Results of the training on art therapy and intercultural learning

Jul 26, 2018

Is it possibile to stimulate social inclusion of marginalized young people of Europe and Africa through art therapy?

From the 7th to the 15th July 2018, the International Training Course on art therapy of ARTCOM project took place at Ecovillaggio Solidale “Fiori di Campo”.  The eight-days of training aimed to develop new educational approaches for youth workers in order to promote social inclusion of marginalized young people of Europe and Africa through art therapy. It involved 36 youth workers from France, Greece, Italy, Malawi, Kenya and Zambia in both roles of participants and facilitators.

The participants had the opportunity to experiment and learn different perspectives and methodologies of art therapy from Europe and Africa. Indeed, the main aims of this training, co-created with the partner organizations, has been based on sharing knowledges and experiences in the working group using the methodology of learning by doing, to better understand how young people can empower themselves through their artworks and allowing youth workers to support them in their personal and professional development.

Dance, painting, music, beadwork, a combination between poetry and painting were a few of categories and forms of therapy examined and experimented during the first days, allowing participants to open their horizons on what art-therapy could possibly mean. The cooperation between African and European countries brought a big advantage point and allowed to enhance the sharing of expertise, as the terminology itself has a different position in each country, which was also one of the topics examined.

The International Training Course of ARTCOM project collaborated with the closing event of CREATE, an Erasmus+ project – KA2 Strategic Partnership for Adult education,  to which the participants were actively involved. By spending two days of the training, the participants worked closely into three teams for the creation of a performance, called οδοιπόρος (odoipóros), using all the methodologies that they observed during the previous days of working and presented in the seaside town of Terrasini on July 12th 2018. The event well engaged the audience in the square, creating intercultural moments between the participants and the natives. The performance served as a reflecting point for the participants and as a way to actively experiment on the learnings they already gained.

Big part of the dynamic week of art therapy were the cultural evenings, in which each country opened a peek into their culture and exchanged histories, values and realities using music, dance, food and giving the opportunity to participants to talking about their personal and professional stories.

 As conclusion of these eight-days of training, the participants collaborated to create a set of ideas for the Manual (OER) of ARTCOM project implementing evaluation sessions and reflection moments on their learning process and the activities experimented. In this way, in the next phase of the project, participants will be able to promote and transfer the recently gained knowledge on art therapy and social inclusion to the EVS volunteers that will start their volunteer’s period on February until June 2019.