Desert Rose hase been a youth exchange implemented in Lecce from 23th to 30th September 2014 and hosted by the italian organization South Europe Youth Forum (SEYF).
Following SEYF’s recent collaboration in the Mediterranean ‘Festival dei Popoli’, some young people from our organization had the opportunity to observe a network of stakeholders that are working with common objectives and that are engaged in the promotion of cultural activities in the Mediterranean area.
This is the background from where the idea of the youth exchange Desert Rose started. This youth exchange aimed at identifying new experiential paths through art and culture, in order to provide young people with the practical use of new strategies and new tools that help them use the values of tolerance and social inclusion, at the detriment of xenophobic phenomena that are so prevalent in the old continent.
Desert Rose took place in Lecce from the 23th to 30th September 2014 and it involved 30 young people and 6 youth leaders coming from Italy, France, Malta, Jordan, Algeria and Morocco. The young participants were aged 18-25 years old and they came from different backgrounds: some of them came from geographical areas with fewer opportunities, while others were coming from situations of economic and social hardship.
During the course of the youth exchange, participants have been involved in a cycle of activities, based on non-formal methods that led them to set up a Living Library. Dissemination of results have been done through a video-novel disseminated through all the partner involved in the project.
The entire project has been developed by all the project’s promoters and it has been drawn up by all the participants’ prospective with an absolutely democratic and participatory approach. Through Desert Rose, SEYF and all the partners involved aimed to:
1) Promote the exchange of knowledge related to cultural and artistic experience of different countries of the Mediterranean with a focus on the connection between migration, creativity and sense of community;
2) Organize meetings to provide an exchange of experiences and knowledge between native people and migrants, in order to transmit the values of peace and dialogue in the framework of a common Mediterranean identity;
3) make use of the artistic and cultural experience developed during the implementation of the activities to give a start-up to the integration between local communities and migrants;
4) promote the use of modern and innovative methods, in order to utilise and communicate art and culture;
5) highlight the dignity and universality of art as an exchange between native communities’ and migrant communities;
A project developed with such framework aimed to provide several skills, such as digital competence, multilingualism, ability to work in groups and using experiential cognitive approaches to promote the relations between the countries and organizations involved in the development of networking, to encourage a Euro-Mediterranean cultural enterprise.
Those outcomes have been reached through the realization of a graphic novel presented in the current publication and the organization and implementation of a Human Library, performed by the participant themseves the last day of activity.
Both the results, the Graphic Novel and the Human Library, representing summary the learning process experienced by the participants: during the cycle of activities they experimented the use of the Intercultural Dialogue as a powerful tool to produce positive and effective change in our society. Together with the intercultural dialogue, they acquired a wider awareness on diversity as a core value of Europe and the Euro-Mediterranean Area.
Molte organizzazioni e Enti Pubblici stanno lavorando per la promozione e diffusione dell'intercultura come valore fondamentale della società contemporanea, per il concepimento maturo e consapevole di una “Cultura Euro-mediterranea” che faccia propri i valori di cittadinanza Europea ma che, al contempo, salvaguardi le peculiarità antropologiche culturali dei paesi che si affacciano sul bacino Mediterraneo.
Tale è il background da cui siamo partiti per l’ideazione di Desert Rose, uno scambio di giovani che si propone di individuare nuovi percorsi esperienziali attraverso l’arte e la cultura per farne congegni d’uso pratico (relazioni utili alla nascita dell’impresa culturale) e strumenti da cui ripartire per sedimentare valori di inclusione sociale e tolleranza a discapito dei fenomeni xenofobici che imperversano nel vecchi
1) promuovere lo scambio di conoscenze legate alla esperienza artistica e culturale di diversi paesi del Mediterraneo, sui temi di migrazione, creatività e senso di comunità;
2) organizzare incontri durante cui sia possibile scambiare esperienze e conoscenze tra persone native e migranti, in modo da trasmettere i valori della pace e del dialogo nel quadro di una comune identità mediterranea;
3) evidenziare la dignità e l’universalità dell’arte come scambio tra comunità natale comunità migranti;
L’intero scambio ha utilizzato un approccio non formale. I partecipanti sono stati coinvolti in un ciclo di attività che li ha condotti a mettere in scena uno spettacolo di Biblioteca Vivente, nonché spettacoli artistici e interculturali e la realizzazione di una Graphic Novel.