The activity was implemented in Aprilie – May 2019, at the headquarters of the Buziaş Educational Center in Buziaş town, Timis county, by two Researchers and trainers of WUT – Daniel Apostu (the Faculty of Arts and Design, Visual Arts Department) and Loredana Trancă (the Faculty of Sociology and Psychology, Social Work Department) – and 17 volunteer students from the two Faculties, together with the young Roma sentenced to prison in Buzias Center.
The purpose of the workshops was to enable participants (students and young Roma prisoners) to co-create common spaces of shared meanings and direct intercultural experiences meant to dissolve the symbolic boundries between Roma and non-Roma cultures.
A total of 6 workshops were organized between 4th of April and 23rd of May 2019, each session with a duration of 3 hours, and were attended by the 17 volunteer students enrolled in the project and 10 young Roma prisoners.
The topics covered during the workshops were:
1. Spring. Where flowers blossom, there is hope – April 4, 2019. The purpose of this activity was to acquaint young Roma prisoners from Buzias Educational Center with students from the Social Work Department and from the Faculty of Arts and Design and to create an atmosphere of openness for the common spaces between them. The workshop was coordinated by 3 students;
2. Favorite places and games of childhood – April 11, 2019. The purpose of this workshop was to contribute to the rediscovery of the participants’ favorite places and activities, to identify common themes, to raise awareness of positive personalities in their past and to project future memories for their own children. The workshop was coordinated by 3 students;
3. Self-image, gestures and attitudes – April 18, 2019. The purpose of this activity was to help understand the distinction between how we perceive inside, what we transmit externally, and how we are seen by others. Games and exercises with the experience of a drawing session and structured discussion of the key elements of the self-image have been combined. The last part focused on initiating the changes that would be needed to build a desired self-image. The workshop was coordinated by 3 students;
4. Space – environment – people. Personal projection – May 9, 2019. The purpose of this activity was to create common spaces at the level of the European Union in the context of Europe Day. The students from the Social Work Department and from the Faculty of Arts and Design and the 10 young Roma prisoners have highlighted their creativity in this module through group activities. The youth from CEB has shared with students’ positive experiences of their lives about the good deeds they have done. The workshop was coordinated by 3 students.
5. Skills and trades – May 16, 2019. Within this workshop, the participants explored through interactive activities the knowledge of the limits, interests and understanding of options for a future profession, realized the media’s impact on stereotypes on the Roma and sent messages about how desirable the future society should behave. The young Roma prisoners have made a significant contribution to the debate. The participants created lyrics that reflected the idea of the project and the interaction of students with young Roma prisoners. The workshop was coordinated by 3 students.
6. The Treasure Box – May 23, 2019. The purpose of this workshop was to capitalize on the abilities discovered or developed during previous workshops and to turn them into an artistic act through a play and other interactive activities. The participants have created their own box where they will store “precious treasures” / lessons learned that they take with them from the workshops. There was also a rehearsal for the special event. The workshop was coordinated by 3 students.
As a result of these workshops the students and the young Roma prisoners developed close relationships and acquired knowledge, competences and values on interculturality, co-creation of shared understandings, equal opportunities and anti-discrimination.
Researcher and trainer 1, Daniel Apostu
Researcher and trainer 2, Loredana Trancă