KISA project-Nicer Project (New approach to Enforce the cultural integration of the young refugees)
Young and children refugees
New approach to Enforce the cultural integration of the young refugees
The two years Nicer project started in December 2015 and its main aim is to enforce the social and cultural integration of refugee children through the performing arts approach and awareness campaign and to integrate them in the local community through performing arts workshops and awareness of the population.
The final beneficiaries are refugee children and youngsters
Every Saturday, from January to May 2017, young refugees and non-refugees aged 12-25 years old participate in workshops, which contain drama, music as well as linguistic/cultural activities. The workshops are attended by a heterogeneous group of young people from different parts of the world. More precisely, participants come from Cyprus, Somalia, Pakistan, India, Lebanon, China, Philippines, Palestine, Romania and Syria. In a three hours’ theatre, drama and music training, participants are dealing with the topics of Identity, Home and Integration. The final staging of the work produced during these months will be in May.
We had our first meeting on the 14th of January, when our Taster Session took place, launching the Atelier. At our first session, we focused on introducing the goals and objectives of the Project to the participants and we enjoyed name games, icebreakers, energizers and activities that were representative of the drama, music and cultural aspect of the Atelier.
Through games followed by an insight discussion for reflection, we have established a basic knowledge regarding the structure of a story, the main parts of a plot and how a story may be driven by music in terms of improvisation, narration, parallel action and dramatization. We have also questioned the significance of a name as a part of our identity through activities such as “What’s in a name”, where the participants shared the story of their names, the history and the meaning that a name may carry. Accordingly and in the same frame, the participants shared stories related to an object/lyrics/quotes that are attached to and which expresses them and or symbolizes something for them. The story-sharing activity was then used as the inducement condition for playback theatre and dramatization.
Exploring the meaning of Home and Identity we have worked based on the Image Theatre method and by using two poems as an incentive. The first poem ‘Xenithkia/Living Away From Home’ by Cypriot poet Pavlos Liasides dealt with fleeing from home and with the attempt to re-root in a foreign land and the second one, ‘Ithaka’ by Costas Cavafy deals with the struggle, the dangers, the adventures and the knowledge that someone gains through the journey towards their final destination. The poems were in audio and translated in English, Arabic, French and Greek and Cypriot dialect. After a discussion on the main meanings and themes of the poems, the participants were introduced to Boal’s Image theatre and were called to form a group image that was then followed by thought tracking and reflection discussion.
Participants work with a wide range of instruments, sounds, computer tools and software (used for the production of sound) with the main objective of exploring the different possibilities of sound and music in the project. At our first meeting an assessment was made of existing musical and vocal skills, with several participants sharing skills such as singing, beatbox, percussion, guitar and keyboard. Discussion and practical workshop exercises are carried out using the voice as a rhythmic instrument through demonstrations on beatbox combined with live percussion jams and improvised singing. We also recorded some sounds to be used as part of the final production. These include vocals, beatbox and ambience/sound effects. At our last two workshops we focused on how to make instruments and sounds out of re-cycled materials and this will feature in the final performance through exercises practiced in workshops. Some exercises have also been conducted with setting music to poetry and storytelling.
Every Saturday after the drama and music session various visits are organized to art exhibitions, historical and other places of interest, places of cultural and architectural value and generally places of everyday life that are important to young persons’ integration to Cypriot society. At the same time, participation to cultural events is encouraged by group outings. Various artists are also invited to the group session to present their work and inspire the young people. Cooking together and sharing the food is another activity that brings this heterogeneous group together, enhances understanding of each other’s culture and gives the opportunity to each individual to get to know all the participants. Individual needs are also taken into account in planning every single activity; therefore there is an effort to offer as many stimuli as possible and of a wide range. Finally, two day camps and trips are also planned in April, so as to offer intensive training and the opportunity to develop bonding and trust within the group, as well as to get to know Cyprus.
Nicer Project enabled the cultural integration of the young and children refugees through the performing arts approach and awareness campaign and their integration in the local community through performing arts workshops and awareness of the population.
☒ Language Training
☒ Language Assessment
☒ Intercultural communication
☒ Study Visits
KISA, Nicosia, Cyprus
Name: Doros Polykarpou
Organisation: KISA Cyprus
Telephone: +35722878181, +35722773039