In the Summer of 2023, we are planning to implement in Bytom international youth exchange project for young photographers and young people interested in photography.
The main goal of the youth exchange project is to educate the participants: acquire new skills, develop knowledge and shape attitudes. The first topic is creative expression, in our case through photography. We want to enable all participants of the project to develop their skills and knowledge in the field of photography. The second topic of the meeting is the situation related to the climate crisis and the need to take appropriate, decisive steps to save the planet and ourselves. Awareness of the state of the environment and the impact of human activity on its degradation is still not widespread, so taking advantage of this excellent opportunity that our project is set in the realities of Bytom and Upper Silesia, we want to make our participants and residents of Bytom aware of the situation through meetings and observations. in which we all find ourselves. The third theme of the project is diversity and inclusiveness, which are closely related to the fight against stereotypes and the promotion of
tolerant attitudes. Participants staying in an international company will have a chance to learn about new cultures, which will translate into fighting stereotypes. In this way, tolerance and equality will be strengthened. International exchange creates ideal circumstances to gain a new perspective. Inclusiveness and diversity are very important elements of our project and all activities planned by us have been designed with accessibility for everyone in mind.
We plan to create a space for exchange for 30 participants from 5 countries: Poland, Czech Rep., Romania, Finland and Portugal. Participants would be 16 to 27 years old.
The program of the meeting covers 8 days. Initially, the gathered youth will take part in ice-breaking and team-building activities. Then they will move on to conceptual work about the photo exhibition, which would be the final result of the exchange and an opportunity to meet the local community of the city of Bytom. As the preparations for the exhibition, there will be a series of artistic workshops with a photographic profile – cyanotype, analogue and digital photography workshops, workshops on photo editing with smartphones and developing photos in a darkroom. Young people will take part in photo walks around Bytom, catching interesting pictures of architecture and sculptures hidden in the city’s nooks and crannies.
At the individual level, the participants will be able to develop their artistic skills and knowledge of photography and visual arts thanks to participation in the youth meeting. They will acquire and develop project management skills – their task will be to jointly prepare a photo exhibition, from the concept, through the choice of place and arrangement, to making and developing photos for the exhibition.
By preparing a photo exhibition presenting forgotten or overlooked pearls of architecture and sculptures from the streets of Bytom, we will try to remind residents that their city is unique and should be proud of it. We will invite them through social media, direct invitations and local media to participate in the exhibition and meet us.
At the organizational level, the Eastern Theater Foundation will implement its first project in Upper Silesia and will
strengthen cooperation with local partners – local government, associations and institutions. It will also work as a new partner for organizations sending participants from other countries, which we hope will lead us to the implementation of further youth projects of this type affecting the local community, in Poland and abroad.