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MINDSPEAK – International Youth Exchange

During June 12 – 19, Education Studio organized an international Youth Exchange. In this project funded by Erasmus + program, 30 young people from 6 European countries spent a week in Cluj-Napoca, writing Slam poems and preparing a Slam Poetry evening. Slam (spokenword) poetry is a form of oral literature, meant to be shared. The poet performs his own text in front of a responsive audience.

The project had participants from Latvia, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Italy, and Romania. Besides being involved in non-formal learning activities, the young people spent this week living together. They learned about each other’s country in the intercultural evenings and had fun organizing jam sessions and even fire shows in the city center of Cluj-Napoca.

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At Education Studio, we believe that creativity is like a muscle that can be trained, so this is what the participants did, through slam poetry. At the beginning of the week, most of them had almost no writing experience. But under the guidance of Maria, Irina, Ștefan and Natalia, they explored themselves and their ideas and developed their creativity while writing poetry. A defining aspect of this poetry is the fact that it is performed. After writing their texts, the participants experimented nonverbal and para-verbal language and used them in their performance.

The project culminated with a Slam Poetry Evening, where the participants performed their texts in front of the local community. The event took place at La Cizmarie Cafe, and through the audience were other beneficiaries of Education Studio and people from Cluj-Napoca, who are interested in Slam Poetry or in non-formal learning methods.

Our participants say:
“The best self-development project from Romania. I grew up a lot this week, from various points of view.” Razvan Sicoe, Romania

„For me, apart from the slam experience (which was great by the way), the strongest moment was at the end of the project, when we were asked to raise our hands showing how much we felt connected with other people during the project. 7 days, 6 nations, 30 individuals with different characters and we all raised the hands at the highest possible level. And it certainly was not for showing off, I could actually feel the respect, the safety and sympathies. I think that this possibility to connect with different people so deeply has a huge meaning in the world we’re living in today… And I believe this is the most important contribution of the project to our lives.” Eva Stupavska, Czech Republic

“This was a great experience for me! The best way to get out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself. Slam poetry is an amazing way to show your feelings to the others!” Monika Dimitrova, Bulgaria

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The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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