Perform2Reform: Multiplier Event in Ljubljana

Stichting art.1 has been in Ljubljana, Slovenia, for the Multiplier Event of our project Perform2Reform, organized by our partner Legebitra. The event consisted of a training on how to use their recently finished book, “Mavrica v žepu” (‘Rainbow in the pocket’), which will function as a manual for teachers and youth workers who wish to address LGBT+ topics through art.

The event started with speeches from Mitja Blažič, Lana Gobec and Katja Sešek (Legebitra), who told the audience about the process and the importance of such a book.

Legebitra manages a youth center but, as Katja Sešek explained, the youth that visits it to be in a safe space still have to go back to schools and other environments where they are victims of discrimination. For that reason, the organization felt that it was necessary to have a more comprehensive approach to the problem and elaborate a toolkit that could better equip the schools to respond to these issues. Furthermore, we got to hear about the project “A Scuola Per Conocerci”, brought to us by Sandi Paulina, vice president responsible for foreign affairs and contacts with Slovenian minority Arcigay Arcobaleno Trieste Goiza ONLUS. This is a project which consists of an educational proposal for schools to tackle homophobic and transphobic bullying and the different forms of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity/expression. To finalize the speeches, Derk Jan Nauta, head of mission at the Embassy of The Netherlands, congratulated the project and reaffirmed its importance, reflecting on the reported numbers of discrimination in schools.

After a wonderful lunch prepared by +Kantina MSUM, a project which works towards the inclusion of refugees, we were all ready and eager to start the training.

As Katja explained, the manual includes an extensive section on research and clarification of LGBT+ topics to empower teachers and youth workers so that they can feel comfortable when discussing these matters. Besides, it includes 9 different workshops dedicated to different age groups, consisting of multiple levels of complexity. Filip Vurnik and Laura Pihlar, two of the authors of the book, guided us through some of the workshops which are proposed in the manual, explaining how they should be used, offering tips and advice, and also listening to our feedback and discussion. The workshops tackled subjects such as power relations, privilege, equality of opportunities, oppression, discrimination and empathy.

Their meticulous work makes it possible for people who want to engage in these topics with their students to do it in an informed and respectful manner, which can simultaneously be fun, stimulating and very engaging for the youth.

The Slovenian version of ‘Rainbow in the pocket’ can be found here and the English translation will be made available in September.