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Topics: identity, respect and accountability.

This workshop aims at exploring topics such as identity, respect and accountability: it allows oneself to dwell into one’s relationship with the struggles they are facing at that particular time of life and gives participants a chance to see it with different eyes and in doing so, find a new way to approach them.

The activity aims at builing a self-narrative (and thus a self-analysis) of one’s emotions and by creating a metaphorical visualization of oneself in relation to the challenge by using the collage technique.

By: Claudia Cantarin

Time: 3 hours. This may vary depending on the group you are working with. It is important to be able to give each participant their own time, without rushing them. Activity 1-2 may be relatively quick. Activity 3 may be divided into two separate sessions if required.

Artistic Method

The composition of collage work is an easy practice that can be carried out by anyone (collage allows an all-inclusive approach: regardless of race, ethnicity, age, gender, religion, sexual orientation, disability, economic status and other diverse backgrounds, mental or bodily abilities, anyone can be part of it. However, it is the facilitator’s responsibility to ensure changes and adaptations are taken to meet the group’s needs) and does not require specific graphic or pictorial skills. Collage is a reflective tool that allows one to experiment and be original: it reveals rich and evocative content subject to the choice of materials, images, and above all by the combination of them, often reflecting the personality of the author/ author. Collage involves a process of decomposition and recomposition, through recursive and reflexive thinking. Randomness and rational choices coexist, allowing one to explore one’s own potential.

Required for this session

A wide range of resources are required for this workshop. In preparation for delivery, the facilitator must take adeguate time to prepare materials. Materials required for each step is summed up below. We also reccomand warming up the workshop by choosing some thoughtful Music. Tips for Choosing Thoughtful Music: When selecting music to accompany your thoughts, opt for instrumental tracks that lack lyrics. It’s not essential to stick exclusively to classical or sad music; what truly matters is the ability of the music to complement your contemplative state. To ensure an uninterrupted flow of your thoughts, make sure to respect the composition’s duration and avoid music interrupted by advertising (you can download a playlist to achieve this). When starting, avoid using fast-paced music, as it may distract you. Instead, consider artists like Allevi or Einaudi, whose compositions are well-suited for introspection and contemplation. Remember, the key is finding music that harmonizes with your thoughts and aids in a seamless thinking process. Few examples may include: Giovanni Allevi | Einaudi tracks | Ezio Bosso | Danit | The Cinematic Orchestra | Chrsitian Loffler | Apparat | Moderat | Rene Aubry.

Before you start

Brainstorming is a great first step for this workshop. For the purpose of this workshopwe suggest brainstorming around the word “Challange” (this can be easily be changed and adapted to the setting and context). Brainstorming helps participants visualize and envision the « challenge » through metaphorical understanding before beginning to use the materials provided. This makes it easier for participants to visualize what they will then try to create trhough the use of the collage technique.

1. Background construction – emotional part (30 – 45 min.)

The operator arranges a variety of different materials on the table or on the floor and asks participants to reflect on their “challenge” and try to figure out how it makes them feel and provides different forms of support when required.

You may lead the conversation by saying: “Each of these materials tells us something, there are smooth materials, rough materials that make us remember something or trigger emotions. When I think about the challenge I am facing, how do I feel? What is the emotion I feel? What is the material or materials that best represent it?”

Required for this session: A wide range of materials that can be
torn, broken, cut (some examples: tissue papers, paper doilies, colored papers already torn, textured papers, glossy papers. Take care when choosing the materials: it must be easy to tear as no scissors will be used at this stage and glue will be provided only at later stage); cardboard already cut out with different shapes (round, square, rectangular).

2. Construction of Self and Challenge – intimate part (60 min.)

After clearing the setting, the facilitator tells the participants that what they have just made will be the background against which their representations of the challenge are to be pasted next. Gives as the only constraint to use at least one part of the human body, whether it is a body part or a face. After arranging previously cut images of different figures (it is important to offer different scenarios), hands over scissors and magazines. Suggest working freely first and then placing one’s collage in the background. Glue is distributed later.

You may lead the conversation by saying: “We have represented how the challenge makes us feel, our emotions. Now let’s try to imagine representing us toward the challenge. What do we look like? How can we represent ourselves? Let’s take the time to move, cut, and edit, without rushing.”

Required for this session: Figures cut out (make sure to present all possible variations); magazines of various kinds (from fashion, nature, interior magazines, newspapers).

3. The verbalization – what I choose to tell (take a break before getting this started) (30 – 45 min.)

The practitioner cleans the setting again and arranges a series of previously cut words in native language on the table. At this point, he asks participants to create a sentence of accomplished meaning that can best represent what they have just accomplished. once found it will be pasted on the back of the collage.

You may lead the conversation by saying: “Let’s resume our compositions. We made the background that represents how we feel, the collage that represents you toward the challenge. Can I turn what I have done into thought again? Let’s let our thought choose. Let it be free to search for the word with which to begin and let us be guided by it”

Required for this session: Word cutouts taken from newspapers, and magazines (make sure to cut out as many different words you can find).

(30 min.)

before concluding the activity, have a quick debriefing. Ask participants to place their collages on the table for all to observe. If the group agrees, they can comment on their collages.

It is important for the facilitator to get to know the group and understand whether the group is ready to listen. If this is not considered possible a debriefing can be done on the activity.

You may lead the conversation by saying: “How did you find this experience? Easy, difficult? Why? What did you find difficult? Would anyone like to share their work with the group?

Notes to facilitator

It is essential that the youth worker does not interfere in the creation of the collage and choice of materials. The youth worker answers doubts and questions without making judgments.

It is important that the setting and the materials are constructed correctly and accurately to prevent the subject from facing frustrating situations: a correct setting leads the youth worker to speak little and say only what is necessary.