Perform2Reform: Training in Thessalonki

The youth exchange ‘Blended Mobility of Young People’ from the Perform2Reform project is taking place between the 23rd to the 29th of September in Thessaloniki, Greece. 

Organized by the Thessaloniki Youth Club for UNESCO, the main goal of the exchange is to allow participants to share ideas and receive information and training on how to deal with LGBTQI+ issues by using artistic and social tools and practices, as well as to present the outcomes of the Intellectual Outputs of the Project. 

The group is constituted by young participants from Greece, North Macedonia, Slovenia, Cyprus and The Netherlands, who engage in multiple activities that include team building exercises, lectures, group trainings, role-play exercises, practical cases and advocacy trainings. 

On the first day, participants could learn about the Intellectual Outputs of the project. This included the manual “Rainbow in the Pocket”, which will function as a manual for teachers and youth workers who wish to address LGBT+ topics through art and games. It was presented by Didi Šišić and Aleks Kovač from Legebitra (Slovenia), who also engaged the participants in a workshop about privilege and equality of opportunities. North Macedonia was represented by Zorica Zafirovska, who, besides explaining the process, also showed us footage from the rehearsals of the performance that they are developing about the stories of LGBT+ people in the country. Afterwards, the output “Routes”, from Cyprus, was presented by Maria Varnakkidou (Accept LGBT). We got to see two out of the four short films that were made, documenting immersive theatre performances, where the audience was riding in a car with the actors and witnessing their phone conversations regarding LGBT+ topics. 

On the next day, it was time for Stefania Bouri from the Thessaloniki Youth Club for UNESCO to present Greece’s output: a short film with interviews to LGBT+ people from the country, which will then be complemented by a workshop on Saturday.  

Furthermore, the participants had the opportunity to take part in multiple workshops, such as “Gender Equality in the EU politics”, given by the former Parliamentary Assistant, Maria Brokou; “Legally combating Gender-based Discrimination in Greece”, by Despina Natsi; “Words matter – sexism in everyday language” by Athanasia Zaprou, and “Human Rights: for whom, how, when?”, conducted by Christina Azopoulou. 

The week goes on with more activities such as the ones organized by the Gender Alliance Initiative and the participative sessions about translation and gender with Sofia Georgiadou. 

During the exchange, the participants have also had the opportunity to become familiar with the city of Thessaloniki as well as with the distinct realities of all the participating countries. 

“Perform to Reform” (P2R) project is an initiative by Stichting art.1 which aims to develop tools based on performative arts and soft skill methodologies in order to address sexual diversity topics and to create powerful and adaptable techniques for youth workers and educators.