Sunday, March 1, 2009

Final Day


The morning session continued with Open Space during which the participants had the possibility to discuss future projects and networking opportunities. Participants then had a little free time to wind down after the intense week of discussions and working groups and the study session ended with an evaluation exercise in the evening. 

The finale of the study session was a farewell party that also saw some participants leaving in the early hours of the morning. 

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Day 5 - Open Space Technology & Plenary Session


The working method introduced today was Open Space Technology, which is is a workshop design tool to use when situations include a diverse group of people who must deal with complex, and potentially conflicting material in innovative and productive ways. The method follows four basic principles: 
Who ever comes is the right person;
Whatever happens is all that could have;
Whenever it starts is the right time;
When it is over, it is over.

This method allows the participants to move from one discussion to the other whenever they feel that they have given and received enough to that discussion. Participants could move about, lending their knowledge and variey to the discussions available. 

A number of issues were suggested by the participants and were eventually discussed through the Open Space method. These included the showing of a number of movies of LGBTQ realities in different countries which were followed by further discussions on these experiences. Discussions on transgender issues, feminism, ableism and caucuses.

In the afternoon session, we began with the plenary of the Open Space Technology. This developed into a discussion of constructive criticism of how intercultural and anti-racist activities should be approached and how structures can replicate oppression.

The evening ended with some participants taking part in a few games of table soccer, billiards and table tennis, as part of the "Out Games Preview"!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Day 4 - World Cafe & Free Afternoon


The day started with a World Cafe event, whereby were asked to contribute issues that they would like to discuss and the ideas were grouped in 7 areas and the participants had the opportunity to move from one group to another every 15 minutes. Amongst the issues discussed were Alliance Building and Networking, Funding & Lobbying, Religion and LGBTQ, and Critical Whiteness. Feedback from each group was then carried into the plenary and today's sessions ended there since the next item on the agenda was a free afternoon. 

Participants made their way to the building of the Council of Europe and later to the city centre for some sightseeing and shopping. The group later met again for the dinner in town, which was another positive exchange and included Tarte Flambée, which was very tasty.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Day 3 - Introduction to Discrimination and Privilege


The day began with the formulation of a community agreement to facilitate the communication process between the participants. The expert, Tarek Naguib, introduced the topic of discrimination and the participants were asked to explore instances of discrimination that they experienced as a victim, as a perpetrator, as an observer who could not act and an observer who could act. Then, in small groups, they presented two of these situations and were asked to explain to the other participants, why these situations were discriminating according to them. The participants shared a number of examples of discrimination in the plenary, such as sexist language, sexist laws, homophobic behaviour in schools, sexism and racism in the provision of services. In the afternoon there were exercises that focussed on the privileges that our identities give us. 

Later the SWOT Analysis approach was introduced and partipants were divided into groups with the task to analyse their geographical region or common issues. 

The Obligatory Group Photo

Greetings from the participants of the study session...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Day 2 - Introduction to Racism

The topic of Racism was intoduced by our expert for the day, Katrin Osterloh, and participants were asked to think about they associate with racism. They were then presented with examples of behaviours and asked to think about whether the examples were racist and also what made them racist. The discussion covered areas such as experience of racism, othering, control of identity and power. Then they were asked to look at definitions of racism and think about which aspects were important in their personal view of racism. The input led the participants to experience some strong feelings and led to some intense discussions.

Day 1 - NGO Market

The "Market" was officially opened by a participant and a participant from the IFLRY study session, which is running in parallel at the EYC, with the ribbon cutting and a Hip Hop version of the European Anthem in the background. Every participant displayed their organisation's posters, booklets, publications, videos, etc; making the market as diverse and international as the participants.