Can creative writing save the world? Can we fight the powerful enemy through novels, dramas, stories, personal performances, workshops, projects, the media, but also through ordinary conversations with coffee, tea or beer? Are stereotypes, prejudices and discrimination beaten with a little more awareness, will and effort than all of us?
One week sounds a bit too short to get the answers we need and even less to change the blood picture in our sick societies. But if those seven days are spent in a creative atmosphere, with positive people and strong energy, the starting position gives wind to the back and the goal looks closer than it really is.
About thirty participants of the training course entitled: “Creative Writing as a Tool for Change in Society”, which was held in Struga from 9 to 17 December 2019 in the framework of the European Commission’s Erasmus+ program, organized by Volunteer Center Skopje and Finnish partner “Puntland”, have a chance to be a reassured.
Young guests and social workers from ten countries in Europe (Macedonia, Spain, Italy, Romania, Finland, Sweden, Great Britain, Norway, Germany and Denmark) had the opportunity through different methods, techniques and skills to learn how to counter the negatives that not surround us.
“It was great to have opportunity to challenge myself with some group works and presentation. Take a bunch of passionate people, who are looking for answers and self-development, put them in the same place for a work, doing interesting stuff and you will see a good community”, says Deborah Melucci from Italy.
For some participants this was their first departure from their own country, for others a chance to improve their English or to meet people from different parts of the world, but all together to realize that no matter where we came from – we have to find a way to understand.
“I loved the way the creative writing took place, it was very informative”, commented Emma Thomsen from Denmark.
Spanish Amaya Ochoa adds that surrounded by professionals, participants have released their minds and created an amazing piece of art.
The customs, habits, rituals, relationships and obstacles we face make us attach and belong to our birthplace or homeland, even though the road knows where to lead us where we haven’t even thought of the wildest dreams. And it sounds absurd, but the more we know about ourselves, the easier we can get into the skin of others, to feel their belonging and view, and thus to oppose the general and clichéd opinions we have about certain individuals, groups, and even to whole religions, nations or states.
Pictures: Sascha Schlüter