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Connecting Cultures through Literature and Storytelling

Connecting Cultures through Literature and Storytelling

“Reading is that fruitful miracle of a communication in the midst of solitude”

 
Marcel Proust

“When I was a child, when I was an adolescent, books saved me from despair: that convinced me that culture was the highest of values[…]”

Simone de Beauvoir

“Stories can conquer fear, you know. They can make the heart bigger.”

 
 
Ben Okri
  • “Reading is that fruitful miracle of a communication in the midst of solitude”

     
    Marcel Proust
  • “When I was a child, when I was an adolescent, books saved me from despair: that convinced me that culture was the highest of values[…]”

    Simone de Beauvoir
  • “Stories can conquer fear, you know. They can make the heart bigger.”

     
     
    Ben Okri
πηγή: usnews
πηγή: usnews

The Social Challenge

Living in a country where cross-cultural encounters increase due to the refugee crisis, we are witnessing greater conflicts based on such loaded concepts as “Cultural Diversity” and “Multiculturalism”. Τhere are parts of the society oppose to the integration of refugee children in schools mentioning “cultural chasm” and different religion as main reasons for this reaction. So how can we bridge this chasm?

Purpose of LitBridge

LitBridge is an innovative, educational program that envisions to open a dialogue and create a framework of connectedness between primary school students and refugee/migrant children. The medium used to start bridging this chasm is literature and storytelling while through it we can better understand other cultures. Through the use of refugee literature and interactive activities based on literary texts, school students will empathise and be able to personalise human rights and values that otherwise seem abstract to them. All children will write their own texts, illustrate them and bind them to create their own books.

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Mission

Strengthen kids and communities through the power of their own stories
Strengthen kids and communities through the power of their own stories
Author a new world of understanding, equality and opportunity
Author a new world of understanding, equality and opportunity
Offer to children access to diverse reading/writing experiences
Offer to children access to diverse reading/writing experiences

What we do

We implement our workshops at the 1st Elementary school of Thermi ( 3rd and 4th Grade) and at the refugee relocation structures of Praksis. Educators, writers and volunteer artists are involved.

Workshops include:

  • Literature games, readings, storytelling
  • Refugee literature and Arabic fairytales reading workshops, combined with interactive activities
  • Children create and narrate stories themselves. Creative writing
  • Exchange stories, develop dialog
  • Illustration, binding and creation of book
  • Short film creation

 

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Our Goals

  • Cultivate intecultural understanding and deconstruct stereotypes
  • Encourage respect, altruism and tolerance towards people of different race, colour, relegion or social background
  • Empower children to understand their responsibility in creating change

 

  • Promote diversity and multiculturalism as an enriching experience that characterises the European family
  • Invite active participation by the disempowered group of refugees by giving them voice
  • Equip children to express themselves imaginatively through story writing and art

Our Goals

  • Caltivate intecultural understanding and confute stereotypes
  • Encourage respect, altruism and tolerance, towards people of different race, color, relegion or social background
  • Empower children to understand their responsibility in creating change
  • Promote diversity and multiculturalism as an enriching experience that characterises the European family
  • Invite active participation by the disempowered group of refugees by giving them voice
  • Equip children to express themselves imaginatively through story writing and art

 

Who We Are

We are a group of active educators and artists who love literature, writing, storytelling and cultural diversity. We believe that children can become the change this world needs.


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  • I have a background on comparative literature (MA) and education (English and Greek teacher since 2007). I have implemented small scale projects on the field of social and cultural education. My studies offered me an intercultural and transnational understanding of diverse cultural and literary practices. I have conducted workshops aiming to familiarize children with literature as a volunteer at the Public Library of Thessaloniki (via Future Library Program) and participated in Thesswiki Project awarded with IFLA BibLibre Marketing Award, where I collaborated with a number of experts on the field of literature and technology. I hope that through my projects I make it possible for people off different cultures to have less fear of coming in contact.

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  • I hold a bachelor degree from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Early Childhood Education and a Masters in Intercultural Education from Vincennes Saint Dennis (Paris). I have worked as a teacher in multiple educational positions.  The last few years I work as an instructor in vocational learning programs. The dynamic of teams, interculturalism and diversity are elements I always use in the educational programs I set up. 

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  • Born in Thessaloniki, Greece, I am a graduate of Balkan, Slavic and Eastern Oriented Studies, with a major in Economics and International Business. I am interested in the marketing field, mostly digital marketing, because in this field I can express my creativity. I am participating in International Marketing seminars and I have worked as a digital marketing intern at the Impace Hub Belgrade, Serbia, and as a Conference Manager at HostelSkills Conference. I got involved with many NGOs and had participated in the Global Community Development Program of AIESEC, in Bratislava, Slovakia, delivering sessions in schools for the promotion of cultural understanding and youth leadership. I am a team player and I am interested in any kind of educational actions.

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  • Born in 1983 in Thessaloniki, I am a Physics graduate of AUTh and hold a MSc degree in Electronic Physics – Radioelectrology with specialisation in Telecommunications. Among other things, I teach Physics and Math and design Webpages. I consider myself a techy person that likes to share with others the knowledge he obtained,  especially with young people.

Partners

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  • Η Αναστασία Σαββίδου είναι δασκάλα στο 1ο Δημοτικό Σχολείο Θέρμης του νομού Θεσσαλονίκης. Σπούδασε Παιδαγωγικά στο Α.Π.Θ., έχει μεταπτυχιακό στις Ειδικές Μαθησιακές Δυσκολίες και είναι τελειόφοιτη στο Τμήμα Εικαστικών και Εφαρμοσμένων Τεχνών της Σχολής Καλλών Τεχνών του Α.Π.Θ.

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  • Ο Ιορδανίδης Αριστείδης είναι δάσκαλος στο 1ο Δημοτικό Σχολείο Θέρμης του νομού Θεσσαλονίκης. Σπούδασε στην Παιδαγωγική Ακαδημία Θεσσαλονίκης και στο Παιδαγωγικό Τμήμα Δημοτικής Εκπαίδευσης του Αριστοτελείου Πανεπιστημίου Θεσσαλονίκης. Για την διετία 2015-2017 ασκεί τα καθήκοντα του Υποδιευθυντή της σχολικής μονάδας.

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  • Born 1984 in Germany and living in Leipzig, It’s been four years now I am working with childeren in a association named Buchkinder. I studied Culturual and Media Education and took part in handcraft bookbinding workshops for two years. My main interest is working creatively with children and the encourage their indivudal expression and self-dependence. I am joining an artist’s workshop on painting and creating graphics, with the future prospect to open up a small workshop for children sorrounded with creative materials and books.

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  • Σπούδασα Φιλολογία (Α.Π.Θ) και μετεκπαιδεύθηκα στη Θεωρία Λογοτεχνίας (Cardiff) και στη Νεοελληνική Φιλολογία (Α.Π.Θ.). Εργάζομαι ως φιλόλογος στα Εκπαιδευτήρια Βασιλειάδη Θεσσαλονίκης. Συντονίζω τις μαθητικές Λέσχες Φιλαναγνωσίας του σχολείου μας, καθώς και τη Λέσχη Γονέων. Είμαι εκπαιδεύτρια της ομάδας του Ομίλου Επιχειρηματολογίας. Συμμετέχω στο πολιτιστικό κατασκηνωτικό πρόγραμμα του σχολείου μας στο Νυμφαίο. Στην τρέχουσα συγκυρία παρακολουθώ μαθήματα στο Κέντρο Θεατρικής Έρευνας Θεσσαλονίκης, όπου ανακαλύπτω το θέατρο ως παιδαγωγικό εργαλείο. Η λογοτεχνία; Παντού, ευτυχώς.

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  • I was born in Florina in 1985. I graduated from the Department of Production and Management Engineering and after a while I completely changed career path: Ι held a MA in Creative Writing (University of Macedonia) and continued my studies in Comparative Literature (AUTh) and Theology (UOA). Since May 2015 I coordinate the literature platform litart.gr (ww.litart.gr). I have published literary texts and reviews in digital and printed magazines. My first poetic prose book, Pleurika, was published in June 2015. Since 2014 I teach creative writing and literature.

Contact

Supported by “START – Create Cultural Change”, a Robert Bosch Stiftung program, in association with Goethe-Institut of Thessaloniki and Bundesvereinigung Soziokultureller Zentren e.V. 

Supported by “START – Create Cultural Change”, a Robert Bosch Stiftung program, in association with Goethe-Institut of Thessaloniki and Bundesvereinigung Soziokultureller Zentren e.V.