From November the 27th to December the 4th 2017 the International Exchange "Cultures on the Road 2017" took place, promoted by the Municipality of Cinisello Balsamo in collaboration with the international network Drums For Peace, and co-financed by the European Erasmus+ Program.
The project consisted of a meeting among 40 young people aged between 16 and 23 years old, all from Latvia, Finland, Romania, Portugal and Italy.
The beautiful Chiavenna welcomed the Exchange among the snowy mountains and the Christmas atmosphere that fascinated the guys.
The participants worked for a week on the theme of labour market: they have brought different stories and points of view from their countries of origin, confronting a topic that involves them today more than ever, and that they have developed through art.
The young people divided into 4 different workshops (circus, theatre, percussion and dance) and used their bodies, music and expressiveness to express their point of view on the issue, they finally represented it in an artistic performance that was staged both in Chiavenna and Cinisello Balsamo, in the Auditorium of the Cultural Centre Il Pertini.
There were moments of exchange with the Chiavenna community too: from a treasure hunt that had the young people running from one side of the city to the other, interviewing passers-by and taking photos, to an evening of folk dances at the Al Deserto Hostel, to a flashmob that coloured the streets, aroused curiosity and made those who participated dance.
During the week, participants had to draw up, day by day, a personalised skills map: this allowed them to look at their learning journey from a new perspective and to discover that there is a creative and fun way to acquire the skills that the job market requires.
So, it emerged how art and non-formal education can help to overcome the fear of exposing oneself in front of an audience, to manage the "performance anxiety", to develop the ability to work in a group, to coordinate or guide it, but above all to put oneself on the line to face new challenges; the students learned patience, memory, decision making, to think strategically, to listen, to observe.
Among the artists who led the workshops there was Mattia Venturella, 22 years old from Cinisello Balsamo, who during the high school participated in his first International Exchange project, and with time managed to combine his passion for music and travel, becoming a workshop leader within Youth Exchange. Also the story of Marcello Seregni, who managed the circus workshop, is closely linked to the city of Cinisello Balsamo: he is in fact member of the association Arci La Quercia, within which he took part and promoted events and artistic paths.
The team of workshop-leaders also included Davide Fossati, educator from Milan who through his work combines theatre and social inclusion, and Pako, from Portugal, a hip-hop dancer and choreographer with a long experience within the Drums for Peace network.
Cultures On the Road 2017 was the fourth International Exchange organized by the Youth Projects Office of the Municipality of Cinisello Balsamo. With this, the office reached a total of 200 young people involved, between guys from Cinisello Balsamo and foreigners, thanks to its participation within the European network Drums For Peace.
To these we can add the young people of the National Civil Service that composed the staff, acquiring important organizational and relational skills and getting to know closely the Erasmus+ projects.
Surely, through Cultures on the Road, Cinisello Balsamo has contributed to the construction of an open and peaceful Europe, which promotes dialogue and a common identity vision that involves first of all the youngest.
To see photos and videos of the Exchange, follow the FB pages of Eurodesk Cinisello Balsamo and Pagine Giovani Cinisello!