A TC around the topics of Otherness, Personal Development and Intercultural Learning, which will give participants the possibility to reflect on their 'meetings with the other' on different levels.
Concepts of intercultural learning (ICL) are often focused on preparing individuals to get ready for an encounter with something that is different than their usual environment. To categorize this differences a traditional concept of culture is often applied, which implicitly assumes a strangeness during the encounters of people with a perceived different cultural background.
The proposed project "Meeting the other" wants to address those aspects in a new light by choosing a different starting point. Instead of focusing on encounters, where people already assume a strangeness it will start from the basic human experience on how we relate to something, which is different from us. This will be handled on different levels, starting from the question what can be considered 'the other' in ourselves (as we often don't understand ourselves completely), over how we act towards differences in the outside world to how we react to strangeness and how we actually distinguish it from a general 'otherness'.
Apart from the related theme of ICL the project has a strong focus on personal development. One topic, which will be reflected on all levels is the limitation we set ourselves through fixed concepts and stereotypical perceptions. On a personal level this will e.g. include the exploration of situations in which we surprised ourselves and the habits which sometimes hinder us to think and act 'out-of the box'. On the inter-personal encounter it will relate to our limitations in perceiving the other as an unique individual through the constant comparison to previous experiences and the application of stereotypical images.
Although the project from a conceptual point will touch questions, which seem very abstract, the methodologies will be designed in a way to make the participants experience them in a playful way.
The whole project will consist of two activities, which are strongly interconnected: The first activity will be a training course on above mentioned topics for multipliers who are working with young people in their local context. Some participants from the TC will then afterwards be invited to become group leaders and facilitators during a Youth Exchange (1.-14. July 2015), which will deal with similar topics but will give more space to the youngsters to reflect on them by making use of artistic forms of expression.