour wheel, warm and cold colours, basic and complementary colours, colour contrast, colour sentiments and synthesis. Participants were called straight from the start to use their sentiment and paint on the subject of “My City” and were guided during their work with tips, insights and questions in a learning-by-doing manner.

Film production workshop: Learning the basics. Cinema Workshop On&Off

On the 5th of August we met on the Oca square in Logroño again to do a film workshop. It was directed to the young people who are interested in script writing and directing their own audiovisual productions.

When everyone arrived, we gathered, sat down and talked for a while. Everyone talked about their dreams, whether it was script writing, directing, producing or acting in movies. Some just came because they were interested in filmmaking, but we all reunited with one goal: learning.

We provided them with the necessary equipment, and they started trying to figure out how the camera worked, as well as trying to film themselves to see the results.

When they finally became familiar with the camera they sat down in a circle and brainstormed ideas for a short film. They thought of everything: some worked on the script, some looked for places in our city in which we could film the scenes, and the actors studied their lines.

They had everything planned out, so the only thing left to do was start recording.

We all walked to the selected places in our city and started filming.

We filmed a lot of takes, and when we finally finished, we went back to the square and we decided the ones that we wanted in our short film.

They taught us a bit about editing, just the basics, and we finished the film.

Then, we sat down to see the final result. I was really impressed with it! It was such a great experience for the youngster who want to work in the process of filmmaking. We all learned a bit of everything, and we carried out the short film with our ideas. It was also really interesting learning how to use a professional camera!

Learning to See – Photo Workshop On&Off

When we watch our surroundings through a camera, we are capable of seeing the odd, the remarkable real moments that are hidden from everyone else’s eyes. Once we learn to see, we learn to feel.

On the 4th of August we met on the Oca square in Logroño in order to explore the environment around us and find those remarkable things that you can only admire through your camera.  Everyone brought a digital camera (a professional camera was not needed, I, for instance, did it with my smartphone), so we started working on it.  

We spent some time talking about our abilities and experience in photography, and giving advice for those who didn’t know as much. Some people were interested in learning more about photography, so the ones who knew more explained some basic things about lighting, framing, and focus.

Then, we separated in groups of five and we walked through the city, stopping whenever we thought of something to take photos.

In the end, we reunited again in the square to show our results and to share what the photos meant to us, what we wanted to communicate with each picture.

It was so interesting hearing everyone’s ideas, and having them look at the pictures my group took.

The main goal of this workshop was to discover new things in our city that we normally wouldn’t notice, but we also learned more about photography, and I think the results were really interesting.

This is about a camera and you! – Inter Alia photography workshop

*This article has been originally published on the Inter Alia website

It was a hot summer afternoon when we started gathering. On the 4th of July, at around 7 p.m. young people with an interest for photography came together at Avdi square at the center of Athens, Greece. “This is about a camera and you!” was the title given to this meeting, in the frame of Inter Arts, aiming to use non-formal education methods to acquaint young people with the photographic way of seeing their surroundings, the assumptions connected to visual expression and the experience of bridging personal gaps through creativity.

The neighborhood around the square is one of the more intercultural ones in downtown Athens.

Small businesses of immigrants, warehouses of imported goods from Asia, hip cafes, open public spaces, abandoned buildings and large facilities of public utilities, Avdi square in Metaxourgeio provides a visual and social explosion of diversity.

Starting the activity, the participants got to know each other, by introducing themselves, through their favourite animals. Then, with a brief activity of changing perspectives, the attention was drawn to how different people focus on different things and have different perspectives when looking the same way. The goal was both conceptual and sensory. On one hand, to highlight the different factors going into personal perspective, on the other hand to get the participants focusing deliberately on what they actually see.

A photo exhibition was set-up among some trees, at a corner of Avdi square.

Transitioning from the preparatory part to the main activities of the meeting, a photo exhibition taking place at a corner of the square was put into use. A photography group named 443 Photographica (named after a comet of the same name!) were exhibiting their artworks under the name “Moving Light”. Many Black and White photos, and some with colour, with structures, portraits and a personal view to every one’s collection. The participants were invited to go around the exhibition, enjoy the artworks and try to draw some conclusions for the photographers through their artistic expression. Reassembling in a circle, participants shared their thoughts on how it is quite difficult to say things about someone only through their artworks. Some said they felt pushed into assumptions. Others said they saw some part from the way the artists felt. The shared belief was that it is quite difficult to draw conclusions from the visual expression of someone, but there are hints of themselves in their photos.

As time passed, the sun was setting and the square was turning to a bustling place, with children running, people discussing, parents pushing carts and youngsters socializing. The participants were quite surprised from how they were drawn to observe the evolution of the space around them during the 2 hours of the meeting.

The final part of the activity was to invite participants to create their own images and share them with the group, exposing them to their comments. The group discussed about about the different interpretations an image can have, independently of the creator’s intention.

The activity concluded by discussing what can photography reveal about the creator, as a means of expression, what it cannot, and about the usefulness of bridging personal gaps using images and photography as a medium.

Theatre Workshop in Lardero – On&Off

On July 22nd we carried out a theatre workshop for young people over 14. This workshop centered around the Universal Declaration of Human Rights aims for understanding the importance of them for our society and the participants’ personal life. We wanted to inspire them to make that change in the world.

We all gathered in a hostel in Lardero at 4 pm and we started the workshop. We started with some warming up games and icebreakers so the participants would get to know each other better.

Once we we’re ready to start working, we began the first activity. We talked a bit about human rights so the participants would have a basic knowledge about the concept. Then, each participant drew a piece of paper with a human right excerpt written on it. They walked around the room in order to find the other participants that had the same excerpt, and form their group. Each group had 2 minutes to create a statue according to the human right.

Afterwards, we sat down and discussed what each statue meant to the participants.

For the second activity we separated them into groups of 5, and we asked them to produce a television advert for a chosen human right, or for something that they think should be a human right. They had 20 minutes to create the scene, and then they performed it in front of the other groups. The participants really let their creativity flow, some groups included humor, jingles, music and slogan, and it was really fun to watch.

When every group had performed their scene, we discussed all the important points that were mentioned in the adverts, and they added some aspects of the issue that they felt that had been left out.

For the final activity, we all sat down in a circle. We gave a ball of string to a participant who gave us some feedback about the workshop (what they liked or disliked), and then threw to other participant while still holding on to the end of the string. We did this until every participant had spoken and everyone has holding on to a piece of string. Finally, we cut the string connection between the players, so that everyone could keep a piece of string to remind them of the message they received, and the things they have learned.

A group of young ladies in search of skills in a male dominated profession – InterArts Video-Making Workshop

*This articles has been originally published on the Inter Alia website

InterArts Video Making stills

On a sunny Friday afternoon (10 July 2020), Inter Alia’s team held a Video-making workshop, right in the heart of Exarcheia, an area with a long history of radical political and intellectual activism. The workshop was based on a methodology designed in the framework of the InterArts project (www.interarts.eu) with the objective of engaging young people in artistic activities aiming at their personal empowerment and social development.

InterArts Video Making stills

The trainer Angeli Andrikopoulou opted focusing on documentary production sharing her passion for character driven documentaries as a way of expressing an opinion, as a way of sharing ourselves and our time.

Interestingly the group of participants were only girls that was already interpreted a sign of an ongoing change regarding the underlying interests and the respective moves.

In the first part of the workshop, after breaking the ice in a sharing circle, participants were called to think of a joke or a pleasant experience from the past week and shoot it in couples.

While all together the group was gradually reaching to the conclusion that nobody is insignificant carrying their story to tell, the exercise unblocked completely the energies within the group and suddenly all were there with the same goal: to learn more about how to express themselves and to promote their cause through a motion picture.

InterArts Video Making stills

The topics that popped up were very diverse: from the reasons behind the act of burying a pet under a Christian cross to the impact of a plastic bottle on the life on Earth in 50 years, from the bunkers left over in the Attika region to the difficulties a new mom would face on the pedestrians of Athens neighbourhoods.

Angeli provided feedback in depth while giving plenty of space to questions and further elaboration. Naturally the discussion took the direction of funding options and crowdfunding grabbed the attention of most.  

Time was devoted to the accessibility of each subject in question, while the workshop concluded with details on legal aspects such as the authorization and consent to shooting and screening.

InterArts Video Making stills

Dance Performance “Rituali Urbani” in Florence (C. Virgilio Sieni)

On the 3th of July in Florence we had a wonderful experience in which eight girls from the Florentine Gruppo Cango had the opportunity to work together and present a performance entitled “Rituali urbani” (Urban Rituals) within the sphere of the Festival Cantieri Culturali Firenze 2020 organized by the Virgilio Sieni National Center for Dance Production.

The focus was to promote, through dance, the creation and development of artistic groups made up of very young people.

Every body is a chiasmus of interwoven events. This set of short dances is based on the construction of silent architectures, each of which builds on the inexhaustible artistry of the gesture: an exercise on nearness and shared rhythms and urban rituals.

Photo credits: Michelle Davis