Nova Gradiška, March 19th 2017.
„Echoes of Art“
Association of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Nova Gradiška finished the implementation of the project activities held within the Erasmus + Youth Exchange «Echoes of Art«. The project is ongoing until July 2017.
The project was developed in collaboration with seven international partners, as follows: Baltic Regional fund from Latvia, Javni zavod za mlade Ruše from Slovenia, Backslash from Spain, Aktif Genclik ve Spor Kulubu Dernegi from Turkey, Asociata D.G.T from Romania and AKTO from Portugal; and it brought together 43 participants.
Project activities started on March 10th and through eight working days participants were learning about participatory photography and worked to ensure inclusive participation of all youngsters within our community, regardless of the obstacles they encounter, through intercultural exchange and dialogue.
During the implementation of activities prof. Vedran Obućina held a lecture about culture of Islam; during which he had brought this topic closer to participants in an interesting and interactive way and deepened their understanding of Islamic cultural circle.
Also, on March 14th, at the main square in Nova Gradiška, we had intercultural presentation of all the countries involved in the project. The participants presented their country through stories, food, drinks and traditional dances in which local inhabitants have joined us. Also, Deputy Mayor, Mrs. Vesna Đapić has welcomed all participants and thanked them for the presentation of their cultures.
In continuation of the exchange, on March 16th, in the premises of the Tourist Board of town Nova Gradiška we had a photography exhibition which was created, designed and implemented by participants with the help of UGNG as organizers, as the key event of this exchange. The exhibition presented photographs in five different series, each with a specific title to focus on. Participants created photographs within their chosen topic in an artistic and abstract way, using the knowledge they attained during the exchange to fulfill their final product to their satisfaction; and the photographs responded to the following questions:
How did we get here?; What does being different mean for youth?; How does not accepting differences influence the society?; Why is tolerance important?; What is the solution for decreasing enhanced bigotry that youngsters express towards others?.
Photography exhibition can also be seen online at https://web.facebook.com/EoANG2017/?_rdr
Evaluation on the last day of the activities, March 17th, showed us that participants were highly satisfied with the quality of the implementation of activities; and the learning outcome we want to point out was the raising of awareness about using photography as a tool for sending message of tolerance and appreciation of diversity.
UGNG would like to take this opportunity to thank the participants who worked very hard to create photographs with different stories that when put together show us the role of the individual in building a better society. Also, thanks to the Tourist Board of town Nova Gradiška for their cooperation, all the citizens who supported our project by visiting activities, and all the media who follow our work. We would like to thank all the «Slavonski Biser» staff for their hospitality, and the association «Rock Starci» for the excellent organization of the traditional Slavonian evening.
We emphasize that the project is not yet finished and the following phase is the dissemination of results and evaluation of the project. All of the project partners will organize an identical photography exhibition in their local community as the main dissemination activity.
We believe that implementation of this project contributes to creating a more cohesive and inclusive Europe, which follows its own values.