FAR – Fight Against Radicalisation was an international training for artists, youth workers, young pedagogues, social workers and volunteers who believe that art can be a powerful tool toward social change. The aim of the project was to find different artistic tools that can raise awareness around radicalisation. The project was a collaboration between four European partners. In the framework of the FAR project we were implementing a youth exchange which was result in a series of participatory workshops for high-school students and a thematic festival.
In a European context we face a continuously growing mixture of different cultures living together or separated in big cities. The role of Christianity and religion in general became weaker among European youth, but most of our social roles are still based on a Christian culture. We rarely have a stable knowledge about other religions, but unfortunately Muslim religion and Arab culture have a negative image in the West due to extremist actions happened recently all over Europe. As we become day by day more paranoid, we cannot stop war refugees, neither the new wave of environmental migrants we have to face in the near future. How to handle urban multiculturalism? How to be respectful to each other’s culture? What do we mean by cultural assimilation?
During the exchange, we based our knowledge sharing on informal and non-formal methods by using different forms of art (movement based practises, theatre and film) as tools to make a change in society. During the first half of the youth exchange we worked on merging this colourful group into one temporary community by artistic workshops and sessions dedicated to common reflection on the subjects of the project. For the rest of our time together the goal was to develop a workshop with these participants, which then was taken into several schools. The workshop was led by the members of our international group, working by their own means with 14-18 year-old students. This way, our international participants were able to experience the non-formal ways of transmission from a different angle. According to our intentions, this gesture of opening towards the exterior was also initiate further collaborations and it contributed to a better understanding and acceptance of each other.