human rights arts activism
thursday 13th may
arts bar camberwell
Art's Bar, 25a Church Street, Camberwell SE5 8TR
col. laura plana gracia
Mapping the inner city of Athens through Muslim young people’ eyes’
For 8 months (November 1999 ‐ June 2000), this photographic group process work has engaged 16 male young people actively and creatively in one of most multiracial and high crime areas of Greece. As part within a specific Social Integration Project – entitled ‘Educational Intervention’ ‐ for Muslim Women and Children in the inner city of Athens, it was funded by the Greek Ministry of Interior (Partnership of General Secretariat of Equality, Institute of Art Training & Children and Family Support Centre). Project’s focus was to enable a group of never educated and hard‐to‐reach Mulsim young people at risk of offending and antisocial behaviour to look at their own physical environments with their own eyes, explore their own sense of identity and develop social skills such as teamwork, respect, self advocacy. Photography proved capable to reflect the diverse interests and aspirations of the participants and make them think of literacy and reading skills empowering the exploration of their cultural identities and their place as equal citizens in contemporary Greek Society. As youth worker and facilitator, I tried to give voice to a group of marginalised young people who never being heard of by any initiative or significantly participated in any learning procedure (group not in employment, education or training). With 8 small Canon mechanical cameras and practical workshops, most of the activities were devised and delivered on the streets, parks, café shops, tube stations etc. The final idea of coordination of an exhibition derived from the participants and its implementation took part on June 2000.