ReSTORation: besede udeleženk_cev
Med 4. in 15. marcem je na Nizozemskem potekala mladinska izmenjava ReSTORation, o pripovedovanju zgodb. Izmenjave se je udeležilo tudi skupina slovenskih udeleženk_cev. Naš prostovoljec Lan, ki se je izmenjave udeležil kot vodja skupine, je svojo izkušnjo opisal tukaj, preberi si še, kaj so o izmenjavi povedale_i druge_i udeleženke_ci:
I was in the ReSTORation Erasmus+ youth exchange in Ommen, Netherlands. We were a group of people from 9 different countries – Netherlands, Czech Republic, Spain, Romania, Italy, Greece, Bulgaria, Slovenia and Poland. We had 10 days in which we were discussing about how stories are shaping our mindset, perception of reality and things we believe in.
I’m always learning a lot from the workshops prepared for us in the E+ projects, but I’ve never sign up for it because of that. It’s the things that I have learned to somehow expect, but can not conceptualize them, that draw me to participate… and the people I’m gonna meet, which I can’t yet grasp the impact they’re going to have.
For me it’s also some kind of an escape. A vacation. When I travel, I leave the life to which I’m used to, at home. Essentially, it means I leave my worries, which are mostly connected to the future – therefore basically never real, behind. So when I travel, I become real. I become more me. Well, maybe not become, but I let it be, as Paul McCartney wrote. I can say that I let myself be. And I love to observe – especially experience that feeling myself and recognize it in others. My biggest accomplishment is to integrate that feeling, that knowing, that state of being into my everyday life, regardless of where I am.
In summary I was also ignated to pursue a new skill of dancing called Bachata! I’ve witnessed people’s genius humor in expressing simplicity of the everyday truth. I’ve made acquaintances with people I hope I’m gonna deepen the connection with. I’ve got inspired by kindness, we can have for each other. And I’ve observed so many things like the expansion of trust in a short matter of time. I saw the act of courage converting from it’s needs to effortlessness. And I could feel the absence of judgment, maybe not all the time, but nevertheless in a much bigger percentage.
Thank you very much.
When I applied, I didn’t expect to spend 10 days filled with such great people. Experience the exchange of unconditional love and care. These were the most remarkable days I’ll never be able to forget. But my journey didn’t end there. In the middle of a crisis, I got stuck in Olde Vechte. Terrifying? A bit. Not really though. The place was still filled with the magic of the people that recently left. Only physically, of course, they all shared a little piece of themselves, that I could still feel for the remaining days I had to spend in isolation. I can still feel the effect of the project positively affecting my life, and I will definitely cherish those feelings to the end of my time.
It was the sharing, connections, vulnerability and interesting minds, that enchanted me into a vortex of music, dance, laughter, exploration, stories and magical moments. It was an explosion of everything. It was too much and not enough. It was an experience.
Other texts have already laid out what the program was about, so I will focus on one particular aspect that I found crucial: keeping the stage backdoor open throughout the whole 10 days. I had my doubts on how the final stage performances would work during the process. In any cases when someone from the participants was given control over the loudest speakers, you had charts flowing into the room, creating a shared space for people to navigate, yet I couldn’t shake the sense that the feel-good pop-music driven space is not a place for people’s fledgeling few-days-old performances.
That space was safe enough to peer through the fence and toss the ball to see if anyone reciprocates but that was that. I remember how a DIY art evening turned into people seeking the common denominators through pop performances, opting for recognizability over vulnerability. But these suspicions were lifted during the final performance. There was a certain promise given in the act of holding a timeslot that spoke “Here, take it, it’s for you, also take time to work on it.”
And that seemed to shift gears in the group dynamics and encourage people to traverse the territory from safe politeness to vulnerability, probably still treading carefully should the ground beneath turn to be less reliable than thought, yet drawing on the best in them to breathe new life through art. And my generation will absolutely need that to create narratives that can fixate and nurture futures, which currently seem to be evaporating rapidly. And to do that, we’ll need to keep the door to the backstage open, the stage ready for the show and most crucially place strong promises that this time it’s for real. No hiding behind feel-good songs. This time, here, for you.