Mostar Summer Youth Programme - Week 2

The second week of MSYP 2016 seemed to pass by so quickly...

The classroom courses started this week, with additional workshops taking place after classes and in the evenings.

The courses in this year’s programme include: Spoken Word Poetry, Architecture and Urban Design, Business Development, Gender and Feminism in Contemporary BiH, Human Rights, Introduction to Investigative Reporting, Literature and Identity, Media Studies, Media and Politics, Narrating Your City, Natural Disaster Response and Recovery, Religious Studies, Social Activism and Civic Engagement, Spectacles on Stage and Screen: An Introduction to Theater and Film, Multimedia Storytelling, Teamwork and Leadership.

The courses are led by teachers from within Mostar and BiH, as well as many other countries around the world. MSYP’s teaching staff for this year have experience living, studying and working in countries including Argentina, BiH, Canada, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, UK and USA.

MSYP aims to provide an alternative model of education which promotes integration, critical thinking and interactive teaching techniques. The classroom courses involve lots of practical hands-on exercises for the participants. For example in the Multimedia Storytelling course the participants will be interviewing people in Mostar and using audio, video and photography to produce short documentaries.

On Monday the after-class workshop was about Global Warming and Sustainable Development, facilitated by Paula Roetscher. Paula made a presentation on local and global environmental issues, and then the participants were asked to work in groups to suggest ways in which they could address these challenges.

On Tuesday MSYP teacher Maida Salkanović ran a workshop on Literary Activism in which she presented her work on the way that disabled people are represented in literature. The workshop prompted a lively and thoughtful discussion.

Jelena and Sanja from Schuler Helfen Leben BiH visited us on Wednesday to run a workshop on Project Grant Writing. In this workshop the participants focused on the idea of an “open academy” – an idea they had come up with themselves during the first week of the program when discussing social projects. The participants expanded and developed the idea under guidance from Jelena, and then practiced pitching their proposal to a panel of MSYP staff.

In the evening, MSYP staff member Asha Siad screened her documentary film 19 Days, which explores the experience of migrants and refugees. The screening was held at OKC Abrasevic, and followed by a short panel discussion on how the film was made and delving a little deeper into the challenges faced by migrants and refugees.

On Thursday the classes were followed by a fun and educational workshop on Mediation, facilitated by Louis Santander. Following a presentation on mediation techniques, the participants took part in a role play exercise in which they acted as disputants in every-day conflict situations, and practiced mediation to try to resolve the conflicting points of view.

On Friday Eliana Trinaistic visited to present her media literacy and civic engagement programme called Documentaries for Change exploring the reach and impact of collaborative, community-based documentary story-telling art for the purpose of civic inclusion.

In the evenings of Thursday and Friday, some of the students participated in "My City Youth City Workshop" which was facilitated by Centar ADA’s creative curator Senada Demirović Habibija. Senada took the participants on a brief tour of some underdeveloped spaces in the urban landscape of central Mostar. She then lead a session in which the group envisioned and planned the content of the spaces, as well as the creative design solution which would become a mobile youth pavilion. The participants then worked on scale models and designs to add further detail to the concept. Connecting participants with ongoing local projects like this is a vital component of MSYP, encouraging participants to become engaged and active in their community year round.

After this busy and full week of classes and workshops, the teachers and participants were able to relax and recharge with a field trip to Hutovo BlatoNature Park generously sponsored by local travel agent Fortuna Tours (http://fortuna.ba). After a short walk during which the participants learnt about the flora and fauna of Hutovo Blato, they took a boat trip around the lake and then had some lunch. Afterwards teachers and participants spent the afternoon relaxing and playing games together, as well as sharing stories about their countries and cultures. On the return to Mostar we took an hour out to explore the beautiful castle and village of Počitelj near Čapljina.

For more photos from Mostar Summer Youth Programme visit the project's web site mostarsyp.org or their Facebook page facebook.com/mostarsyp