Programme: ERASMUS+:, Key Action 1: training course
Venue: Berlin, Germany
Dates: 7—16 May 2022
Please read the info-pack.
Hosting organisation: NGO Chance Berlin
Participating countries: Germany, Czech Republic, Poland, Spain
Czech team: Pavla Brejchová, Ondřej Holan, Kıvanç Gördü, Caroline Beach
Welcome to Berlin, the multicultural capital of Germany! In true Berlin style, our Erasmus+ training course was a mix of nations. While officially representing Portugal, Czech Republic, Poland, and Germany, we had participants from many more countries who used the benefits of migration to complete their study programs. The project, Digital Storytelling, allowed participants to explore the characteristics of a compelling story and digitally compile story elements for production. We arrived on 7 May and by 16 May, we had created video projects, participated in workshops, and learned how to facilitate our own Digital Storytelling workshops in our communities.
It is daunting to create video projects and be asked to share personal stories for a mixed group of strangers, but the program was set up to create friendships through icebreakers, scavenger hunts, and other bonding activities. We were able to find common ground and what connects us to each of our teammates. We had great group cohesion despite our different upbringings, languages, lifestyles, and beliefs. It was a reflection of a modern, connected Europe.
Part of creating a memorable story is including a piece of your personality into it, as audiences can feel when a work is unauthentic. Most of our workshops centered around this idea that in order to create a story, you need a firm understanding of yourself. We had small groups reflections (3-4 participants) in which participants were asked to share a story about a meaningful object they brought with them, write short letters to a person in their life, and to draw a “map” of a place they associate with fond memories. Large group exercises focused on the importance of inclusion and cross cultural communication, especially in our multicultural environment.
Towards the end of the program, we split into two groups: those wanting to learn more about facilitating our own digital storytelling workshops, and those wanting to improve their photography and visual skills. I attended the facilitation workshop, in which we discussed the challenges to facilitating, possible solutions, and the differences between running workshops with children vs. adults, those with disabilities, and those with difficult circumstances (i.e. refugees).
As far as Berlin is concerned, we did not see much of it, as the program kept us at the studio most of the week. However, with our evenings and a free half-day, we explored in small groups the sites around Berlin. By the end of the program, we learned more about the value of digital storytelling, its overlap with traditional storytelling, and how to better include our personal twist in future stories.