In the beginning of September the Young Folks Youth Festival took place in Lucavsala, Riga as an engaging open air event for children and youth. Young people had a chance to take part in several master classes dedicated to art, sports, craft, as well as listen to professionals and amateurs from different areas like couching, travelling, social business activities and so on. The event had an amazing atmosphere of an informal open-air festival, where various types of activities and areas of interest were promoted. Even adults were welcome to take part and observe the offer of youth organisation Young Folks.
Social innovation centre’s representatives also had the opportunity to participate and share the knowledge and experience gained during the Erasmus + project in Vasto, Italy.
At the end of May 2017, 4 participants from the Social innovation centre have participated in Erasmus + project “Inclusion”. Almost a week long activities included the use of several creative methods to discuss social exclusion processes in the modern society. Such methods as photography, social theatre and music has been tried out with local youth.
The Young Folk Youth Festival was a great opportunity to share experiences with youth in one of the master classes produced during the event. It was challenging for the Social Innovation centre representatives, since the members have tried out such master class in the role of teachers for the first time.
During the festival young people were gathered together to try out the concept of social theatre, so they split into two groups and generated ideas. One group discussed the situation where one of the youngsters group is discriminated by age (situation, where friends leave one, because she is too young to watch the movie in the cinema with them), and another group simulated the situation where the girl is oppressed by the boy from the same friends network (and she just leaves the situation because she feels uncertainty). After each scene, participants from both groups have shared their feelings about the situations and possible solutions to the problems. Regardless of limited time, young people have got to know what the social theatre is and how it works, so it has the potential to be included in the regular activities of the theatre group of the Young Folks organisation, which provides different types of activities for young people.
Social theatre is a creative and engaging method of theater, which discusses social issues and proposes different ways of solutions by modeling situations and characters. The scenes reflect on the problems that society faces on a daily basis and may not even be aware of. Social theatre is an artistic way of reminding and highlighting problems of inequality, oppression, discrimination, ignorance and pain, so scenes played by actors include so-called “oppressor”, “oppressed one” and “neutral characters.” Audience also takes an active part in discussing the possible solutions of the problem situations that actors have shown.