The morning session was dedicated to a discussion with Krystof Czyzewski, an opportunity for participants and alumni to share the progress of their personal projects, and for suggestions and advice.
For example, Ani Tugushi told us about her work using theatre with children aged 8-14. She is working on a project with a psychologist, with a room at a bookstore as their only space. The group discussed how this work could be shaped towards a the creation of a concrete and neighbourhood space, visible to local people, and how to develop relationships with local partners to build support for the project, how making links to the children and their elders can be a powerful thing in the community.
In relation to the Borderland summer school and these follow up local workshops, it was stressed that Borderland school wants to support projects which are both local and concrete, projects which might be modest in scale but realisable and achievable and can act as models for development.
Session Three: No Project without the objective
Nathalie: A project is a state of mind, the way you think, see the problem, define the role, state the objective and plan the activity to reach the objective. You are the actor in this scenario, and in control of your actions. The diagnosis tools of this workshop are intended for you to use in order describe the world around you in a practical way.
The group looked at a practical example: Museums are not interested in attracting people. Nathalie asked the group, How do you know this is a problem?
The group answered: By doing research – for example, we have research in the university which tells us this is a problem. We think more people should go to museums.
Nathalie: What is the source of your belief that you should have more people going to the museums?
Participants: It’s important that people go to museums, for education, to be involved in culture.
Nathalie noted: So these are your values. Your belief system tells you As in the American constitution: We hold these values to be self-evident. You believe it’s important to go to a museum and meet other people involved in culture than stay home and drink beer.
Participants: In our society we have problems with our values. We need to make education projects that would make young people aware, to involve these people in the museums. This should be a goal for us in a project, to involve the students at the university and people from other schools.
Participants: What is I am no one in this field, I don’t have any connections in education, but I am interested in this problem, how can I make project to help them?
Nathalie: If you don’t have a connection with the problem, perhaps don’t make this particular project.
Participants: Can’t you just be a researcher who is interested in this problem?
Nathalie: Maybe your resource is just your good will, but building a project requires something more. You will need to develop partners and gain additional resources. Your experience, whatever it is, counts. For your research – your evidence for the problem – direct testimony helps, but it should be relevant, not ‘my neighbour said to me the other day, I don’t go to the museum very often.’
Participants then looked at the following:
Aims – the vision.
Objectives – smaller and measurable, a step in the right direction.
(keep your objectives consistent)
Remember the goal is to solve the problem. The objective is to:
– make a step in the right direction
– reach an identified place
– make sure I get where I wanted to get
– get ready to go further to the next identified place
The objective should be attractive to the person or institution (the stakeholder) that you wish to involve in the project. A good objective is also a powerful team building tool. Make your objectives realistic and measurable.
Using the museum example – increasing the audience of museums – participants were asked to work in three groups to identify two objectives, make them measurable, be ambitious but not unrealistic. In turn one group will present the objectives. The other groups will attack the objectives in a given character (member of local government, potential sponsor, NGO).
Objective A – within three months, we will have an extra 50 visitors a week.
Objective B – within half a year we will create a project to involve visitors and museum together.
To do this we will create a menu of offers to entice new visitors. They intended to enliven the museum by offering an open space to young creatives to come and use for events, performances, workshops, different and new activities. We hope I turn these will bring new people into the museum. Ketevan Chkhikvadze presented back.
The expression ‘Menu of offers’ caused offence to one hostile NGO for dumbing down the language, making the museum sound like a fast food outlet. The group felt that the debate and discussion then raised – because it was controversial – was a good reason to use such a word.
Objective A – we will create additional service and products in the museum
Objective B – we will make research after 6 months to see if it is effective.
For example: an additional service will be the opportunity to use a special computer programme to create your own object based on the museum collection and make a print of it to take home as a customised souvenir, something to both appeals to kids and adults.
Questions from the group: Why do you have to do this – isn’t there research research in other museums who have tried this? Why does it not work in Georgia, when it works elsewhere? Is it a question of effective management?
Nathalie asked: What lessons did you learn from this role play?
Participants: When you are being attacked, it’s hard to think faster to redress the situation. But it is an opportunity to address the challenges and learn to be strong. You may learn something from the criticism – it’s wrong to think I am right and cannot listen to any criticism.
Nathalie: Learn not to be too emotionally attached to your project – maybe you did write something stupid, or maybe you wrote something intelligent and the environment does not understand it. You don’t need to be aggressively protective of your project. Be able to step back from it and be objective to its merits and weaknesses. Share it with someone not attached to the project to hear their perspective and feedback.
Session Four: No activity without formulating and describing
The three groups were asked to formulate their activities in the style of :
Letter to my grand-mother
They then presented these back for comment and discussion.