Interview for Youth Exchange – Race for Tolerance

Youth Exchange by Fabrica Athens, Greece
A Struggle for Tolerance – Tolerace

The Multicultural Art Group Fabrica Athens co-organized with the German Organization “Mostar Friendensproject”, the 7th in a row Youth Exchange Program – Race for Tolerance. The European program took place in Germany, in the city of Bremen from 6 to 15 August 2018, with the support of “Erasmus + Youth in Action”. The countries participating in the program were Greece, Germany, Albania, Armenia, Turkey, Estonia, Ukraine and Great Britain. Greece was represented by the Fabrica Athens Organization, which not only uses the Theater and Theatrical Methods it has developed as an educational – social – humanitarian – research tool, but also trains people in its Theatrical Techniques, training a new generation of trainers. In this program, Fabrica Athens sent its new instructor Babis Loukopoulos, who was responsible for the artistic activities, the theatrical education of the participants, as well as the creation – directing of a theatrical presentation – performance with the theme “Tolerance”.A protest march was staged and staged by the Youth Exchange participants themselves in the center of Bremen, followed by a poetic performance entitled “Tolerace”.

The participants of the Greek delegation were selected by the Higher School of Dramatic Art of the Municipality of Agia Varvara “Iakovos Kampanellis” with which the theatrical organization of Fabrica Athens collaborates. The students of the school and young artists who attended the European project were Giannis Tyrovolas, Nikos Chortarias, Athanasia Papazikou, Dimitra Mazi, Zoe Bithava and Evangelia Christiana.After their experience in the Youth Exchange Program, they gathered at the Fabrica Artspace and shared with the Fabrica Athens Team their experience in the world of Tolerance, Theater and Erasmus+.

The program was for the participants of the Greek mission a special trip to 7 European countries at the same time. Despite the differences, they discovered in common the commonalities with the other cultures, the characteristics that unite them and found ways to communicate and coexist harmoniously in the facilities of the host organization, which hosted them.In addition to the artistic and educational activities they attended, the participants were responsible for the maintenance and cleanliness of the facilities. The occupation with their place of residence captured the acquaintance and the flourishing of a mutual respect between the participants, but also of the space that hosted them. Important for the understanding of the different cultures and social – political – economic structures of the countries, were the free time of the participants, but also the international evenings they organized. At international nights each country was responsible for presenting one of the other participating countries, gathering information from the participants of that country, but also from their personal research.

Asking the Greek participants if the theater functions as a social tool and how, they stated the following: The theater contributed to the greatest extent to the acquaintance, understanding and acceptance among the participants. Knowing others through movement and gesture, a deeper relationship was created.The physical action and friction required by the theatrical process, led to a personal physical, but mainly mental and spiritual opening of each participant. Somatized Theater Techniques created an atmosphere of internal and group concentration and took on the role of catalyst to create an unbroken bond between team members. In addition, the exhibition process enabled the participants to “crumple” into the protected environment of the group, resulting in “softening” like people and opening their minds. They saw people through theatrical activities change the way of thinking, but also the perception of the world. Although the theoretical sessions on Tolerance were important, theater was a practical, fun, meaningful and concise way to feel and experience the meaning of Tolerance and how they can solve it.

To learn more about the youth exchange programs co-organized and participated by Fabrica Athens:
For the Hellenic-German Youth Foundation:
For the organizing organization:
For the Higher School of Dramatic Art of the Municipality of Agia Varvara “Iakovos Kampanellis”: