European Network of Cultural Centres (ENCC)

Strength in Diversity

Biedrība "Zadiņi"

“Strength in diversity” is a week-long interactive program for youngsters to learn about diversity and community living. Through theatre games and discussions, they will gain skills to empathise with others and build the stories that matter to them. One immersive experience is the day-excursion to Rožkalni Camphill where youth and individuals with developmental disabilities will get to know each other. As an outcome, the youth group will present their theatre performance to a wider audience.

A group of 20 youngsters from the Vidzeme region in Latvia will participate in a week-long theatre summer camp to experience diversity and community living. In the end, the group will present their co-created theatre performance. Each day of the camp, the youth will be invited to step in the shoes of a minority group to empathise with different realities. The themes are chosen close to what matters to them: identity and gender crisis, pressure on performance and utopic social media success standards. To ensure a profound experience, the program includes a day-excursion to the Camphill village Rožkalni where adults with developmental disabilities are living and working together.

The community strives to promote a sense of unity and ensures that each of its members can feel honoured and valued. Through common activities, youth will discover Rožkalni members’ personalities and their way of living. These topics are relevant in Latvia where youngsters are enduring a lot of pressure on their performances at school and at home. They are also exposed daily to social media featuring success stories on individual achievements.

Anxiety related to “becoming someone” grows bigger together with a lack of self-confidence. This is even more visible in the countryside and in families with low income. What if getting in the skin of others could help young people to feel better on their own? Together, we want to explore what we can gain from accepting our differences and supporting each other.

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