The Department of Culture is promoting a cultural cooperation project in Nea Kavala refugee camp (Greece) and the neighbouring town of Polykastro. The initiative has been coordinated from the Institut Ramon Llull and launched by Coincidències, a non-profit cultural association which has produced the “Paramythades. Tellers of tales” project. From 5 June to 12 July there will be various activities in Nea Kavala and Polykastro designed for adults, children and teenagers with the common idea of seeking communication and integration from theatre, music and dance. Paramythades consists of three cultural and artistic actions: workshops, performances and the making of a documentary.
The idea of producing a cultural cooperation project emerged from the initiative of giving to refugee camps with children the books exhibited at the Bologna Children’s and Young People’s Book Fair, which was held early in April with Catalonia and the Balearic Islands as guests of honour. The donation was made on Thursday 22 June by the head of the IRL Literature and Thought Department, Izaskun Arretxe.
The starting point for the workshops are two books from the Bologna Book Fair catalogue, which provide the theme. They are El banc blau, by Albert Asencio, a story that explores hope, ties of affection and human diversity with sensitivity and tenderness observation, and Raspall, by Carme Soler Vendrell, based on the immortal story by Pere Calders. The workshops deal with different sectors such as dance, theatre or music. They take place outside the camp, in the town of Polykastro, to make it easier for the local people to attend and to foster integration and conviviality with the refugees.
By way of a complement there have been small performances for the refugees in the camp and drama workshops based on the stories El banc blau and Raspall, specially translated into Greek, Arabic, Farsi, French and Kurdish with the support of the IRL. There will also be a piece of collective creation, presented on 22 June at the Polykastro theatre.
Following the same thematic thread of the stories chosen, within the Paramythades project a documentary is being produced to show the situation of the refugees in the Greek camps and the beneficial effects of theatre, dance and music on groups of people. This is a work that sets out to show how culture can be a tool for expression and freedom, for integration and communication, an increasingly necessary one in the environments of groups undergoing traumatic experiences.
The project for the refugee camps will continue during the first fortnight of July with performances of Clowns Without Borders, an NGO with a long history that works to improve the emotional state of the children who suffer the consequences of armed conflicts, wars or natural disasters through comedy shows put on by volunteer professional clowns.
On this occasion they will tour the Greek refugee camps from 3 to 12 July 2017 with Tortell Poltrona, Companyia Chimichurri and Mabsutins Pallassos.
This Thursday there has been a donation of 180 books from the participation of Catalonia in the Bologna Book Fair
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