Two weeks ago, SE.M.I- Seeds for More Interculture association in collaboration with A.N.S.I Emilia Romagna implemented in Tredozio (FC) the Erasmus+ Youth Exchange ‘E.ART.H- Environmentalism through Art and Heritage’.
The project was funded by the European Union, which provides a variety of opportunities across European Countries for young people and youth workers. The main objectives of these projects are the youth mobility across the EU, the acquisition of certain competences and skills, the boost of the intercultural dialogue, the intercultural exchange, the promotion of active youth participation, the creation of an international network and to promote the founding values of the Union.
The story and the objectives of ‘E.ART.H’
The ‘E.ART.H’ project was written during the winter of 2021 from the ESC volunteers of SE.M.I association with the guidance and support of SE.M.I’s youth workers and got the approval of the Italian National Agency at the end of 2021. The project was planned to include also the ‘Earth Day’ on 22nd of April, but due Easter this year, was moved a week after with a special pre-departure activity online for the ‘Earth Day’.
The main objectives of the project were:
- To encourage young people to learn more about ecology and environmental protection and how Europe is tackling this problem.
- To develop intercultural dialogue between young people from different cultural, social and linguistic backgrounds and to support them in expressing their ideas, opinions and creativity about the environmental issue.
- To promote the importance of cultural heritage and present new sustainable ways for its preservation and promotion.
- To collaborate with, and be inspired by, the local ceramic culture of Faenza while learning artistic tools to promote sustainability-related messages to the public.
The project involved 25 young people from Italy, Hungary, Austria, Portugal and Spain that in the arch of a week got the chance to come closer to ecology, environmentalism and used art as a useful tool to raise awareness around these topics, present the bigger environmental crisis of nowadays societies and try to find the solutions. Some of the participating countries used “Green Travel”, a new option in the Erasmus+ Programme for 2021- 2027, contributing to the European Union strategy for a more eco-friendly and sustainable European future.
The project location will be the Tredozio ex Monastery, an ancient building (dating back to 1060) and recently renovated.
During the cultural visit, the participants visited Faenza (RA, Italy), a city of ancient ceramic tradition, and specifically Museo Carlo Zauli which, through its collections and various cultural activities, explores and spreads contemporary art in all its languages, with particular attention given to ceramics.
The project ended on the 1st of May with a final exhibition where the participants invited the local community of Tredozio to visit and see the art created by them during this week. The exhibition was visited by the Mayor, the Vice mayor of Tredozio and a town counselor and together with the group they reflected on their outcomes, the cultural and linguistic exchange and values of ecology and environmentalism today.
- Pre-departure activity, 22/4/2022
For the on remote pre-departure activity we got influenced by the work of the artist and architect Maya Lin, who is exploring how art can encourage climate action which was also one, if not the main objective of our exchange. Her multimedia installation What is Missing? is a collaborative effort to raise awareness about the sixth extinction, about how we humans shape the natural world during which we destroy, diminish and sometimes preserve habitats. We hope to contribute as well and would like to ask you to commemorate Earth Day by adding your story to Lin’s art project building a global memorial. The participants had to share their ‘memories’ on ‘Earth Day’, 22 of April that later were discussed with the group in presence, during the project.
- Day 1, 26/4/2022
The first day of activities was focused on getting to know each other and creating a strong team. There were facilitated a series of ice-breaking and team building activities.
- Day 2, 27/4/2022
The second day of activities the participants got the first introduction to the project’s main topic (Introductory Session: Starting from the scratch/ Environmental Goods in Crisis) and had the first workshop (Paint for Change) during which they had to artistically represent the different ecological problems in the different continents.
- Day 3, 28/4/2022
The third day of activities started with a hike in the hills around Tredozio and an open discussion around the participants’ memories from the pre-departure activity. The participants had to share with the group their good or bad personal experiences and memories about the environment. The day continued with topic-related activities (Environmentalism – Individualism/ Reuse Reduce Recycle) and finished with a fashion show, where the participants presented different clothing that they created from reused material.
- Day 4, 29/4/2022
The fourth day of the activities the participants had the chance to explore the city of Faenza. We departed the morning from Tredozio to arrive in Faenza and have breakfast. After we visited Carlo Zauli’s museum, where the participants had the chance to come closer to the cultural heritage of Faenza and later they took part in a ‘Treasure Hunt’ activity to explore the city. During the cultural visit we met Davide Agresti, the city counselor for Youth, Europe and Welfare in Faenza.
- Day 5, 30/4/2022
The fifth day of activities started with a small, guided, cultural visit to Tredozio that has an interesting historic and cultural background. During the morning the participants had to also distribute flyers for the final event of the project. After the small cultural visit, the association BackBO from Bologna held a workshop with reused plastic and the participants created their own products from recycled plastic. Later on, the participants got closer to the 8key competences, through non formal activities and games and reflected on their outcomes (Folded fortune telling Origami)
- Day 6, 01/5/2022
The last day of the E.ART.H project started with the exhibition of the art created by the participants during the project. In the event was invited the local community of Tredozio and it was visited also by the Mayor, Vice Mayor and a town counselor. The day continued with a Youthpass session, evaluation and follow up talking about the different opportunities for young people around the EU and writing our own projects.
Our intercultural nights
- Spain, 26/4/2022
The first intercultural night was held by the Spanish team and brought us closer to their New Year’s traditions, TV personalities and reggaeton, while we had the chance to try different kinds of Spanish delicacies.
- Austria, 27/4/2022
The Austrian intercultural night followed on the second night of the project and gave us a taste of how young people spend their afternoons in Austrian parks by introducing us to a famous game. Included in the night were the delicacies brought in Italy by the participants.
- Portugal, 28/4/2022
Who would expect that in Portugal they enjoy so many sweets? The Portuguese night followed a day of activities and for sure gave all a taste of Portugal. The team prepared different traditional snacks for us to taste, including sweet pasta and with their small theatrical play introduced us to everyday life in Portugal.
- Italy, 29/4/2022
Playing in their base, the Italian cultural night was a perfect introduction to Italian culture and traditions. The participants prepared a quiz based on the ‘Moka’, gave us a taste of the different Italian appetizers and had fun.
- Hungary, 30/4/2022
Last but not least, the Hungarian team had the task to leave a memorable intercultural night for all of us. Starting with different typical dishes, we had a taste of ‘Pàlinka’ and we danced Hungarian traditional dances until late.