“I Graft ergo sum” is a youth exchange involving 25 young people from 4 European countries (Italy, Spain, Lithuania and Poland). All participants share the same passion for photography, graphic arts and are young people interested in environmental protection. Participants want to improve their artistic skills and, at the same time, address issues related to global warming, good practices against pollution, environmental protection but also experiment with intercultural dialogue and address the challenges of active European citizenship. Young people are between 16 and 29 years old, most of them live in disadvantaged rural or urban areas and suffer from many problems in relation to this: lack of cultural, recreational and educational opportunities, high rates of youth unemployment and social marginalisation.
The founding aim of the project is to promote the values of environmental protection, bringing attention to the issue of global warming. No less important is the promotion of a fruitful cultural dialogue between the participants so as to contribute to instilling in them a deep-rooted sense of European citizenship.
Before the beginning of the exchange, 4 Group Leaders are identified (one for each country involved) and a coordinator who will be called to carry out a preliminary visit (APV) aimed at mutual knowledge, examination of the accommodation of the exchange and the joint decision on how to carry out the planned activities.
During the exchange, the students are engaged in games, convivial and self-management activities, in-depth studies and workshops. The activities are divided into an initial phase of brainstorming and reflection on issues related to environmental protection and intercultural dialogue and an operational phase and laboratory, in which they deal with purely technical issues (photographic techniques, applied graphics and post-production programs) to achieve the creation of artistic works that will then be exhibited during the final event. The young people, therefore, are divided into groups and experiment with photography and graphic art in the unusual guise of a communication tool between different cultures to convey both an environmental message and a message of union between European people. The workshop activities are interspersed with moments of play and role-playing games that aim to amalgamate the group and to get to know each other. During the exchange there will also be intercultural evenings and a trip to Gallipoli, an Ionian city symbol of cultural contamination, recently the protagonist of sad events of pollution. All activities are carried out through non-formal learning methodologies and follow the approach of learning by doing and peer education. The whole Exchange is conceived, in fact, in self-management: not only the thematic activities, but also the management ones, are carried out by the participants and this favours the active participation and the development of transversal competences.
At the end of the Exchange, there will be a final event open to local citizenship in which the young people, after having tried their hand at a conference in English (the Italian group will do a simultaneous translation to help the audience) on environmental issues, will exhibit the works made. In this context, a ceremony is planned to issue the participants with the YouthPass document, which is the certificate describing what they have learned during the project activities. This tool is used precisely to validate non-formal learning, recognising the skills that the learners acquire by participating in the youth exchange.
Exchange dates: 04/09/2020- 14/09/2020
Place of exchange: Alezio, Lecce – South of Italy
Topics: graphics, photography, environment, intercultural dialogue
Financial Conditions: The Erasmus+ programme covers the entire cost of food and accommodation for the duration of the exchange.