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3rd Art Camp 2004
This project is actually the third summer art manifestation realized trough collaboration between K-Town Group and Kosjeric Municipality. It is a multimedial art colony comprising three workshops: visual arts, drama and music. This year, the accompanying part of the manifestation will be children’s workshop, consisting of doll theatre and painting. The goals of this annual happening are: enrichment of an almost non-existent cultural life in the town, decentralization of cultural events in general, cooperation between the local and guest artists, decreasing xenophobia and national prejudice of the whole population.
HITORY OF THE PROJECT (made in 2004.):
Kosjeric is a municipality with 14007 residents, out of which around 5000 lives in the very town, with more than 33% of residents older than 40. It is not so hard to notice the difficulty of the situation of the young in this often times called ‘old’ municipality. The young leave the town in large numbers in search for better working and living conditions – the ones that remain unemployed are prone to alcoholism and other kinds of socially deviant behaviour. The single high school is on its road to be closed down due to rapid decrease in number of pupils and as a result of no perspective the young are leaving town even after elementary school. On the other hand, there exists a very strong desire on part of the young to act. However, not having enough education and experience, they find it very hard to channel it, expecting assistance from various institutions which are rather feeble and close.
Insufficient awareness of an international atmosphere (xenophobia and national prejudices prevail) is tangible in the whole country, being especially strong in provinces such as Kosjeric (almost 100 % ethnically homogenous population, majority of people never travelled abroad).
A group of students from Kosjeric got an idea to make summer life in Kosjeric more culturally and socially attractive by organizing an international art camp in 2002, aided and led by the Center for Antiwar Action from Belgrade. Several members of what is later to become K-Town group had had some previous experience in voluntary camps and had participated in a few Leader Training Seminars. This camp is a part of programmes of the international voluntary camps (UNESCO’s CCIVS) which happen on regular basis in the whole world. The objectives of these camps are intercultural learning and voluntary work designed to be beneficial to the local communities in which the camps take place (eg. ecology, reconstruction, preservation of cultural goods, animal care, arts, etc). Annualy, around 25 such camps happen in Serbia and Montenegro, among which are the three Kosjeric camps (music, literature and visual arts).
Besides 21 foreign participants, 6 leaders and around 15 host-families in the first year of the project, we succedeed in including 10 more young people from Kosjeric in the workshops. The final manifestation was attended by more than 100 people and covered by media. The successful first camp gave an impetus to our group to registrate and persist in our enterprise. Local government concluded that this project should be organized on a regular basis, in that way becoming a traditional happening in Kosjeric, and it dedicated a part of its budget to youth programs.
The second camp included even more local volunteers, not only from Kosjeric, but also from a wider region (around 20), and had audience of more than 200 people. We even succeeded in attracting children! The town was endowed by an exquisite mural on the main square.
Once direct contacts with the camp were made, a few local participants travelled abroad and made permanent cooperation with their counterparts worldwide, as well as more intimate friendships. More than 30 people decided to become members of our group in order to assist the organization of the camps and other youth activities. Now even more substantial number of citizens got interested in being hosts to the camp participants next year and started to take the camp as a traditional manifestation in the town.
The third camp included children on regular basis organizing thetre workshops for children from Kosjeric (12). Leading by profesional they learned
the skills of drawing, painting and making dolls through everyday activities and they performed one children’s play. Three international workshops included 21 foreign participant, 10 volunteers from Kosjeric helping in organizing camp itself and around 25 Serbian participants in workshops from all over the country.
This camp had audience of more than 400 people. After this K-Town Group has 40 members! The town was endowed by one more exquisite mural on the Cultural centre in Kosjeric.
Last year’s succesfull children workshop will stay in the program in comming years and literary section will be replaced by movey workshop (recording documentary films about Kosjeric and the camp). There will be promotion of ecology during the camp as we recognize big polution problem in the town. This year we excpect even more participants, host families and audiens…