Describe the main features of the measure/initiative:
To support the engagement of young people from Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine and Russia in professional and educational exchanges conducive to building trust and creating networks for future communication by means of involving them in master classes, seminars, lectures and other activities in the field of visual and performing arts within the framework of the recurrent format of Tbilisi Biennale of Stage Design and by including them in the work of international cultural networks. Objectives of the project: The main goal of this project is to use the recurrent format of Tbilisi Biennale of Stage Design in a confidence-building effort by engaging young professionals from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Russia and Georgia in joint non-political activities, such as master-class-type lectures and round table discussions a part of the Biennale. The master classes and round tables will aim to show the similarity of problems faced by the representatives of similar or adjacent professions in the countries that are in conflict with each other, attempting to bring them closer together by showing that, , people with similar ideas and problems live on the other side of the border. As one of the components of Tbilisi Biennale is an educational program called MastersLab, the idea is to engage the participants from the conflicting countries in designing an educational program that will benefit all of them by addressing the similar problems that characterize the field of visual and performing arts in all of these countries. Another important component of the forum would be for the participants to discuss the possibilities of joint international projects. As YTA Union is the National Center of OISTAT (International Organization of Scenographers, Theatre Architects and Technicians - a global network of theatre makers celebrating design and technology in live performance), it intends to use the potential of this international network to engage the proposed forum participants in future international endeavors.
What are the results achieved so far through the implementation of the measure/initiative?:
1. The format of Tbilisi Biennale of Stage Design was used to create a friendly atmosphere, comfortable for the Forum participants. The non-political events envisaged by the project – lecture-master classes and round tables – stimulated professional interest of the young professionals from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Russia and Georgia. Being part of an international-level effort was conducive to increased trust among them. 2. Master classes and round tables and, especially, the presentations made by the Forum participants, demonstrated the similarity of the problems encountered by the representatives of similar or adjacent professions from the countries in conflict. The discussion of these professional issues created a precondition for building closer ties, revealing that, despite various types of propaganda, people “on the other side” sometimes have similar ideas and have to deal with similar issues. 3. The Forum’s educational program benefited all participants. For example, in all participating countries, the issue of stage lighting and its conceptual component is problematic. Correspondingly, the master classes in this field became unifying both essentially and physically as practical work was done in mixed groups. The issue of links between power and art, discussed by Pamela Howard in her lecture Creativity in Defiance of Tyranny, drew a wide response being typical for all countries in the region. 4. The discussion of the possibility of joint international projects became an important component of the Forum, serving as a linking instrument and the best method for building confidence.