Guiding Counter-Identities in Shaping Collectivities
The recent socio-political reclassification which have been resulted due to the large inflows of migrants and refugees into the European territories have -more than ever- transformed European Communities into multicultural entities. Particularly, according to Eurostat (2015) it has been estimated that more than 4.3 million people arrived in the European Union in 2015, most trying to escape war and terrorism in Syria and other countries.
This fact also implies that, the existing situation has brought new conditions in modern European communities, inasmuch individuals with counter-identities are invited to coexist and furthermore, to interact, whilst a new model of collectivities which includes settlements, neighborhoods and communities is being formulated, with multiculturalism to appear as its main qualitative feature. However, apart from the detection of ways through which a smooth integration of migrants and refugees into the modern EU societies will be accomplished, what is being argued here, is that special form of education should also be provided in order for the indigenous inhabitants of EU countries to adapt to the new order of things.
Based on such rationale, the project ‘Guiding Counter-Identities in Shaping Collectivities’(GCSC) aims to provide high-quality training to young educators/ trainers who deal with multiple issues arisen within a multicultural context. The content of the training course also appeals to young people in communities influenced by displaced population. The methods employed have been developed on the basis of the rationale that, in fact, the young locals of a community are those who should first receive specialized education in order to be prepared to accept the integration of displaced population in their communities.
Hence, the activities of the training course ‘GCSC’ concentrate on a plurality of related concepts, such as social inclusion, conflict management, intercultural learning, coexistence of religions, violence applied by social networks and the net, psychology of digital victims, racism and anti-racism, multi-cultural bonding, tolerance, democracy, diversity appreciation, citizenship, leadership and active participation. All these concepts are being approached through creative, experiential methods, based on non-formal educational tools, including simulation exercises, role play, structured dialogue, group building, energizers and breaking the ice activities, theatrical games, guided discussions, presentations, activation of five senses, on-line tasks, experimental processes, cultural activities and strategic planning.
Particularly, the project attempts to transmit to youth workers deriving from NGOs and other organizations across Europe a concrete set of well-designed methodological activities which target to:
-a broader understanding on the notion of cultural identity staring from the formation of a purely experiential definition of the notion, as it emerges from communities’ shared symbols, shared stories and shared beliefs, to end up with participants’ involvement with a vector of interwoven to the cultural identity theories and concepts, such as collective memory, subculture, blended identity, counter-culture and counter-identity.
– combat the formation of stereotypes and stereotypical behaviors, in general, thus grappling with those unconscious tactics and mechanics of one self which might lead in attaching labels to both individuals and communities.
– foster empathy towards the ‘other’ through specially-designed tasks related with the concepts of Migration, War and Terrorism and human rights.
The issue of developing inclusive communities is being investigated, mainly through the introduction of theory around the philosophical discourse on the Ethics of Admissions, as a means to provide tools for the understanding of integration policies approaches and positioning of one self on them.
The target of maintaining inclusive communities through the applicability of sophisticated methodologies, policies and critical paths, is also being approached by invoking concrete methodological constructions, such as geographical exploration and building of social relationships. Last but not least, with role plays, participants approach the topic of constructing inclusive communities through the perspective of urban design and architecture, thus designing and building from the scratch creative structures -representative of their imaginary communities- such as buildings and cities.
The international training course ‘GCSC’, coordinated by ‘C.I.P. Citizens In Power’ will be hosted in Larnaca, Cyprus from 11 to 17 of April 2019, in cooperation with partner organizations from fifteen EU countries; Estonia, Denmark, Italy,France, Greece, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, UK, Bulgaria, Latvia and Germany.
Duration: 01-02-2019 till 31-07-2019