Humanitas – Centre for Global Learning and Cooperation
Through interactive theater play Through the Refugee’s Eyes, co-created with persons with refugee experience, we aim to address the rise of intolerant attitudes in Slovenian local communities, schools and youth centres. Our objective is to raise awareness about the causes and consequences of migration with 25 traveling theatre plays and a brochure of positive messages, to promote critical thinking and empathy. Our main target groups are youth, teachers and refugees as well as general public.
In smaller towns and villages in Slovenia with fewer opportunities for awareness raising events.
The refugee crises triggered new waves of intolerance in Slovenia, yet in smaller towns and villages in the country, there is lack of activities in schools and public spaces that address issues of migration, inclusion and tolerance. Although the rise of intolerant attitudes is generally much stronger in smaller communities, young people there are rarely the target of awareness raising activities. Moreover, teachers in community schools lack tools and experience to address these issues. For the last 20 years, Humanitas has been conducting global education workshops in schools all over Slovenia, and we have noticed a worrying scarcity of such activities in these communities. Our aim is to fill this gap and equip young people with skills for active global citizenship and empathy.
Through the Refugee’s Eyes has a huge transformative potential. Through its experiential method, we address rational and emotional part of our belief systems, promote values of empathy and establish new pathways of youth participation in the local community. We have had amazing responses to the play from youth and educators. Based on this feedback we have also succeeded in breaking down a number of prejudices about migration and refugees. Participants report that they become more prone to helping refugees and hosting them in their local environment, and schools are more prepared to collaborate with migrant/refugee communities. Our collaborators with refugee background also made new acquaintances and increased their involvement with the society.
Our primary target is the youth (around 1000). By enabling them to have first-hand insight into the refugee experience, youth are challenged to reconsider widely accepted stereotypes about migrants. Another group of beneficiaries are refugees and migrants: those directly involved (10 people) and in a wider sense, 12% of people living in Slovenia (250.000 people): families, children of migrant origin, who face intolerance and fewer opportunities for inclusion. Indirectly it affects society as a whole, which is becoming less democratic, tolerant and inclusive. With the 2nd edition of messages of youth to people with refugee experience, we will present the counter-narrative to hate-speech with the most inspirational and positive messages of our youngest.
Performing for the 4th year, we already have a trained team of actors with refugee experience, the script, the equipment and scenography. This means that we can achieve great results with the existing budget. With 25 new performances of interactive theatre Through the Refugee’s Eyes, we offer new experiences of refugees’ journey, putting participants into the role of refugees, using innovative methods of guided visualization and interactive enactment of the journey. After the play, participants meet the people with refugee experience. Collected feedback after the plays will be published in the 2nd edition of the brochure “When I looked through the refugee’s eyes”, where positive messages of hope and welcome will present the counter-narrative to hate-speech and intolerance.
Our interactive performance will offer a unique experience to pupils and students leaving a long lasting impression. The project will challenge young people in the local communities to think critically about migration and to challenge their own prejudice and stereotypes. Teachers will be equipped to address issues of migration, tolerance and diversity in schools. The project will lead to more tolerance, empathy and solidarity among young people in the local community, expressed through their opinions and attitudes, influencing their peers and families in the ripple effect. Refugees will be accepted and integrated within the local community, society achieving its full potential.
The project promotes European democratic values of tolerance, solidarity and inclusion and builds on international legal commitments and fundamental development principles of the 2030 Agenda that stress that no one should be left behind. The expansion of nationalism, xenophobia and racism we have been witnessing since the so-called refugee crisis is a major threat to European democracy, its values and cultural achievements. Fear of others, especially refugees, is used to steer Europe towards authoritarian rule. Unless we can turn the tide by promoting tolerance, solidarity, empathy and acceptance, we risk losing the heritage of liberty, democracy, human rights, civil liberties and rule of law, which form the basis of the EU.
The pandemic, which already has unforeseen consequences for social cohesion, has plunged the most vulnerable, locally and globally, into an even greater distress. Global projections thus highlight only more severe pressures on human migration. With the project, we try to make sense of these connections (the causes of migration, solidarity). Locally, we support not only independent, precarious domestic cultural workers, such as the director, set designer and acting theatre team, but also people with international protection and asylum seekers who participate as performers. All of them are currently in a difficult position on the labour market and their participation in the project means a lot to them, representing an indispensable source of income.
Funding requested from Civic Europe
A. Personnel (salaries and fees): staff costs, director, actors, stage design, designer etc.): 35880
B. Travel Costs (Humanitas staff and actors team): 3820
C. Production (rental equipment, van rentals, stage material costs, play material costs, etc.): 3350
D. Communication and Promotion (flyers print, design, translation of brochure, printing of brochure): 4400
E. Other (administrative costs, office costs): 2550
TOTAL EURO : € 50.000,00
Any advice or comment on how to improve the idea is welcome!