Pilot Project 1: Balkan Train
The Balkans is a region full of diversities where many different cultures meet. Therefore it offers a great opportunity for exploration and getting to know one's neighbours. But what would be the best way to do it, to connect young people and to create mutal understanding? Train and art – those are the answers the project „Balkan Train“ - one of the three pilot projects within "youthNET Creative Partnerships with SEE" - gave. On this basis a creative scheme was carried out in April 2009
Because the train is one of the oldest and most popular means of transport on the Balkans all participants used it to get together. They came from eight different countries, namely Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Austria, FYROMacedonia, Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Their destination was “Zadar“, a city which is located in Croatia. The ten-days-exchange was held in the local youth hostel as youth hostels are generelly places where young people from different parts of the world meet to enjoy a unique surrounding. In this creative atmosphere the participants got to know each other as well as their respective cultures and expressed themselves by using artistic methods. They communicated a lot through role playing, discussions, freeze and workshops. During the project all participants built their common vision about a united Europe and promoted the Balkans as an integral part of the European community. Art as a method proved to be a good way to raise awareness about cultural similarities and to achieve further networking.
As a final common action the participants painted a mini golf court situated on the youth hostel area. It will stay there as a symbol showing the local community and the youth hostel guests their design of a common vision of the Balkans region.