April 22 – 29, 2018
For this year’s Youth Encounter, groups from from Tallinn (EE), London (GB), Český Krumlov (CZ) and Budapest (HU) gathered in Forlí (IT). An old candle factory, which has become a place for cultural events, served as the workplace. Some of the young people already participated in one of the past encounters in England or Estonia. Suzanne McLean, who founded the theatre company “Young and Talented” in London and has often worked for PLATFORM shift’s leading organisation, Pilot Theatre, directed this year’s theatre workshops to produce the final presentation.
The theme was the process of change in the world of work. How important is work for the adolescents? What significance does it have for the process of finding their identity? What do young people think about their future work and what role do digital technologies play in this?
The starting point for the artistic workshops are the individual family stories of the young people. What kind of jobs did family members have? What changes in the value of work can be seen in family histories? In preparation, each participant brought a “work tree of life”, which was presented on the first day. With PowerPoint presentations, photos, self-designed graphics, videos, poems or documented installations, the youngsters vividly show the working worlds of their families. It is interesting to see how they proudly report grandmothers who were tailors, hard-working mothers or how they work in a century-old family business like a pastry shop in Budapest. However, there are also uncertainties. There are so many possibilities and freedoms offered nowadays that it is hard to figure out which way is right.
All these questions are addressed in the following days in various theatre and movement exercises. The young people also discuss what they expect from the future, and what expectations are placed on them.
For the final presentation the participants work in small groups on theatre scenes including dance and vocals. They explore their engagement with the adult, the ego, the decision of what they want to become and how this decision is influenced by friends and family. Framed as a game show, the audience is involved in a number of different ways.
The youngsters also had the opportunity to participate in the Creative Forum organised by the Italian host, Teatro Elsinor. They listened to lectures on big data and entrepreneurship strategies and are able to attend workshops such as a radio workshop, a Makey Makey workshop, Q-Lab or Stop-Go Animation.
Parallel to the Youth Encounter, professionals from the PLATFORM shift+ partner theatres met near to Fórli to continue working on their final productions/events. In order to give them an opportunity to exchange ideas with young people, they spent one day together. The professionals shared the status of their productions with them and also came to see young people’s final production on the last evening.
Later in the year, in Autumn, young people from different partner cities come together at La Friche in Marseille, organized by Theatre Massalia. They participated in workshops, artistic collaborations, digital technology explorations and creative connections with the local community, all under professional guidance. The final result was presented to a public local audience