Grundtvig Learning Partnership Project, 2011-2013
Project aims to create opportunities for educators, voluntary trainers working with socially, culturally, economically disadvantaged people to investigate how photography and its “emotional manipulation” might be used to help people at risk of social exclusion. This concept derives from the Art Counseling approach and from the experience of two famous photographers, Jim Goldberg and William Klein.
Italy (FONDAZIONE OPERA SACRA FAMIGLIA), Croatia (MREŽA UDRUGA ZAGOR), France (ÉCOLE DE LA 2e CHANCE DE LORRAINE), Portugal (TEIA AMIGA – ASSOCIAÇÃO), Spain (FUNDACIÓN EL LEGADO ANDALUSÍ), Switzerland (ASSOCIATION DES UNIVERSITÉS POPULAIRES SUISSES).
- young disadvantaged adults
- non-EU immigrants
- professionals working in education of socially excluded people
The overall objective was to experiment with the use of new language based on photography, multimedia techniques and engaging creativity. Photography helps people to express past life experiences, interior conflicts, trouble situations, facilitate self-awareness etc. and as such was explored with a view to:
- improving skills of people working in the education of socially excluded people
- helping disadvantaged people to become socially integrated both in the local communities and in European perspective
- exchanging new ideas and good practices applied within each organization and establishing a network of mutual advice
- experimenting new methods and instruments to be introduced in the social inclusion programmes
- giving the opportunity to young adult people to be involved in new social inclusion activities implemented just for them and have an
Photography and its emotional/creative manipulation helped the workshop participants express their way of being, their thoughts, wishes and hopes as well as other basic emotions with a view to raising self-awareness, improving relationships, activating communication and social-cultural integration processes, overcoming personal and group conflicts as well as fostering individual and team creativity.
The workshop process starts with a picture: the photographer portrays a person. After the shooting each person takes his own portrait and makes it more personal and intimate using an “emotional manipulation” of the photo. It can be done through a graphic software, through artistic techniques or just through personal writings, draws or scribbles on the surface of the picture. In this way the participants can express themselves – after the creative and personal manipulation the photo is not only a captured picture but it tells us a story.
The workshops organised within the framework of the project used diverse processes to achieve the above goals:
- much importance was given to photographic techniques and the use of multimedia technology to capture the feeling or emotion; the level of workshops was quite high, very professional implying good knowledge of photography and multimedia programs
- some workshops involved learners with special educational needs, able to make an image on a chosen theme (e.g. happiness) using various techniques like picture collages, paintings or drawings to express happy moments, material possessions, dreams, etc
- some workshops helped young participants to explore, communicate and learn more about themselves and their relationships with others; the learners were guided through an experiential activity to distinguish their physical, intellectual and emotional features in order to better distinguish such features in others
- there were also sessions addressed to educators working with socially excluded people and focused on the exchange of approaches between the partners’ teams and shared elaboration of the concept of emotional manipulation of the photograph to facilitate training new social skills and talents