Our society is a group of cooperating groups made up of individuals who come together, interact with each other and finally achieve a common goal, their smooth and peaceful coexistence. Thinking about this unique puzzle of people that makes up our society, and how we can define the value of social inclusion and intercultural differences, we focused on the art of modern mosaics.
The technique of mosaic allows us to understand at practical level, the importance of each unit, coexisting and supporting one another. We are all different individual ‘’small stones”, with different colors and shapes, textures and origins, but when we are united and became an integral whole, we can succeed in developing common goods. Just as small stones come together and coexist on a mosaic, giving a sense of harmony and perfect coexistence, the same happens with our society.
Practicing the art of stone and modern mosaic in particular, which takes place in such a creative and dynamic learning environment, reinforces personal and social skills, social solidarity, communication, conflict management and the ability to self-integrate.
In the area of non-formal education of young people, art is a sure and safe area for developing their personal abilities and enhancing their creativity. Through artistic practices and related activities, people with disabilities and young people with social integration difficulties are empowered to “liberate” and express their deepest thoughts and suggestions for a better world, a world that embraces diversity and pursue equality.
Engaging with the art of mosaic will give them the opportunity to learn more, about the history of an ancient art, which perfectly represent the process of society’s composition. Groups of people come together, overcoming obstacles, and through social interaction, contribution and integration, we create societies, in which we live.
In modern mosaic art workshops, participants can develop communication skills by expressing their feelings and ideas about their social surround and their unhindered integration as a whole. Interacting with young people in an intercultural group enhanced their self-esteem and increased their motivation to participate in social solidarity and cohesion activities. Practicing in a multicultural environment can also overcome any language obstacles and enhance the smooth integration of participants into the group.
In view of the above, Solidarity Tracks organized CONNECT Youth exchange involving 31 young people, including people with disabilities and young people with fewer opportunities from Estonia, Spain, Greece and Poland.
The exchange lasted 8 days and took place on the Island of Lefkada (Greece).
Participants worked together to prepare an art exhibition of modern mosaics at the Town Hall of Lefkada, related on social inclusion, active citizenship and social solidarity. The young people had the opportunity to exhibit a massive and group work (as they work in groups of three) in the library garden of Lefkada. Through this art exhibition, young people’s self-confidence and self-esteem was enhanced.
Basic elements of the activities were:
- Collection of raw materials (small stones, pebbles, sea glasses) for the creation of mosaics.
- Preparation and shaping of materials.
- Finding the appropriate content according to social inclusion and participation, for their mass and their personal mosaics.
- Canvas preparation for the placement of the mosaics.
- Workshop for placement and shaping of small stones (or other materials)
- Finding captions and titles for their art works.
- Exhibition in the Library garden of Lefkada