MIMO Blogs

Saako olla selvänä?

By Kiira Järvisilta

Olen nyt toista vuotta mukana toteuttamassa Saa olla selvänä – tapahtumaa salolaisille seitsemäsluokkalaisille. Vuoden aikana oma tietämys ja taito ovat kehittyneet, ja tällä kertaa olen itse ollut varmempi esiintyjä ja ohjaaja nuorille. Mikä sitten on ollut tässä projektissa se jokin, mikä on saanut minut tarttumaan siihen jo toistamiseen? Olen pohtinut sitä paljon ja tullut siihen tulokseen, että Saa olla selvänä – tapahtuman toteuttaminen on hyvin lähellä sitä mitä haluaisin mahdollisesti valmistuttuani tehdä. Terveydenhoitajana haluaisin käyttää mahdollisimman monipuolisia ohjauskeinoja, tehdä yhteistyötä mahdollisimman monien tahojen kanssa ja olla lähellä asiakasta.

Haastavana tapahtumien toteutuksessa olen pitänyt erityisesti sitä, että miten saan innostettua nuoret kuuntelemaan minua. Monia eri herätteitä ja toiminallista tekemistä on mietitty ja pohdittu, mutta mikään ei vedä vertoja teatteriammattilaisten toteuttamalle draamalle. Omaa esiintymistä ja sanavalintoja tulee mietittyä paljon. Miten saan itseni kuulostamaan seiskaluokkalaisen mielestä uskottavalta ja tärkeimmät viestit menemään perille? Haasteita on monia, ja niiden pohdiskelu ja työstäminen on kuitenkin tuottanut tulosta. Olen hyväksynyt roolini tapahtuman järjestämisessä. Olen osa sitä ryhmää, joka on läsnä ja antaa nuorelle ajatukset päähänsä, minun tehtäväni ei ole pelotella ja herättää vaan avata silmät. Nuorelle täytyy antaa aikaa miettiä kuulemaansa ja näkemäänsä, kunhan tieto ja mahdollisuus purkaa ajatuksiaan on annettu.

Olen tyytyväinen, että olen saanut kahdesti olla mukana järjestämässä tapahtumaa, jossa hyvin erilaiset ammattiryhmät tekevät yhteistyössä korvaamatonta työtä. Yhteistyö teatteriohjaajien kanssa ei aina ole helppoa, mutta se on hyvin antoisaa. Välillä asioista voi olla hyvinkin suuria näkemyseroja, mutta kaikki erimielisyydet on saatu sovittua. Olen oppinut teatteriohjaajilta paljon, ja uskon että hekin ovat varmasti saaneet meiltä näkökulmaa toimintaansa. Tärkeintä on löytää yhteinen päämäärä toiminnalle, ilman sitä on hyvin vaikea lähteä rakentamaan onnistunutta hetkeä nuorille. Alusta asti on ollut tärkeä tietää mitä olemme menossa tekemään kouluille. Jo tässä vaiheessa opiskelua on tullut selväksi, että en halua olla valistaja vaan asenteisiin vaikuttaja.

Kaikki hyvä loppuu aikanaan

By Kiira Järvisilta

Nyt on sitten viimeinenkin Saa olla selvänä –tapahtuma toteutettu. Tämä matka on pitänyt sisällään monia erilaisia hetkiä: onnistumisen tunnetta ja epätoivon partaalla käymisiä. Omat tunteet ovat voimakkaasti sitoutuneet projektiin, ja on päihdeputki tullut aina uniinkin asti. Tämän syksyinen toteutus on ollut tiivis paketti monenlaisia ohjaustapoja, monta uutta yleisöä, ja monia hetkiä, jotka jäävät pitkäksi ajaksi muistoihin. Itse olin mukana kaikissa neljässä koulussa, yhteensä 13 toteutuksessa. On huikeaa ajatella, että meidän tapahtumamme saavutti noin 450 salolaista seiskaluokkalaista.

Olen kokenut tämän projektin puitteista neljä hyvin erilaista toteutusta. Olemme esiintyneet niin parille kymmenelle nuorelle ja seuraavana päivänä yleisöä on ollut 150 päätä. Olemme esiintyneet Salon keskustan suurissa yläkouluissa ja Perniön pienessä kodikkaassa yhteiskoulussa. Olemme vetäneet purkua puheliaille ryhmille ja ryhmille, jotka eivät sano mitään. Mukaan mahtuu myös ryhmiä, joiden kanssa on ollut todella haastava toimia. Olemme kohdanneet seiskaluokkalaisia, jotka eivät vielä ole ajatelleetkaan tarttuvansa kaljatölkkiin tai tupakkaan. Toisessa ryhmässä, monet ovat jo kokeilleet alkoholia ja tilaisuuteen saapuessaan osa toi mukanaan salin täyttävän tupakanhajun. Vedimme monenlaisia purkuja monenlaisille seiskaluokkalaisille.

On todennäköistä, että enää en pääse palaamaan Saa olla selvänä –tapahtuman pariin. Luopuminen tästä projektista on kuitenkin yllättävän helppoa, vaikka sille on antanut paljon itsestään ja ajastaan. Ikävä tulee huipputyyppejä, teatteriohjaajia, joiden kanssa on tullut monta hetkeä vietettyä. Onneksi maailma on kuitenkin pieni, ja uskon että törmäämme heihin vielä. Projektille on nyt antanut kaikkensa mitä tässä kohtaan sille pystyy antamaan, ja toivon että vaiva, jonka olemme nähneet tuottaa hedelmää. Jos tällaisella tilaisuudella pystytään estämään yhdenkin nuoren kännihölmöilyt, olemme päässeet tavoitteeseemme.

Hei nuoret! Saa olla selvänä, mutta huvittaako?

By Ilona Suilamo, Terveydenhoitajaopiskelija, Salo

Jo toista kertaa opintojeni aikana olin mukana toteuttamassa Saa olla selvänä -tapahtumia Salon seudun 7. -luokkalaisille. Tapahtumia oli toteuttamassa meidän neljän terveydenhoitajaopiskelijan lisäksi neljä teatteriohjaajaa, joiden tarkoituksena oli luoda draaman avulla nuorille ärsyke tai pikemminkin heräte, jonka vaikutuksesta nuoret saataisiin ajattelemaan päihteisiin liittyviä ongelmia. Samalla kaavalla tapahtuma toteutettiin myös viime vuonna, tosin silloin ensimmäistä kerta. Tapahtuman aloituksessa pääosissa olivat teatteriohjaajat näytelmänsä kanssa, jonka jälkeen terveydenhoitajaopiskelijat ottivat ohjat käsiinsä. Eri kouluissa purkuosuudet toteutettiin hieman eri tavoin johtuen ympäristön tuomista haasteista.

Saa olla selvänä -tapahtuman päälimmäinen tarkoitus ei ollut valistaa nuoria päihteistä, vaan vaikuttaa nuorten asenteisiin ja saada heidän ajatuksensa heräämään ajoissa. Moni nuori kertoi purkutilanteissa, ettei päihdeasiat vielä koske heitä. Tämä oli tietysti mukava kuulla, mutta on valitettavaa, että yleensä kuitenkin jossain vaiheessa nuoren elämää päihteet ja niistä kieltäytyminen tulee ajankohtaiseksi. Kerroimme, että asioita on siis tärkeää miettiä jo etukäteen, ennen kuin joutuu millään tavalla tekemisiin päihteiden kanssa. Painotimme, että asioista voi puhua kenen tahansa vanhemman kanssa, esimerkiksi kouluterveydenhoitajan tai opettajan, jos nuori ei kotona voi näistä asioista puhua. Lisäksi mainostimme nuorille verkkosivuja (Verkkovinkkis.fi), jotka on kehitetty nimenomaan Salolaisia nuoria varten. Verkkosivuilla voi kysyä mistä tahansa nuoren elämään liittyvästä asiasta anonyymisti, ja kysymykset käsitellään luottamuksellisesti koulutettujen ammattilaisten kesken.

Koulu- ja ryhmäkohtaisesti oli havaittavissa joitakin eroja asenteissa sekä kokemuksissa. Jotkut oppilaat esiintyivät jopa ylimielisinä puhuttaessa päihteistä. Tämän kaltaisia nuoria oli jokseenkin haastavaa saada miettimään asioita fiksusti muiden kuullen. Voi olla, että usealla innokkaalla kehuskelijalla oli todellisuudessa aiheeseen liittyen kipeitä muistoja tai vaikkapa tarve näyttää muiden silmissä ”paremmalta” ja kokeneemmalta. Vain muutama nuori haukkui näytelmää epärealistiseksi, ja esiintyi ryhmäkeskustelun ajan levottomana. En tiedä, olisiko näille nuorille toiminut herätteenä paremmin esimerkiksi jokin dokumenttipätkä päihteisiin liittyen. Tosielämän päihteiden aiheuttamat kuolemantapaukset tai muut kauhutarinat oikeasta elämästä olisivat ehkä saattaneet herättää nämä muutamat nuoret ajattelemaan kehittävämmin. Mutta vain ehkä..

 Neljän yläkoulun useiden toteutusten jälkeen olimme kaikki projektiin osallistuneet melko väsyneitä. Jälkeen päin ajatellen voi sanoa, että tapahtumien toteuttaminen todella palkitsi. Sain kokemusta ja sitä kautta varmuutta kohdata eri asenteita omaavia nuoria. Uskon myös, että omalla asenteella, ja sillä miten sen näyttää ulospäin, on merkitystä nuoria kohdatessa. Toivon, että jokainen tapahtumaan osallistunut nuori ymmärtää sen, että saa olla selvänä. Mutta huvittaako? Päätös on loppujen lopuksi nuorten itse tehtävä.

Summer Summit 2012 from a Lecturer’s Point of View

by Kim Lindblad, Lecturer, HUMAK Univesity of Applied Sciences

As a lecturer I found it very interesting to work in the multiprofessional team, with both students and lecturers from different universities and countries, representing different fields, put together for the MIMO-Summer Summit in Sauvo-Ahtela. It was a good learning experience for us lecturers as well. It was evident that there is not only the national culture that separates us, but also the culture linked to our fields and universities.

For us it was easy to take a critical standpoint to each other’s doings. Through our feedback and reflection sessions however, we were able to spot what we actually could learn from each other. Perhaps one of the major differences was related to how much pressure we can put on our participants, if the participants are young people. We who are in the youth work, nursing and social field perhaps sometimes are a bit afraid of pushing the young person to perform or act, while the participants who represented the performing arts found it difficult to understand why you would not be able to be a bit pushy.

This question among other led to interesting discussions with constructive outcomes showing that we need to work close together if we work in multiprofessional teams. What this means in my opinion is, that it is crucial to respect each other’s professional knowledge as well as to acknowledge how far one’s own professionalism reaches.

MIMO Dance Workshops’ Final Get Together in 14th

May 2012

by David Yoken

The singular focus of the MIMO Dance workshops this past spring was for our MIMO students to create a positive atmosphere with the target youth groups through movement, movement improvisation, and movement composition. The youth groups at the Red Cross Reception Centre in Pansio, at the Vimma Art and Activity Centre for Youth in Turku, at the Hakastaro and Hermani schools in Salo, and the Pihlajamäki Youth Centre in Helsinki all experienced a wonderful opportunity to learn about themselves as individuals and the ways they can relate to each other in groups during these sessions.

These workshops were led by the MIMO students from the Turku University of Applied Sciences/TUAS Department of Dance collaborating together in Multi-Professional Team work with students from TUAS’ Faculty of Health Care’s Departments of Well-Being Services and International Nursing, as well as students from HUMAK University of Applied Sciences. The target groups with whom our MIMO students worked represented both Finnish speaking youth and immigrant youth.

In the case of both the Red Cross Reception Centre in Pansio, and the Vimma Art and Activity Centre for Youth in Turku, these young people participating had the unique and challenging personal / family status as “asylum seekers” – persons from other countries waiting to know the fate of their future life as possible Finnish citizens or not. Unique and different from the other MIMO Art Based Methods actions and activities, Finnish was not the exclusive “mother tongue” language for many of the young people attending the dance workshops.

Our MIMO Dance workshop students and teacher tutors learned many things from these young people concerning cultural issues and customs not found in Finland. We had very little background information concerning the profile of the youth participants. We found out that many of the participants were illiterate, or if they had had any education it was in the Koran school they had attended. And in this case it would have been only the boys, as in their culture the girls were not given this opportunity.

Further, in some cultures the young men and women were experiencing “dance” for the first time together, as coed physical education was forbidden from where they came. The concept of meeting at regular times and being “on time” for the workshops also seemed to be a new concept for many of the foreign youngsters, and our students learned that this type of time structure was perhaps not part of the youths’ past experience. However, none of these issues had a negative impact upon the actual work that was developed. In fact the creative movement output from the youth was so honest, so emotionally moving, so unpretentious, and quite beautiful.

With our dance workshops’ exclusive idea to create a “positive atmosphere” we decided early in the process that we did not want, and really could not have any kind of concluding “goal” oriented performance project for the young people attending the workshops. The most important concept was the process of creative movement and group dynamics. In discussions with the MIMO students and teacher tutors, it was decided that we would have a “Final Gathering” or “Final Get Together” where for the first time the Finnish young people could meet the asylum seeker young people in an atmosphere of shared learning. We were fortunate enough to identify a wonderful Sri Lankan dance artist-teacher Sathis Shyamendra Hettithanthri who lives in Helsinki. Sathis has won many Finnish national and international awards for his choreographic work in street dance and is a gifted teacher. We wanted the young people to see that in Finland there are opportunities for all.

Posters announcing the final May 14th event were written in six languages representing the diverse background and ethnicity of the participants: Kurdish, Persian, Somali, Dari, Finnish, and English.

In addition to the workshop, we planned a dinner based on a “world” food menu. We were able to engage the ever so talented cook from the Red Cross Reception Centre in Pansio, Laura Mäkinen. Laura has a background in cooking “ethnic” “world” foods and prepared a wonderful menu consisting of rice (flavored with cinnamon and cardamom) and chicken, stewed vegetables (eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, etc.), Middle Eastern flat bread, and halva for desert. As you can read this meal was NOT Hesburger or McDonalds!

In the afternoon of Monday May 14th, many of the youth participants from the workshops gathered at the TUAS Lemminkäisenkatu’s main lobby where space had been cleared for Sathis’ workshop, and tables had been set up on the side for the dinner.

Sathis created a wonderful group atmosphere in his passionate movement workshop and all who were there (the youth groups, MIMO dance and MPT students, teachers, tutors, and MIMO administrators) participated together and we experienced that fantastic feeling of group movement and motion. Sathis worked with everyone on a few specific street dance techniques including “locking, “floating” and “waving”.

After an almost two hour movement workshop we (around 70 people all together) sat down to eat. Many of the young people sat at tables with others they had never met before and exchanged conversations and laughter. This dinner was a joyful and a nutritious as well as delicious way to end the workshop. We hope that this deeply positive spring 2012 MIMO Dance workshops’ conclusion leads to sustainable possibilities for the future.

Day 2 in MIMO Summer Summit II, Sauvo,  Ahtela

by HUMAK Cultural Management students Iina Pihlman, Jenny Lahti and Jouni Tirri

We started the day with our planned program. The morning’s ice breaking activities included little stretching to start the day. It waked people up and warmed up to the following exercise. We threw a woolen ball to create kind of a net to connect us together as a group. The meaning was to tell our best summer memories from this summer and get to know each other’s names.

During the day we chose two workshops concerning youth work that we were interested in. The options were dance, sex education and theater, music or media. Between the workshops we ate well and got to know each other.

At the evening me organized outdoor activities for the whole group. We had rubber boot throwing competition and we also played dodge ball. After that there was possibility to go sauna.

 The day ended with an Estonian evening where Finnish students got to know their neighbor country, customs and biggest cities.

POVs for DST

by Juha Sopanen

During the spring semester I have had an opportunity to give several Digital Storytelling workshops through MIMO.

Digital Storytelling (DST for short) is a versatile and accessible method of crafting and sharing stories with digital media tools.

Everyone has a story to tell and everyone’s story is unique. In my mind this also means that DST can be almost anything you want it to be. It can be used in various ways for different aims.  POV is an expression used in the film world for the kind of a shot that positions camera as someone’s eyes. We see what she or he sees.

DST workshops can range from a 1–2 hour introductions to several days of intensive hands-on work of producing stories. The most traditional use for DST has been to tell personal stories, share experiences, life history, tell about significant persons or places in your life. This is what we did with Humak Nurmijärvi students in January.

However, DST can offer a way to tell stories with a very specific aim, for example giving information about an organization or a project. Story form opens up an opportunity to communicate more personally and involvingly. It can also serve as an educational tool. This approach we tried out with TUAS Salo nursing students. Groups are producing digital stories to help health education and spark up conversation about the these topics with young people.

I am hoping the future in MIMO brings opportunities to create even more points of view to Digital Storytelling. Workshops will continue in the fall semester.

If you want to find out more about DST on your own, try googling it or visit this excellent web site

http://dstfinland.ning.com/

Noodi – Yhteisöllisen käsikirjoittamisen paja

by Jarkko Suhonen

Kokeilimme työpajassa yhteisöllisen kirjoittamisen verkkotyökalu Noodia, joka on ilmainen työkalu työpajalähtöiseen verkkokirjoittamiseen.

Noodissa ryhmä voi yhteisesti ideoida, kommentoida toistensa tekstejä ja suunnitella käsikirjoituksen rakennetta samassa työympäristössä.

Työpajassa teimme osallistujien kanssa pienen käsikirjoituksen neljän tehtävän kautta: ideointi, hahmon luominen ideasta, kohtauksen kirjoittaminen hahmolle ja syntyneiden kohtausten järjestämisen kokonaisuudeksi rakenne -työkalulla.

Ideoinnin, hahmon luomisen ja kohtausten kirjoittamisen väleissä osallistujat lukivat ja kommentoivat toistensa tekstejä sekä saivat valita toisten ideoita omiin teksteihinsä. Esimerkiksi ideoinnin jälkeen osallistujat saivat valita jonkun toisen keksimän idean oman hahmonsa lähtökohdaksi.

Kuka tahansa voi rekisteröityä ja kirjautua Noodiin osoitteessa http://noodi.metropolia.fi ja perustaa oman ryhmän Luo uusi ryhmä -toiminnolla. Ohjeita Noodin käyttöön ja yhteisölliseen kirjoittamiseen löytyy Noodin oppimateriaalista osoitteesta http://oppimateriaali.wikidot.com. Oppimateriaalin käyttö ei edellytä työkaluun rekisteröitymistä.

Kun ryhmän perustaa, voi siitä tehdä joko julkisen tai yksityisen. Julkinen ryhmä näyttää ryhmän nimen ja annetut perustiedot Noodi-yhteisö -sivulla. Näin yhteisön käyttäjät voivat pyytää kutsua julkiseen ryhmään. Itse työryhmät ja siten tekstit ovat julkisessakin ryhmässä suljettuja ja mukaan pääsee vain ryhmän luojan kutsulla.

Kirjoittaminen on taiteenala, joka voi houkutella puoleensa nuoria, jotka eivät ole kiinnostuneet esimerkiksi esiintymisestä. Noodi tarjoaa kirjoittamisesta kiinnostuneille väylän muodostaa omia kirjoittajaryhmiään verkkoympäristössä.

Noodia on käytetty muun muassa Helsingin Kaupunginteatterin yleisötyössä projekteissa, joissa koululuokat ovat kirjoittaneet oman yhteisen näytelmänsä.

Potatoes, potatoes

by Kadri Karu

CRAFT that can become HANDY was the name of one of the workshops in MIMO in Action! seminar. The aim of the workshop was to express one`s creativity by using one raw potato and a selection of artificial and natural materials. The subject was totally free, except the limitation of using a potato as a starting point.

The original idea of this workshop comes from a class of kindergarten kids. At the beginning I tried to make them create something specific: an ancient ceiling decoration. Since I had no picture to show them, they just used their imagination and instead of the ceiling decorations, they made the most fantastic creatures, machines and pieces of art.

The participants of MIMO workshop were very active and enthusiastic and the results were marvellous! Lot of human faced figures were made – something that I hadn`t spotted while working with kids. I was also glad, that both natural (ear of corns, chestnuts, oak chestnuts, branches) and artificial materials (wires, beads and springs) were equally used.

The gallery of results can be seen in MIMO Facebook album.

Experiencing MIMO in Action! by Erno Lampinen (student at HUMAK)

A while back I got the opportunity to join a seminar considering using art-based methods in youth work. I liked the seminar a lot. Especially Tomi Kiilakoski’s speech about human rights caught my attention. What was interesting was that Tomi said that youngsters are equal with adults as customers. So, in the business world we can treat youth as equals, but in other fields they are not.

We talked about the issue just this week in a lecture. What was said was that youngsters are not developed enough to make meaningful decisions. I don´t fully agree, what we discussed. Youngsters need to be given chances to prepare for the actual decision-making by giving them opportunities to experience decision-making. We need to make it possible for youngsters to learn and that means that they need to be able to make mistakes. We can´t protect youngsters too much.

Tomi said that youngsters are excluded from decision-making. I think it is because of the fact that we don´t consider them ready to make decisions. They are not, but it isn´t a reason not to let them try!

 

Day at the MIMO seminar by Mieke and Lotte (students at HUMAK)

Yesterday we had a great day at the MIMO seminar. We aren’t early risers, but for MIMO we set our alarm at 6 o’clock and drove all the way to Turku. Still sleepy eyed we finally arrived after a two hour drive.

Luckily you people from MIMO had anticipated our morning moodiness and cheered us up with a cup of coffee or thee and most importantly cookies. There wasn’t any time for us to sign in, so with a cup of coffee in our hands we walked into the auditorium. There we were welcomed by Hanna and Mikko. Two fifteen year olds who were apparently quite mature for their age. ;) Hanna told us what the schedule was.

First thing on the agenda were two lectures. First up was Jaana. She made the whole auditorium sing two Lappish songs. A great achievement. The most important thing is to try and sing and that’s a lesson we should teach youngsters as well. The next lecturer was Tomi. He told us a bit more about human rights and how we should take youngsters’ opinions into account.

During the lunch break we could take a look at the different projects MIMO has set up. Drawing a picture with the paper on our heads or asking some more information from the people with a big black mustache and beret.

We had chosen a workshop “CRAFT that can become HANDY” where we had to work with… a potato. The content was still a big mystery to us when we walked in, but it was soon explained to us. We had to be creative and make something with a potato. On the table were a lot of different materials for us to work with. The result was two potato men, which we happily displayed for everybody to see.

MIMO Seminar through two Hungarian ERASMUS students’ eyes by Ibolya Toth and Szabolcs Gencsi (exchange students at HUMAK)

It was very great experience that we could take part in this MIMO conference as ERASMUS students from Hungary. The MIMO project is a special project, where the power of art tries to approach the young people in the spirit of prevention. The project grabs through the communication between cultures so that the young people can get closer to each other, and it prevents using drugs and alcohol. This project is especially close to us, because my groom is studying Culture Management in Hungary, and I am a Social Worker, who can work with Youth.

As a Culture Manager Eyes (personal opinion, Szabolcs Gencsi): It was strange to me that I was the only one (and the leader) in my work shop representing the “Strong gender”.  In our home, in Hungary, men are more interested in the digital word and electronics, but here it is not the same as in Hungary.  The seminar was very useful for me, but I would have changed something in the organization. I think it would have been necessary to have an extra registration desk, because it would have made the registration easier and comfortable. Furthermore I noticed several times that something wasn’t good with the internet during the performances. I think the performers should pre-open their links. But the whole seminar was very interesting and useful.

As a Social Worker Eyes (personal opinion, Ibolya Toth): It was interesting to see what a powerful tool culture is in the professional’s hands, only if we use the culture opportunities. In my opinion the key sentence of the seminar was: children should be allowed to evolve, and should be encouraged for arts and music. Jaana Vasama said that every child can sing, every child can dance and everybody can play instruments. Children should be given an opportunity to take part in these things. I believe that children and youth are the future generation, so it is very important to keep them in the society.  It was interesting to hear the idea that all museums and theatres should be free for the children, because it would remove discrimination and would help the social inclusion.

The seminar was very useful for us, and I am thinking, how I could use these tips in our country and in my work. It was a special experience that the founder of this project, his name is David Yoken, came to us personally. We enriched useful and interesting experiences.

Kuka putoaa? by Johanna Kuivakangas

Haluatko olla paras kaikista, tähti? Seuraava Idols-kisan voittaja, Voice of Finland tai Master Chef? Vai kuulutko joukkoon joka joutuu pakkaamaan veitsensä ja lähtemään.  Oletko se, kenen äänelle voidaan kääntää selkä.

Samaan aikaan, kun Niinistön Suomessa nuorten syrjäytyminen on nousemassa vakavasti otettavaksi yhteiskunnalliseksi teemaksi, suomalaiset viihtyvät kotisohvallaan television ääressä seuraamassa kuka joutuu lähtemään. Putoamisesta, häviämisestä ja rankasta persoonaan menevästä palautteesta on tullut arkipäivää.

Nuorten syrjäytyminen on vakava asia. Pahoinvoinnin mainitseminen nostattaa julkisen huolen. Mitä syrjäytyminen tarkoittaa? Lasten oikeuksien sopimus antaa kattavan lähtökohdan myös nuorten hyvän elämän hahmottamiseen: oikeus huolenpitoon, suojeluun ja osallisuuteen. Mutta mitä se tarkoittaa arjessa, luokassa, perheessä tai facebookissa?

Media ja sosiaalinen media haastaa meitä muuttamaan toimintaamme. Itsensä likoon laittaminen, esiintyminen ja erilaisten roolien ottaminen, nopeat käännökset, pudotuskisat, läpänheitto ja netin tarjoama avaruus muuttavat meitä kaikkia. Miten otamme tämän ja millaisen ymmärryksen rakennamme sosiaalisesta käänteestä? Tarvitsemme uusia tapoja tulkita nuorten ajatuksia ja käytöstä.

Mutta miksi odotamme kommenttia tai peukkua facebook päivitykseemme? Vastaus on vanha: jokainen kaipaa hyväksytyksi tulemista. Pudotuskisat ja sosiaalisen median voi nähdä uudenlaisen yhteisöllisyyden rakentajana. Miten kouluissa reagoidaan uusiin oppimisympäristöihin, missä on se koulu, jossa opitaan ryhmään kuulumisen perussanasto ja ymmärretään itsestä enemmän yhteisön jäsenenä. Onko jossain maa, missä tunteiden käsittelystä, sosiaalisista taidoista ja yhteisöön kuulumisesta tulee valtiotason kysymys. Mahdollisuus siintää.

Kokki, joka onnistuu kehittämään reseptin nuorten syrjäytymisen ehkäisemiseen, tullaan varmasti nostamaan tähtiin. Kuka putoaa, sitähän sää kysyit? Ehkä ei kukaan. Haittaaks’ se?

Art as a base for MIMO by Johanna Krappe, Project Manager of MIMO

Art has many functions. It is a basic human instinct related to harmony, balance and rhythm. Art can mean an experience of the mysterious and it is also an expression of the imagination. Art is a way of universal communication where no language is needed. Art also has ritualistic and symbolic functions.

Art can be seen as communication, as entertainment, as a tool for bringing about political change. Art can be used for social inquiry, subversion and anarchy. It is a tool for propaganda or commercialism. And there is also art for psychological and healing purposes.

MIMO’s purpose is to use art as a base for working together for youth. MIMO builds on discussion and on action. Artist, drama or dance teacher, youth and social worker and health care professionals bring together their expertise especially related to work with youth and their understandings and perceptions about art and the possible ways of using these together.

As a result we hope to educate a group of new professionals in Estonia and Finland, who understand what kind of effects art can have on youth and how to use art in their fields together for a bit better future. MIMO is a about dialogue, discussion, action, every day experiences, imagination, feelings and sharing.

Puppets and Objects: Medium and Mediator by Rene Baker

Rene Baker reflects on her MIMO workshop: Puppets and objects: medium and mediator.

I always look forward to the moment in the workshop when we use everyday objects to represent characters. This time it was already late and although I would normally build this exercise in stages, as there were only a few minutes left I called out “and also get one to represent your mother.”

We sat in a circle. Each participant had selected two objects and one by one they presented their objects and explained why they had chosen them.

“This is me” a woman said, opening an umbrella. “I like to shield people, protect them. But sometimes I close up.” She folded the umbrella and began jabbing with it. “And I can be sharp and poky. Not nice.”

“I am a clothes peg. Multi-functional.”

“I am this vase. My life is empty at the moment.”

“I am a pair of glasses. I like to see but I also like to hide behind them. My mother is also a pair of glasses but she is more decorative. I have a plainer frame.”

“My mother is this plastic bag. She can hold me and keep me safe. But…” and the woman squeezed the bag shut, trapping a balloon of air inside, “… sometimes she doesn’t let me breathe.”

When the circle ended we were all surprised by how accurately objects had described people and how easy it had been to choose them. Above all, we were impressed by the honesty the objects permitted and how sensitive information had been shared so simply. No-one would have been so open if I had asked “now tell me about your relationship with your mother”.

Puppets and objects shield our vulnerable ego. A puppet is a mediator, a go-between, literally standing between myself and what I wish to represent. Even if visible, I am invisible because the audience looks at the puppet and not me, which disarms the ego defence-mechanisms because my real self is not directly addressed or exposed. Performing with a puppet I am not restricted by my body, race or situation; a young man can play an old lady suffering from Alzheimer’s, a girl can be the personification of war, it is possible to experiment with different roles and temporarily live life from someone else’s point of view. The puppet is empty until I fill it with my own expression.

Objects, on the other hand, already have a language; they speak of culture, function and context. During the workshop we worked with a random selection of everyday objects – scissors, bag, cup, sponge, glasses, paintbrush, umbrella, screwdriver, random items that could be found in any normal home – and explored ways to access their language.

One technique is the interview. I asked participants to choose an everyday object to be displayed in a museum 100 years from now. Each curator presented their object to the group: “This is a chair, people used to sit on it, this one is small so it probably belonged to a child.” The group then asked questions of the curator: “Did every home have one? Were chairs only used for sitting? This chair is red, was colour important?”, and the curator’s responses helped make a bigger picture of the object and its social function. Then I asked the participants to ask the object questions, speaking directly to the object rather than to the curator. It works best if the curator doesn’t try to animate the object or pretend it is a character, they simply hold the object in their hand, look at it, and say whatever comes to mind.

A can of coca cola was asked: “We have heard you make people happy” (the curator had given this information in their museum presentation), “How do you do this?” and the coke replied: “I alter the chemicals in their brain”. When asked to describe a normal day, it immediately said: “Party!”

Humans tell one side of the cultural story and objects tell another. Objects are often worried about cleanliness and being handled correctly. They are quick to point out the difference in a man’s and woman’s touch. They talk about society and its codes. There was once a toilet brush who was at the bottom of the hierarchy in the bathroom but was always cleaned when guests were expected. Often there is a pain in the object. I remember a fish scraper who was allergic to fish and hid at the back of the drawer so it
couldn’t be found. We can’t access this information unless we talk directly to the object and let it speak. Human beings tend to censor information but objects are honest.

We don’t have to be intellectual to understand objects, we simply need to look at them. During the MIMO workshop, three bottles of soft drink – a pepsi, a fanta and a water – stood side by side with a coca cola can between them. “What do we see?” I asked and the reply came without hesitation: “A short fat man and three models. They are
beautiful women from different countries”. Everyone nodded, recognising these characters from the fact that the bottles were curvaceous and the juices were different colours. Someone added: “the women are open about their feelings but the man is closed, he doesn’t show what he is thinking.” Such interesting and potentially complex characters to have been discovered in transparent plastic bottles and an impenetrable aluminium can! This is why I love working with objects.

Welcome! By David Yoken

Welcome to …Moving In, Moving On, The MIMO Project! This is the first blog written for MIMO and actually the first blog I have ever written…so bare with me…

It has been a long journey from the moment I was discussing with my colleague Jani Pihlajamaa how dance and movement can be such a positive force for young people (and young old people also!)…we had just had received confirmation that our Turku Culture 2011 application which we submitted in May 2008, had been accepted for funding…this was now October 2008. Our Turku Culture 2011 project was to focus upon how the arts (dance, music, and animation) could be brought together for young people to learn about history, and specifically about the history of the Turku Castle. By investigating movements, sounds, and stories that could be animated from the early period of this 12th C. castle, the children could develop their own creative skills while bringing history alive. This project, Old Spaces, Living Art, the OSLA Project, has just concluded ten separate performance given by 6th grade students from the Pääskyvuori School and the young dancers from the Parainen Music School. Close to 400 children and adults attended these performances that were held at the Turku Castle’s Bryggmann Hall. In the end the children developed collaborative materials that crossed the artistic genres of dance, music, and animation…but back in October 2008, OSLA also gave an enormous impetus to think how our Faculty of Performing Arts could further develop its existing long history of bringing the arts to the community. We knew about something called the Central Baltic Interreg IV A Programme 2007-2013, as our Turku University of Applied Sciences/TUAS Rektor had introduced us to this EU funded program back in 2007. Since we had researched and were developing the concept of the arts and youth work in the OSLA Project, we thought we could further this research with support from the Central Baltic Program. I found a specific funding structure within the CBP called “Dynamic and Attractive Societies”… We were lucky enough to engage Johanna Krappe as our Project Manager…and then we continued this long and winding journey…Tarja Yoken took the lead inside the Department of Dance, reaching out to other disciplines in TUAS. We saw that this project might be of interest to our university’s faculty of Health Care and Well Being Services and we approached Terttu Parkkinen, who was supportive and enthusiastic during the two and half year development period. We soon realized that our Department of Theatre also had a long history of working with youth groups through involved empowering theatre workshops and we began our dialogue with Marja Kangas and Minna Komulainen. Theatre would become an integral component along with dance in the MIMO Project. Arja Tulonen was deeply interested in the important aspect of social media and also joined the growing team…Our direct connection with the Turku area young people was possible by the interest and support from Tomi Arvas and Hasan Habib, from the VIMMA Art and Activity Centre for Youth, Turku. As we had already a number of established partners in Estonia, in January 2009 Jani, Johanna, and I traveled to Tallinn and offered an introductory information session to interested potential partners. At the core of the Central Baltic Program is the important concept of cross-border value regarding a project’s goals and objectives. From that meeting we met a number of very dedicated public and private persons who also shared the interest in bringing the performing arts to young people in order to create a positive community. Our colleague, Professor Billy Siegenfeld (Northwestern University), gave us valuable feedback regarding the performing arts in the community, based upon his own experiences of working in diverse settings in the USA. On one of my frequent trips to Tallinn I was brought to a very dark part of the city (quite literally…very little public street lighting)…and in the midst of this darkness was a vibrant cultural center. This specific evening the event was a Tallinn dance school performance featuring fabulously talented street, jazz, and contemporary dancers. The atmosphere was electric and there were so many young people both on stage and in the audience…I saw the power and interest in community performance for young people was just as strong in Estonia as in Finland…a very good sign to say the least.

Through a series of further discussions and meetings we had the opportunity to invite PW Partners (an international consulting firm involved in many EU cross-border projects), the University of Tartu’s Viljandi Cultural Academy, as well as the renown Von Krahl Theatre to be our Estonian partners. In Finland we gained the support and partnership of HUMAK (Humanistic University of Applied Sciences) as well as the City of Turku Youth Services Centre.

I do not have time, nor none of you the patience to read about the rest of the two and half year journey…but finally we found our Estonian partners, we found our Finnish partners, and in May 2010 we submitted our application to the EU Central Baltic Program.

All the partners gave countless hours of their time during this final development period spring 2010. My words do not express my/our thanks to all who contributed their expertise to our final Central Baltic Interreg IV A Programme 2007-2013 application.

I chose the words very carefully when it came time to give this project a title…the idea was/is a person or group of people move/s to a place to learn and exchange: “Moving In”, but eventually departs: “Moving On” and return/s to their own community or elsewhere in the world to share the new knowledge they have gained.

So here we are two and half years after our initial thoughts about making MIMO…we have already begun the exchange of professional practices here in TUAS as our dance and theatre students have begun shared educational workshops with our well-being services students under the guidance of our Well-Being Services teachers. There have also been classes led by our Dance and Theatre faculty members in movement improvisation and theatre methods in which these same students and teachers have participated. We have never done this cross-disciplinary teaching before…each step has a potential risk, yet we must take these risks. Our journey will face challenges, that is certain, but in the end we may actually be able to help our young people in Finland and Estonia dream their dreams, and achieve their goals…we must make the effort to support them in MIMO.

Here are two resources we have found to be inspirational…take a moment to watch and listen:

1. Rhythm Is It: trailer for the documentary:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_e-cwOn5w3A

2. Sir Ken Robinson TED Series “Ken Robinson says schools kill creativity”

http://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity.html

– David Yoken