INTER ALIA Training Calendar

We need:
How to apply:
European Youth Weeks 2016
Haus am Meiberg
23 July- 6 August 2016
Heppenheim, Germany
4 participants (18-25)
Application HERE
Info Pack HERE
Information: kontogiannik@yahoo.gr
Deadline: 15 May 2016
Special Effects
Training Course
Play It Big
13-22 May
PrenĨov, Slovak Republic
2 youth workers (no age limit)
Apply HERE
Deadline: 15 February 2016
Once Upon a Time in Europe
Anatolia Youth
7- 15 June 2016
Adana, Turkey
5 participants (18-30) + 1 leader (no age limit)
Application form HERE
Info-pack HERE
Programme HERE 
Deadline: 25 April 2016

 For more information contact: boneva@interaliaproject.com


Finding Greece’s “Lost Generation”

A Gendered Analysis of Youth Identity Negotiations in Post-2009 Greece 

by Erin Worden

March 2016

I was 9 when the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens aired on my gray tube television. Watching from my quiet home in suburban Pennsylvania, I remember seeing the iconic interlocking circles of the Olympic rings illuminated with fire. I remember the blue event banners fading into the similarly colored sky. And, even more than that, I remember an image of Greece that seemed to be basking in its own stability, celebrating its new membership to the Eurozone, and heading toward what promised to be a thriving future.

I was 14 when Alexandros Grigoropoulos was killed and the debt crisis began unraveling the stability -- whether it was real or imagined -- that I saw on my television just a few years earlier. On the news, I saw lines of hooded young people collectively push back against police in resistance. I remember seeing protests signs move to the beat of the chants shouted by young people as they marched through Athens. These young Greeks seemed far more engaged, invested, and active than youth in my own country, where open encounters with politics felt distant and removed in comparison.

These young people -- who, in many ways, feel like peers in my own generation -- have been dubbed Greece’s “Lost Generation.” Reports stress their disillusionment, frustration, and unemployment. An endless, somewhat dismal stream of new stories correlate these generational realities of non-belonging with poverty, poor health, social exclusion, and damaged self-esteem among other long-term, ostensibly burdening effects (Asmussen, Europe’s World). For many of these reasons, an estimated 200,000 Greeks -- many of whom are young and educated -- have emigrated to pursue opportunities abroad (Smith, The Guardian).

These realities exist for countless Greek young people, but this feels different than the “lived” generation of young people who have stuck around. Several days ago, I spotted a young Greek man, who sported a neat-looking suit, leave an office building. He seemed to be around my age. He approached his bike, swapped his professional-looking shoes for a pair of worn-in sneakers, and attempted to start the engine before finally succeeding on his fifth try.

This man, who would likely be described by existing scholarship and reports as “lost,” embodied resilience. He responded to the bike engine’s hesitation with persistence and an insistence on himself, which -- based on my few weeks in central Athens as an outsider -- reflects a broader sense of youth-driven determination that challenges and perhaps transcends the disillusion of Greece’s “Lost Generation.”

Students’ backpacks, for example, are decorated with pins advertising advocacy and social justice movements. The other day, I stumbled into several political organizing events at the University of Athens’ School of Economics and Political Sciences. Last week, I drank a cappuccino at a coffee shop in Koukaki run by an edgy, urban cooperative daring to create solidarity and collective solutions to daily negotiations of the crisis.

To me, this generation seems far from “lost.”

Casting off this generation of young Greeks as hopelessly “lost” does acknowledge the daily struggles of being young in contemporary Greece, but it also discredits the ways in which Greek youth actively resist the stunting effects of disillusionment.

It seems to me that a fairer, more productive understanding of this generation needs to harness the energy, activism, and intellect of Greek youth. Instead of exploring how Greek youth are “lost,” new discourses must focus on how these young people are coping with their identities and actively negotiating what it means to be a young person during this moment in Greece.

In addition to considering the implications of age, these new modalities of understanding Greece’s youth must also take gender into account. Gender -- much like generation -- functions as a conduit through which identities are (re)constituted and performed. This means that age impacts the identity negotiations of young Greeks just as much as their experiences with gender.

For example, limited findings in this relatively under-researched field suggests that Greek women experience higher rates of unemployment than men with jobless figures tallying 32 and 27.5 percent, respectively (Velissaris, Neos Kosmos). This trend continues, as research implies that Greek women are more likely than their male counterparts to leave the workplace or take up part-time work, largely as a response to surging childcare costs (Velissaris, Neos Kosmos). Women in post-2009 Greece, in this sense, face a higher risk of experiencing poverty than Greek men (Velissaris, Neos Kosmos). Recent suicide rate trends, additionally, imply that men -- perhaps burdened with the crisis’ renewed social pressure to be “providers” -- commit suicide at higher rates that largely follow unemployment models. Importantly, I have come across no research or reports that focus on the crisis-related identity negotiations of Greek youth who do not conform to gender binaries, thus illuminating a field of research to explore further.

Taken as a whole, this means that unraveling this generation’s many understandings and expressions of identity, age, and crisis cannot ignore these young people’s experiences with gender.

Applying this gender-sensitive understanding to an investigation of Greek youth identity not only contributes to a more intimate, nuanced discourse regarding this generation but also imagines Greek young people as social agents who actively resist being “lost” and instead are “found.”


A.N.T.Y.G.O.N.E. Manifesto

Non-formal educational methods that were put in practice during the project were group building simulations, debates and discussions. These techniques led to the creation of participants' very important manifest. With this manifest the young people of the 12 countries, by discussing and cooperating, expressed and wrote down the great values in which they believe and the changes that they wish to bring to the rest of the world! Statements that they want to fight for by informing the people and by adopting them in their everyday life. New tools that youth tries to acquire in their life to get out NEET and exclusion.

1.      I refuse to live in fear
Fear exists as a feeling only in our minds. Sometimes it protects us but usually it is creating obstacles too.
What do we define as fear? Fear of the unknown, fear of people or situations, fear of change.
In our team Sergio faced the fear of the unknown by sitting with a stranger, taking a picture of him and getting to know him. Tatiana faced the fear of change and failure by overcoming the state of being a NEET, coming to an Erasmus+ workshop and meeting so many new things and people.
Our advice is to  recognize your fear, face it and try to overcome it. Don’t be afraid to take steps forward. Try the things that scare you and even if you make mistakes, learn from them. Don’t stay in theory, move to praxis. Apply this in your everyday life.

2.      I want to be treated equally
Nowadays, depression and isolation have been increasing rapidly, therefore the situations should be taken more in consideration. As a result for it, connections and wealth shouldn’t be used for own benefit, neither to harm the others, which will contribute for the development of equal society, no matter which race, religion, gender, nationality or sexual orientation of each individual.
In this project, through dance and theater the movements make us feel equal, not having in mind where we came from.

3.      Let’s share
We want to share because youth is the future and sharing is the way to make it better. A good start is sharing beyond material, like our feelings and thoughts. There are plenty of ways to do so, some of which are volunteering, art, abandoning screens sometimes, being courageous and open to receiving as well. In this way we can understand each other better and grow both as individuals and as a community.

4.      Do good to yourself and to the others
First of all, to be young, open-minded human being you have to accept the way you are. Young people should learn as much as possible by following their dreams and using opportunities.
As long as you love yourself, it is much easier to make the others feel good: for instance do something unexpected, tell compliments, pass the good vibes and smile!
Young people can change easier: they can fly and as a butterfly is capable of creating tornados on the other side of the globe, you can bring great changes to other’s life. J

5.      Let’s trust
By trusting others (and yourself) you go on to discover the world, people, new flavours, etc. So that, you go out of your comfort zone.
By trusting yourself you can grow as a human being. By trusting others you allow them to show you the unknown part of the world.
If you trust you have inner peace, you start seeing the true beauty of life, become truly happy. And also, trust is the very basic step of every relationship. And when you trust, you feel free. In order to be free, to survive, you need to trust, starting to trust yourself. In order to trust yourself, tell to yourself and believe that everything is OK. You can do everything right. So that, you can trust others. To do this, you need to open your mind for the new things and points in your life.

6.      I refuse to remain indifferent
We refuse to remain indifferent because we care about the world and we want to make a change. How? We raise awareness of this problem and help people leave indifference, through social media, projects, articles and so on.
We want to make people happy and welcome to the world.

7.      Be tolerant
Imagine how depressingly boring it would be to live in a world in which we only have roses for flowers and none of other kinds.
We need to be tolerant as it is colourful to be different.
We can be tolerant if we try to know the others better and make the best of their characteristics since every single thing is useful and helpful.
So, let’s turn negative things into positive ones…

8.      Don’t judge
We judge people by first appearance, without knowledge of the background. Different physical appearance, manners and attitude makes us more curious and we start to judge. Judgment sometimes is useful, sometimes it protects you but in general you have to be open-minded. It is connected to trusting people and tolerance.
Self-judging is a process between youngsters that develops your character. We used to judge others before we judge ourselves.
If we are happy, full of love and open-minded, then judgment will disappear.

9.      Empathy
Empathy is the basics of communication between people. People should show more openness and curiosity towards different cultures.
Learn how to give good feedback to the others.   
Treat people the same way as you would like to be treated.
Empathy should start in the family, parents should teach their children to stay connected with themselves and be true to their feelings, teach them about empathy, educate them in this sense.

10.  Let’s ask more

Start asking more to get out of your comfort zone and listen to take action. Ask more than questions and listen with your open mind.

If we try to do some of these things in our daily lives, we can bring great changes and live in a world of peace and solidarity. Young people have the power to inform the others about achieving all the important things for a beautiful life! Spread love, not hate! (Antigone to Creon: “ I am for sharing love, not hatred.” (Act One - Verse 523).