Conclusions of «Power of Art», Croatia

Nova Gradiška, 28th of June 2018.

„Power of Art“

The Association of deaf and hard of hearing Nova Gradiška has finished the implementation of the Youth Exchange activity held within the Erasmus + project «Power of Art» on the 26th of June. The project was approved by the Croatian National Agency.

The project was developed in cooperation with several international partners, as follows: Backlash from Spain, Aktif Genclik and Spor Kulubu Dernegi from Turkey, Asociata D.G.T from Romania and AKTO from Portugal.

The exchange provided young people from 6 European countries with the knowledge and skills needed to create meaningful artistic messages aimed at promoting the fundamental values of the EU as contained in Article 2 of the Lisbon Treaty. We wanted to achieve the inclusive participation of all young people from our communities, regardless of the obstacles they may face. During this exchange, young participants have gained knowledge on how to express and articulate their attitudes through videography.

During the implementation of the activities, participants were introduced to the topics of culture, diversity and fear of the unknown, stereotypes and prejudices, discrimination and extremism, violence, peace culture, refugees, inclusion and equality and psychology of influence. The use of experiential learning methods has made it possible to deepen the understanding of the topics mentioned; with the development of affirmative attitudes towards others and different. This part of the program represented the adoption of common foundations, values and attitudes that enabled effective group work on the development of short films.

After that, young participants designed, directed and recorded short films about the following topics: diversity; fear and misunderstanding; ideology; the culture of violence; tolerance; the culture of peace; freedom; equality.

The key event of this youth exchange was the short film’s festival, held on June 24th on the Summer Stage in Nova Gradiška, that we organized to reach the local community and thus influence a positive social change in our attitudes towards others and different.

The following short films have been created:

1) WAKE UP – A film tackling the topic of freedom, connecting to reality!

2) YOUTH VIOLENCE STORIES – A film tackling the culture of violence in a surprising way!

3) INTERNATIONAL FREEDOM – Another view into what is freedom for us!

4) WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF? – A film tackling the topic of fear and misunderstanding.

5) RUN AS YOU ARE – A film about accepting yourself as you are!

6) FREE SPIRIT OF DANCE – A film showing us the true importance of freedom!

7) BURIED – An inside view into extremism!

Each of the above-mentioned topics was envisioned to challenge the young participants in delving deeper into our societal issues, searching for a way to properly bring these questions to light through the power of art.

You can see all the movies on the official Facebook page of the project – and on the Youtube channel: @ugngyouth.

The evaluation carried out on the last day of activity, June 25th, showed that the exchange was successful both in achieving project objectives and in adopting the expected learning outcomes. Self-assessment of participants’ learning processes showed that we even exceeded the expected learning outcomes. The most important learning outcomes we emphasize are the adoption and development of digital competence, as well as social and civic competencies.

UGNG would like to thank the participants who have made great efforts in creating short films, each of which tells a special story; which, as a whole, reflect the role of the individual in the community. Also, we would like to thank Ljiljana Šoch and Caffe Bar «Carpe Diem» for giving us the space of Summer Stage, City of Nova Gradiška and Nova Gradiška Brass Band for the support in the organization of the Short Film Festival, all the citizens who supported our project by visiting the activity and all the media that follow our work. In the end, we would also like to thank the staff of «Slavonski Biser»  for their hospitality, and the «Rock Starci» association for the excellent organization of the traditional Slavonian evening.

The project isn’t finished yet, and we are in the follow-up phase of dissemination of results and evaluation of the entire project. The long-term impact of the project on the target group will be achieved by enhancing the participant’s competences and the ability to easily detect negative behaviours in its environment.

Ultimately, through the promotion in the social networks and public screening of short films in 6 countries, the project will contribute to raising awareness of the problem of radicalization of youth; and greater involvement of relevant stakeholders in solving it.

This will contribute to ensuring sustainable peace in the community of European countries.

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