European Network of Cultural Centres (ENCC)

CALA: Creative Arts & Language Adventure

IRARU - IG zur Förderung von Kultur, Integration und soziokulturellen Initiativen

CALA promotes multilingualism and language acquisition in migrant communities by creating safe artistic-therapeutic focused spaces that provide tools and strategies to empower participants to reclaim language as their own, thus changing the mentality of language as an obligation to something that enriches them and offers opportunities for integration and growth. This is done through workshops based on the Expressive Arts Therapy framework and iLanguage philosophy developed by Dr. Carola Koblitz.

In practice, CALA provides safe spaces with an artistic-therapeutic approach so that participants can practise language based on the recognition of their own resources and develop their creative capacities to respond creatively to external and internal challenges.. They are art-therapeutic oriented because the process takes priority over the product.

The aim of the sessions is to create a new mentality about language and about oneself using a blended methodology built from Expressive Arts Therapy framework and iLanguage philosophy. We believe that by promoting translingual and transcultural coexistence, we want to make multilingualism accessible to everyone and thus promote spaces of harmonious coexistence in which people feel safe and integrated, regardless of their origin or their mother tongue(s) or inherent language(s).

This is very relevant because those who learn other languages have more opportunities in education and employment. For example in Vienna, 42.6% of the population is of foreign origin, which poses a great challenge for the daily coexistence and integration of a homogeneous society.

Through the transformative power of the arts, our proposal fosters well-being and helps to build emotional bonds between different members of the community, facilitates processes and resolves group difficulties or impasses. It leaves the group with a shared lived experience. This begins to form part of their community experience.

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