Elena Pap Plamen Georgiev
FIRE theatre-art-culture FOUNDATION
The Local Community Centre in Yablanitsa: “Chitalishte Nauka – 1901”
"Hub for Fire Theatre" - Bratavets, Yablanitsa
Year-round interactive cultural program - catalyst for community dialogue and collaboration, aiming to strengthen civic cohesion and active citizenship in the region of Yablanitsa. To serve for development of civic literacy and infrastructure and create space for interaction between different social, ethnic and age groups. Main role is for the young people.
At the heart of the project is the topic of personal initiative and community's potential to develop collectively a better common future.
Town of Yablanitsa, Yablanitsa Municipality, Lovech Region, Bulgaria
There is very little public activity in Yablanitsa and the neighbouring villages. The public spaces are empty and neglected. People have very few occasions and space to communicate. Lack of civic infrastructure.
The young people do not find place for realization and go out of the region. There are 248 students (15 – 19 years old) in the local high school, but - no youth organizations or organizations that deal with art. Cultural activities are conducted by the local community center, but not much. No international youth or cultural projects.
There is a large Roma population (near 20 %) during the day they stay in the squar, so the other residents avoid using it.
As a rule, people "stay home" or travel to neighboring larger cities, because in Yablanitsa almost " nothing happens".
The project will provoke public activity, locals will share and discuss in an interesting way key issues that concern or excite them. They will hear different points of view, find like-minded people; the participation will increase their civic competencies and prepare them better to defend a civic position, to take initiative.
The intensive program of cultural events will "revive" the forgotten and desolate public spaces and contribute to the cultural growth and awareness of the citizens. It will help to set up community meetings and communication centers. The "Factory for useful ideas" will further provoke the personal initiative and activeness.
The non-formal training for young people will prepare them with experience and confidence for new local initiatives in the future.
The project is for the inhabitants of Yablanitsa and the surrounding villages (a bit over 3000 people). We plan activities for different ages (children, teenagers, young & active age people, the elderly)
This are focused thematic public art events followed by discussions and proper creative activities for each age group plus large scale art events for the entire community (50-60% of population expected spectators)
We are going to strive for the integration of the local Roma people (near 20% of the population).
The young people will be most actively involved in the project. We are going to organise intensive training for a core of 10-12 local youth activists.
• “Open introductory talks” identification of important for the community issues, challenges – themes for the next events
• Main programme: interactive community activities
- movie, theatre nights followed by discussions (young people, active age)
- readings and art workshops (children)
- gatherings with songs and handmade activities (elderly)
• Big art event for the entire community – manifest the collected energy and ideas; symbolize the creativity, togetherness of the community
• "Youth space for initiative and development" creates a youth core, youth development
• "Factory for implementation of useful initiatives" development of community space, good examples for individual initiatives
• Summary of the results by the youth core, presented in the final public event
As a main result we expect to achieve a higher level of civic activity and civic literacy in the region and better integration of Roma people. To form a youth core of 10-12 youth activists and to have 2-3 ready ideas for next projects. To implement at least 10 small initiatives proposed by citizens and to "revive" the main neglected public spaces.
Culture program of events and discussions, involving 40-50% of the local people
• Opening event for the entire community
• Introductory youth discussions/open talks with locals (2 pcs.)
• 6 art events for adults and youth, followed by discussions (6 pcs.)
• 8 events for children
• 2 events for the elder people
• Intensive non-formal training for youth leaders (14 days)
• Community all-day interactive art event
• Final event and summary
Changes in the culture and behavior of a community require not only information, but personal experience, "live through". This is the power of Art, along with its power to inspire and unite people. Art is able to release tense, accumulated energy in a peaceful way and "break down barriers".
The project offers information and non-formal civic education in an easily accessible way, creates skills for citizens, helping them to be active and useful to society. It implements democratic European principles such as tolerance, pluralism, equality, non-discrimination.
This project is a base for following international collaborations and youth projects and will be an inspiring example of a practical implementation of the European way of coexisting on a local level.
We’re very motivated to help the development of Yablanitsa because we believe:
- Big cities are too much intensive and full. This creates pollution not only for the Environment but also inside the humans – behavior, relationships. Places like Yablanitsa keep potential for balanced life based on human values.
- Life should go out of the big cities and come back to Nature – working on places like Yablanitsa we’re preparing Europe for the change.
- We work together with Hub for Fire theatre: we would like to make a center for social art in the Nature and place for international art residencies and non-formal education in the region
- We would like to include local young people in our activities
- Personally we’ll be happy to center our future work in Yablanica – but keep it international
Funding requested from Civic Europe
Public activities total: 18,000
Youth training (14 intensive days): 7 500
Equipment, spaces and transport: 6,400
Individual initiatives (minimum 10): 4,500
Visibility, popularisation: 3 200
Documentation and use of results: 3,000
We will be grateful to receive feedback that will help us for further development and realisation of this project. We will also appreciate any good example of community art methods, and initiatives, which can help to bring together diverse groups in one community. Comments are welcome.