Living Space – A Training Course for Youth on the Role of Art in Queer Identity and Public Space took place over seven days of activities in May 2009 in Rotterdam, The Netherlands with 22 participants from Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and United Kingdom. Within the Youth in Action framework, this training course empowered young adults to re/claim public space in Rotterdam and beyond as a dynamic forum for the exploration of diversity and complexity of individual and community identities. Learning through intercultural dialogue, artist workshops, non-formal education, experiential methodologies, and good practices sharing prepared participants to contribute to the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia as public artists themselves at the Maastunnel and in the centre of Rotterdam with valuable interactions with public audience.
Over four hundred people experienced the participants’ projects for IDAHO. Through leaflets, baked goods, music, informational posters, art, chalking on the sidewalk, and other forms of engagement, Living Space reached out to the citizens of Rotterdam to educate them on matters of sexuality, gender, international solidarity as seen within IDAHO, and the presence of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in the Rotterdam community.
Responses to the course:
“I used to think that showing/expressing identity is not a big deal. I used to be more in an individual way because of the not happy experiences of being an activist at a young age. Before this course I was going back to an activist area slowly. Now I know there is no self-preparation for such a move – you just do it as it comes!”
“I hope Youth in Action will select the most successful parts of the course, improve it and make it to larger groups and for longer periods. I feel enriched both because of the course and the amazing people have worked in, helped in breaking my world scheme once again and help in rethinking what I do and how I work.”
“I am very impressed at how you managed to make activism and art so accessible. After this course I think everyone feels they are able to actively engage with the public sphere in a way that would challenge the norms.”
The project EU grant for Living Space was in the amount of 37.890 €.
Here, you can find our presentation at ILGA-Europe Conference 2009