Art of adaptation – accompanying migration with art


This section  describes the workshop “Art of adaptation” organized by Elan Interculturel in January 2012 Paris. Our idea behind the  “Art of adaptation” workshop was to create a space where we could work with the tools of art and the challenges of adapting to a new country.  There were three special features of this workshop.  First, the workshop was a blend of intercultural training and art workshop. It focused explicitly on adaptation and the sessions were constructed on purpose to tackle different phases and aspects of the adaptation process.  Second, what allowed for such a top-down construction was that all four facilitators and artists involved were themselves immigrants in Paris.  This meant that the skeleton of the workshop was not built on cold theoretical assumptions on what adaptation should be, but was also backed up by the personal experiences of the facilitators’ team. This led to a very permeable border between role of facilitator and participant: the facilitators themselves participated in each other’s session and used the creative space as much as the other participants. And most importantly: the group consisted of  women coming from 9 different countries over four continents, which seems to be a highly diverse group.  At the same time we shared a language (English), which helped us to address explicitly even more abstract issues related to adaptation. Finally most participants were in a relatively safe economic environment, we could focus on how to make the best of the experience of migration and not on survival or complex legal issues.


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