Rome - Friday, 26 June 2009
The second model ICD-Conference (Conference on Intercultural Dialogue) in the course of the project weReurope - European Lifelong Learning by Intercultural Dialogue took place in Rome at the venue of Associazione ARCI - National Direction.
This ICD-Conference aimed at demonstrating that artistic expression is (able to act as) a training source for promoting inclusion, is a means to communicate across (language and other) barriers, motivates learning, self consciousness and self esteem. In our approach, Culture and Arts:
55 participants including a representative of the Municipality of Rome (Maria Cristina Pisapia) and core partners from 16 nations (EU and non-EU) shared activating methods of artistic expression. A message by Angela Vegliante (Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency, Brussels) was presented on the occasion "I think that generally in adult education and particularly in intercultural learning artistic expression could play an essential role." <link to Document>
After the opening by representatives of ARCI Ilaria Graziano (Rome), Milena Scioscia (Tuscany) and Filippo Miraglia and Monika Thum-Kraft on behalf of the project consortium weReurope, the growing Carpet of Symbols and Memories was spread again. This time again personal items and stories originated from the host- and neighbouring countries; i.e.: Italy (IT), Malta (MT), Spain (ES), Portugal (PT) and France (FR), participants introduced each other at roundtables in groups of 8 persons via their object and story.
The conference continued with experts' inputs on how to motivate marginalised groups for participation in Lifelong Learning processes: Clara Camacho (PT) showed examples from Portuguese museums and their work with immigrants from former African Colonies. Pedro Aguilera Cortés (Fundación Esplai, ES) addressed the important issue of Roma culture being present in many works of art (especially music and dance) and made a strong plea for understanding: "You can't love what you don't know". Joseph Giordmaina (University of Malta, MT) had a more theoretic approach (the philosophy of education) and added an example on LLL-work with prisoners in Malta.
After the lunch break, with plenty of occasions for discussion, the conference continued in 3 laboratories lead by artists with migrant background:
In the concluding plenary session examples of the work in the laboratories were presented, like a Roma group dance, Sevla Sejdic inviting the participants to dance along, there was a short performance by Felicité Mbezele and the video ("Homemade") by the group of Maria Rosa Jion shown on screen, which was most impressive, since participants who had not even known each other before, managed to produce a video using all the different languages in the group in just 1 ½ hours time.
The final feedback showed that participants hat experienced the 2nd ICD-Conference,
like the 1st in Vienna, quite different to usual conferences.
The majority of participants was pleased with their own contributions to the conference and their experience: "I liked the exchange among cultures and different means of expression. It has been an occasion to meet people and groups interested in intercultural work as way to peace".
Others would have wished more advance information to prepare more adequately and found that there should have been more time to be able to communicate with even more participants.
The most poetic feedback on the question "What did you learn?" was: "Beauty in difference".
The results of both feedback and evaluation questionnaires will consequently feed into the next conference in Stockholm and the "ICD-script", which develops as work in progress, throughout the 5 ICD conferences.
Partners were invited to spend the evening at an open air concert at Villa Ada, organised by ARCI: I Tarantolati di Tricarico (Lucania) during the festival Roma Incontra il Mondo.
All ICD-Conference material can be seen here: