Rehearsals in action in Barcelona 

On January 15th 2021, the Spanish pilot project kicked off in Barcelona named “Build yourself’ or Construeix-te, launched the pilot theatre project ArtE Program - the Arte of Employability - in Spain. Over in Porto, Portugal, also in its early stages, the Portugese pilot project is beginning its planning stages. Read more about the progress of these two projects and their ongoing impact on youth social inclusion below.

Barcelona Project - “Build yourself’ or Construeix-te: Coordinated by UpSocial and accompanied by Espai Teatre, a group of theatre professionals that use art for education and social transformation, the pilot project in Barcelona has been embedded as part of the educational activities, with six-weeks theatre work that will lead to the première of Historia de una escalera, one of the most renowned works of the playwright Antonio Buero Vallejo.

The Barcelona local version, aims to support a group of young people in their transition to adulthood.  The group is called Construeix-te project (“Build yourself“), one of the programmes delivered by Fundació Comtal, a local organisation that provides children, adults and communities with socio educational development opportunities. The programme engages young people facing unemployment into flexible, personalised itineraries aimed at strengthening their soft, academic and vocational skills in order to smooth the transition to the labour market. Due to its potential to unlock personal transformation processes through creative tools and arts, ArtE was seen as a perfect fit for this programme.

These coming weeks will consolidate the lessons learned within a wider itinerary that started in September 2020. This will culminate in a live premiere theatre performance on February 28th.

Selected quotes from participants at the end of the first week of theatre training:

“We play and learn at the same time, and this is a new experience” Redouane Kabouri

“We learn new movements and how to focus on our body” Issa Diarra

“I like to move my body because it feels good” Ousmane Sarr

For further updates on the Barcelona project, visit the project blog site. The premiere in Barcelona is scheduled for the 28th of February and can be viewed here on You Tube.

Portuguese Project: Although 2021 starts in complex and uncertain circumstances due to the ongoing situation brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, it nevertheless still  brings a new learning experience opportunity. In Portugal, Stone Soup Consulting, partnered with the arts organisation Espaço t to implement the first pilot project at a country level. Espaço t has long term experience using Art as an instrument for the development of artistic, personal, social cultural and training skills is a plus for implementing the Projektfabrik’s Social Art approach of fostering social inclusion with a combination of theatrical education and social work.

The Portuguese ArtE pilot project is expected to begin in May this year and have its première in June after six weeks of theatre work, complemented with jobcoaching. The participantes, to be selected during the month of April, are expected to acquire competencies in communication and interaction, personal and social skills, underpinned by creative theatre to boost their self confidence.