Cultural Luggage

In the recent refugee crisis, cultural differences between the refugees and the local population in Europe are portrayed as a main obstacle for integration and as an element that increases the reluctance of the local population in certain countries to accept positively refugees in their own communities. A simple, easily explained way to highlight this shared popular culture which has a direct impact on both populations is the use of fairy tales. The fairy tale is a short popular story that includes in a concentrated form all these elements that constitute the cultural perception of a whole nation. The project aims to use fairy tales as a tool in order to increase mutual understanding and acceptance between the refugees and the local population. It aims to develop common performances (developed with the cooperation between refugees and local artists) where fairy tales which present common characteristics between the country of origin and the host countries of the refugees are presented both to refugees and the local population. These theatre performances are going to be organized both in the refugee language and in the European languages in order to allow the participation of both groups without any language barrier. They are going to be combined with interactive theatre games that will allow the active participation of all the participants. In this way the project aims to develop a sense of common belonging between the refugees and the local population which one the one hand will reduce the sense of isolation that many refugees have and on the other hand will increase the acceptance of the refugees by the local communities. Education activities organized by specialized artists/pedagogues/animateurs are going to increase the impact that the theatre performances and the drama based games are going to have in both populations.