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April 9th 2017

Youth Encounter to Estonia

Eight Corelli students took part in an International Youth Encounter entitled ‘A Bit of Me - My Digital Identity’ in Tallinn, Estonia during the Easter Holidays.

The Youth Encounter is designed to enable young people from different European Countries to come together to participate in workshops, artistic collaborations, digital technology explorations and creative connections all under professional guidance. The aim is to create a platform to shift theatre for young Europeans today and secure theatre’s role in the Europe of tomorrow. The final promenade and site specific performances by the young people took place in The Estonian National Library. The final performances were inspired by the creative content of the week and were presented to a European audience. 

The young people worked with students, teachers and theatre practitioners from the UK, Norway, Germany and Estonia.  The theme of digital identity enabled the students to explore their digital challenges and opportunities linked to innovative theatre.  Students considered their digital addictions, their identity and the difference between digital and real life identities, personifying apps such as Instagram with human traits and how social media is a manipulation tool in how we present ourselves online.  We asked how the digital world and choices we make are influencing our life and how important it is for our young people to not just be consumers, but responsible and competent in a forever increasing online participatory culture. 

VAT Theatre, the oldest independent theatre company in Tallinn were the hosts and they are based in The Estonian National Library.  We also visited Tallinna Lilleküla Gümnaasium, a school in Tallinn where students from that school led workshops; Mektory, an innovation and entrepreneurship centre (Tallinn University of Technology) and Cabaret Rhizome who adopt digital technologies and interactive methods for their audiences.   As well as devising theatre and having space to share new ideas, students experimented practically in areas such as designing their own app and experimenting with new apps, 3d printing, virtual reality, augmented reality, green screen, sound, music and robotics.  Towards the end of the week there was a Creative Forum with practical workshops and Ted style talks led by experts on Democracy within Big Data and the digital shift considering how technology functions in real life and the influences it has on cultural behaviour and thinking.

The Youth Encounter was organised by Platform Shift+.  Corelli College received this opportunity due to our long standing partnership with London Based Arts organisation – Emergency Exit Arts.  EEA are members of Platform Shift+ -a network of European theatres, arts organisation and learning institutions that are committed to producing theatre experiences for young audiences with a digital twist.  The project was supported by Erasmus+.

Corelli students were a credit to the project, EEA and Corelli, delivering and leading on drama games, warmups and practical evaluations sessions as well as contributing to the sophisticated content of the final performances.  They have made friends for life and did not want to leave beautiful Tallinn.  It was a brilliant opportunity and one they will never forget.   

 

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Written by S Slocombe

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