Are you lost yet? Is what 20 participants from Macedonia, Italy, Wales, England, Tunisia and Greece were asked last week, during a youth exchange that took place in Kumanovo. They came to Kumanovo to spend a week immersed in a creative environment in order to explore their personal potential, talk about local realities and, of course, create.
One of the outcomes of the week spent in Kumanovo was an online magazine written in 5 languages. This was the 4th edition of the magazine, the first 3 ones being published in the UK. The official launching of the magazine was done in Broadway café in Kumanovo, with an unplugged concert performed by Darko Trajkovski, one of the participants in the youth exchange.
We asked the participants to describe the experience in 1 word and this is what they shared with us:
Dan Carter, coordinator of the project:
Freedom of expression is of crucial importance for Europe. In fact, the media is more biased and untrustworthy than ever. For a bright and democratic future, young people need to be able to express themselves in an honest manner. This project was created by young people (mainly editors of the online magazine ‘Are You Lost Yet’) to help give young people that opportunity. ‘Are You Lost Yet’ is two 9 day youth exchanges funded by the Eramus+ youth mobility programme on fostering young people’s personal development and competence using online magazines, especially those from marginalized, vulnerable and underprivileged backgrounds. It was held in Kumanovo, Macedonia and will be held in Cardiff, Wales, UK in March 2018. It brings together different partners from different countries: 20 participants supported by 4 staff / team members.
The youth exchanges use non-formal methods and activities to help participants connect the use of creative online journalism with inter-cultural learning, breaking down barriers to inclusion, experiential learning, development of critical thinking, developing teamwork and citizenship. The participants take part in a huge amount of experiential learning themselves through the use of different activities such as research, design, investigative journalism, art, etc. The main focus of the youth exchanges is developing an online magazine as a learning tool and form of self-development. The educational programme aims to develop young people’s abilities to use online journalism, artistic pursuits and creativity as a learning tool, formally, informally and non-formally as well as a method of pushing their comfort levels and developing their confidence. The method of expression within the magazine is of complete choice for the young people, enabling them to express themselves in the way that suits them best.
Nefeli – Greece:
I came with low expectations, but it turned out to be what I expected and even more. I am on the creative writing team. The poem is about the paint revolution in Skopje. The article is about language as a barrier and tool to connect to people.
Georgios – Greece:
“Entertaining and transformative”
I really like the work with each other and the cooperation we have. I am on the creative writing team, writing an article.
Kate – England
It’s been really enjoyable to meet other people from other countries. It’s been an overall Patrice experience. I am on the creative writing and journalism team. I interviewed people about the Albanian day club.
Enxhi – Kosovo:
I wrote a poem about the city of Kumanovo, how I saw the city in the beginning and a different perspective of it all, it depends on how you look at it. I translated this into Albanian. It was quite fun. This was one of the best projects I’ve been part of. I like everyone I’ve interacted with. We are creating something that is ours and really authentic.
Simone – Italy
We arrived two days later, missing a flight and a bus so this was hard, but once I met everyone, it got easier. I wrote an article in Italian and translated it into English. The article is about changing and my reaction to this. I wrote about a person that I lost. I want to send a message to the reader that you should always go forward and don’t let anyone stop you. I want to remind people to change for themselves.
Foued – Italy
I’ve had a lot of projects like this, it’s been hard for me to enter. The topic that we are working on I’m really into, I hope to create an initiative like this myself. I am interested in writing about news of my experience. I live in Paris now, and once a month I would write for friends. I’m really into media and editing and events.
I’m part of the photography group. Our inspiration was easy to find when comparing the metamorphosis of the two cities, we did street art and the statues. We even had to extend our magazine with two pages because we are so inspired. The three groups are creative writing, journalism and photography, but we all cooperated and counted on each other.
Marc – Wales
It’s an exciting project. It’s always interesting to see a different perspective from different cultures. I was on the Photography team.
Hannah – England
I was on the creative writing team, I wrote poems and an article on the transformation of the city. It was a personal response about dreams and hopes. I was hoping to meeting people from different countries, and to improve my journalism skills. Kumanovo is different from what I expected.
You can read the online magazine here: