Saturday, January 14, 2017

14th of January

Today it was the last day and mixed feelings were in the air. Of course, after a week of activities, we were all tired but  willing to partecipate actively to the activities of the last day of the seminar. The first part of the morning was dedicated to to learn more about the Erasmus+ Programme, in order to understand the aims of it and how it works, with a deep study and a brief discussion about the Programme, learning more about the chance of development that it offers.

After that we spent some time to write down something about the next projects that the partecipants want to develop in their countries in the next future. Sharing these projects we had the chance to receive feedbacks from the group, in order to make them works and effective. The discussion was constructive and useful also to collect new ideas and to find possible partners for the projects.


After lunchtime we had a memory-saving moment: we took a group picture, to fix our friendship forever in our minds (and in our smartphones)


The Youthpass session, the first of the afternoon, was helpful to understand the importance of it, how it works and how to fill it with our new skills.


The Youthpass  giving ceremony was nice and after that it was the time for the final evaluation. Of course it was touching but also funny, and it was interesting to hear everybody's evaluation of the seminar and to know about the group's feelings about the all week. In general, everybody were satisfied and happy about the activities and tabout each other.

"Projects like this makes me feel proud to be european. We are having hard times but we have a common past, a common present and I'm sure we'll have a common future"
Alberto Panader Palacios  

Hello, my friends,

Hello, my friends, 

this is the 5th day of the seminar and for a change it was led by participants. This was a way how we could spread our knowledge between youth-workers that are part of this. We started with some nice belly breathing, in other words Tai Chi (an internal Chinese martial art). From aside it might look like a zombie apocalypse,  but in fact it was much more – we discovered the importance of focus and balance in our actions.

Next activity was led by Darko. The start was a bit confusing, but when we understood why we have some kind of papers on our forehead, this become interesting. The way we tend to expell someone from our group only because we do not find them as equal as us is just amazing, even terrifying.  In our daily life we usually don’t think about these kind of stuff, because we are not the one who experiance these stuff.

Next workshop was led by Alberto – a journalist from Portugal, he explained us how important is the scenario or structure in general in the media and our individual life as well.
Alex made a workshop that was connected with teamwork and building inner trust between the participants. The workshop took place outside of the hotel we are staying in. The main goal was to make a square while the participants were blindfolded. This kind of team-building activities let defind leaders in the group.

Julia was basing her workshop on critisising media. We watched video about guys life on social media and how it differs from his real life. The next task was divided in groups, where our main goal was to focus on some special part of the video – sound, technical stuff, the main character and so on. This kind of task opened a discussion about our actions on social media and how we divide it from our real life.
Next was a workshop led by Andrea, where we had the opportuninty to be in position of a journalist and as a person giving the interview. This made us think about the methods we can use to get the information we need from someone we don’t know nothing about.
Turkish participants introduced us to improvisation theater. In their workshop we created little scenes of particular place and action combination. It opened up our mind for creativity and a little bit of fun for the evening. J

Friday, January 13, 2017

Media Manipulation and Propaganda in practice.

It is the third day of this project and our participants had opportunities to work on topic Manipulation and Propaganda in Media.
They were divided into groups they could choose a topic according to propaganda and manipulation techniques in media and their influence in society
Each group realize campaign with different stereotypes from everyday life, about against refugees, Toilet paper, politician manipulation and similar topics.
All groups present their work by acting and shooting  video,posters and after each  group presentation we had discussion about subjects who were related to techniques like humour, big lie or cult of the leader.

During the afternoon our participants had a opportunities to discovery of  the beautiful Prague , all historical characteristic, architecture  and typical style of this city. As well to taste and drink Czech beer in the famous Beer Bars in Prague.

Centre of Prague 

Old Castle in Prague 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

The turkish team arrived!

Tuesday, the 10th of January, in the seminar was busy and full with new ideas and interesting and innovative methods and tools.
This day was devoted mostly to the topics of Critical thinking and Cultural awareness as a part of the media education. During various non formal activities the group was invited to critically analyze the messages and communication techniques in different examples of music video clips and posters. After getting a deeper understanding about how differently the content in media can be created and what influences the objectivity of it and learning how to recognize such techniques as product placement or manipulation, the participants had a chance to create their own content that would express a specific and defined message. The outcomes were just surprising.
The videos, discussions and  analytical skills and knowledge about strategies commonly used in media.

For the topic of Cultural awareness a very interesting and eye opening method called ‘Albatross’ was used that opened an interesting discussion on the impact that media creates on the perception of cultures and the hardship for the media creators of describing a culture objectively.
Another important event this day was the arrival of the turkish team. After 3 days of delay due to climatic conditions, Aybike and Yusuf finally made their way to the project venue - hotel Prokopka.
On Tuesday evening they were very warmly welcomed by the other participants, since they just made it to the intercultural night celebration, where all the 10 different nationalities showed their country´s delicatessen, drinks, meals and specialities.
 According to the participants, one of the most successful things where the portuguese Porto wine, whose bottle mysteriously disappeared after the finnish visit, and the Macedonian Hajvar, a paste of vegetables, present in many Balkan´s countries, originally coming from Macedonia.

Later, around 23:00, the most daring participants performed their marvellous dancing abilities in an improvised after party at the conference room, with the added privilege of the presence of the famous DJ, Mr Monsieur Jean Francoise, from Cameroon, who pumped up the night with a mix of international dance hits.
From Ninjas to NGOs
Introduction of the media education and our work - getting on the topic
 - summary of the second day -

The participants were still keeping the number 1 rule of the international seminar, namely to be on time for the workshops. We all gathered in the training room, that by now became our headquarters for learning, sharing and having fun.

Monica encouraged us - with a somewhat scary but positive smile on her face - that we need energy, so after this slight pressure we happily believed that we need an energizer. We all became Ninjas, even though for some of us it was hard to understand how to use and save the hands in the activity. We cannot even figure out what would happen if we got nunchakus! 

Following the survival game, Sasha presented the program, the aims and the flow of the activities and asked Andrea to share a method that she is using in her organisation as a warm-up activity for introducing communication and the mechanisms of media. Hugo the snow-man became a show-man as we all had to throw the small and soft puppet to one of the other participants. Hugo was followed by other, less friendly friends of his, so soon we ended up throwing a battery, a scarf and even a lock was circulated in the room. We discussed what was the easiest and the hardest to throw and why and we talked about the different solutions we used to pass the object to our target. The whole activity ended up in summarizing the "w" questions and making a parallel between the activity of throwing and passing a message or communicating with others. So from now we keep an eye on what, who, to whom, where, when, why and how communicates.

Empowered by the Ninja techniques and the "w" questions, we got into small groups and started to discuss and takes notes on different topics on what is media, how we can define and group them, what are their characteristics and how they influence us and the public in general. The words like censorship, unbiased (impartial) information and political manipulation created a quick, hot and healthy debate during which a new rule was introduced - namely one after the other in talking. We defined media education and what should be included in it and we all shared our own ways of consuming media and media content. One thing is for sure: the media literacy and media education is not satisfactory in any of the participating countries.

Trust me!

After a delicious lunch we returned to the safe seminar room. This time Alex was the leader of the energizer, which started with a sentence “you all must believe me”. After doubts in the beginning of this activity, we realized that if we want, we can really trust each other that the others will not let us “fall down”…literally.

After the energizer we started to work on the "Praha News". This time it was quite biased as all the "news" were about the projects and organisations of the participants. We got 3 minutes per organisation to present what we wanted to highlight in our work. This time Monica took the role of the time-keeper, so we had someone to blame if we could not finish with our messages. The presentations were followed by an NGO market, where more materials, ideas and projects were shared in a free-style way and we all got a more clarified idea on what the others are doing, what motivate them and keeps the organisations moving to make the world a better place.

Praha News Presentation

Monday, January 9, 2017

The Begining of Media Literacy

It was a snowing cold (not too cold) day in Prague, with snow everywhere,the perfect post card picture for a white christmas. 20 Youth Workers  from 6 European countries where in the beautiful city of Prague to attend an Erasmus+ Seminar, titled “With Media Literacy towards Cultural Awareness and Tolerance”, a seminar designed to help Youth Workers to strategically use media as a tool for addressing social concerns.
Day 1 of the seminar started with a general introduction to the whole seminar , which was prompletly followed by ice breakers to build group cohesion, one such ice breaker was the use of names games to aid repitition, association and retention  of the names of each group members.
Once the group was warmed up and the energy and our brain activity was high, the project aims and objectives where expalined, giving us a good picture of the journey that we were about to take. After, we were invited to say what our expectations are of the seminar as well as the contributioned that we see ourselves making, thus to enahancing the collective learning experience.

The afternoon kicked off with a card game (DIXIT )
 which had a duel purpose, the first was more of a pyschological profiling activity (very interesting and revealing); 2ndly, it was a play into team dynamics, bringing people that had just met a few hours before, giving them random methaphoric cards and then asking them to work as a team and create a story in 20 mins, was really great!
The last activity of the day was geared around discovering for ourselves how we learn, more specifically how we learn best.  The two activities used, joggling and origami where fit for purpose, because we were having fun, yet, as was evident in the reflection at the end of the activity, we had chosen the activity to do, as well as the mode of instruction on how to do what we had to do based on our self assessed learning styles.
The key activity of the day was the Reflection time after each session, as it allowed us to bring to our concious mind all the subconcious descsions and thought proccess that we had been apply throughtout the various activities.
During one of the reflection session, we were asked to think of the most important thing that we have learnt; this I thought to be a very good question because it provoked a deep level of thought; I and the person that I was pair with to discuss this question, concluded that, it was the fact that we had learnt how we learn.

Day 1 concluded with a reflective/projective goal setting to lead us into Day 2 and beyond.