Art Changes Lives

Short Description
"Purification" pantomime and dance performance. The pantomime and dance performance "Purification" of young Bulgarian actors with impaired hearing from "MIM ART" theater at "Tishina" Association. The actors designed and developed the script themselves with the main topic - environmental sustainability and how each and every one of us could do something to contribute to its preservation. They sent their universal message for care, actions and responsibility of people for preservation of the environment through the means of pantomime, synchronized singing and dance facilitated by sign language interpretation. [Project period: 14.03.2011 – 14.03.2012]


The project`s objective is to create the environment and promote youth's active citizenship in general, and their European citizenship in particular through participation. The logic of the project reflects the “Youth in Action Programme” priorities: - to foster the mutual understanding between youth and the cooperation in the youth sector between EU member states and a candidate country through arts; - to develop solidarity and promote tolerance among youth founded on the notion of European citizenship; - to provoke increased interest in MDGs and the European citizenship values with artistic means based on cultural diveristy. The project priorities covered: - participation of young people; - cultural diversity; - European citizenship; - inclusion of young people with fewer opportunities; - media literacy and MDGs.

Full Description

AGORA has developed a discussion model and 3 performances together with Romanian and Turkish partners for promotion of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of the UN. The project was funded by the EACEA, “Youth in Action” Programme, Youth support systems, Action 4.5. in 2011-2012 and motivated a group of young people for participation, media literacy on MDG as well as cultural expression by means of performing arts. The project met the priorities of the Programme for cultural diversity by provoking participants for an informal discussion on common human rights and values. In addition, the project managed to develop the solidarity and tolerance among young people by including participants with fewer opportunities.

Beside the coordination work and partnership meetings the project activities included artistic and research work done by the youth themselves in each of the 3 respective countries (Bulgaria, Turkey and Romania). As a result of the research done, the project participants from each partner country prepared presentation of the situation regarding the progress towards the achievement of MDGs in their country. Then, they presented live their research during a three-day workshop in Sofia and developed three different artistic interpretations on the MDGs. The results were designed, developed and performed 3 art products on MDGs: two on Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability (“Purification”, a pantomime and dance performance, Bulgaria and “You Are Not Alone”, a puppet theater, Turkey) and the Romanian one on Goal 2: Achieve universal primary education). The premiere of the three performances was on December, 3rd 2011 during the International Day of People with Fewer Opportunities. The venue of the event was the professional stage of the Youth Theatre “Nikolai Binev”, Sofia. Among the guests of the premiere were pupils from schools in Sofia and members of eco-clubs, art fans and people with disabilities, but also representatives of UNDP Office in Bulgaria, Embassy of Romania in Bulgaria, Embassy of the Republic of Turkey in Sofia, greetings from Head of the Representation of the European Commission in Bulgaria were recieved. In early 2012, the Bulgarian team toured 7 locations in Bulgaria with 10 performances. The Bulgarian play live performances and the video screenings of the Turkish and Romanian DVDs created the environment for building European citizenship of the local youth from diverse ethnic groups. The discussions after the performances raised the following issues of interest to the youth: introduction of health and sex education in schools, raise the percentage of educated people versus the illiterate, more resources directed towards education in rural areas, ways to end poverty and hunger, increased percentage of use of renewable energy sources, support the less developed countries in their efforts to ensure clean drinking water (with knowledge, expertise and construction), etc. The Romanian partners had 4 performances in 2 cities in Romania and the Turkish more than 20 performances in 6 locations in Turkey. Project Coordinator was the Platform AGORA, Bulgaria, project partners were Association “Tishina”, Bulgaria, Ucaneller Culture and Art House Association, Luleburgaz, Turkey and The Peace Action, Training and Research Institute of Romania (PATRIR), Cluj Napoca, Romania.

Project partners:

  • Platform AGORA, Bulgaria – Project coordinator
  • Association “Tishina”, Bulgaria
  • Ucaneller Culture and Art House Association, Luleburgaz, Turkey
  • The Peace Action, Training and Research Institute of Romania (PATRIR), Cluj Napoca, Romania

Step by Step Explanation

  • 1

    Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Realities research done by youth in each of the 3 partner countries and presentation for each country prepared

  • 2

    Youth discussion workshop held in Sofia with 41 participants for live presentations and drafting of the “script” for 3 MDGs art products;

  • 3

    3 audio-visual MDGs artistic products were designed, developed and performed by the youth; DVDs in 4 languages were produced and disseminated. The Bulgarian and Turkish group worked on Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability (“Purification”, a pantomime and dance performance, BG and “You Are Not Alone”, a puppet theater, Turkey) and the Romanian on Goal 2: Achieve universal primary education (“School Dream”, a forum theater, RO).

  • 4

    20 Youth Awareness Days, followed by discussions were organized in 3 countries for presentation and promotion of the products and were attended by more than 7 500 people.


  • Poster with photos of all performances and slogan
  • Leaflets with a brief resume of the 3 performances, photos and slogan
  • Promotional cover box with 9 post cards from the performances
  • DVDs (with subtitles in Bulgarian, Romanian and English) with 3 art products: a pantomime and dance performance, puppet theater and a forum theater.
  • Video clips available at AGORA’s You tube channel (agoraplatform)

Implemented Methods

Drama game

Drama game is a participatory oriented method aimed at provoking an increased interest in a specific topic (in this case the Millennium Development Goals MDGs) and the European citizenship values with artistic means based on cultural diveristy.
I. Preparation stage when the participants bring to the table their knowledge and interests related to specific topic/theme (MDGs in this case), group discussion for selection of a theme (MDG) to be interpreted with artistic means. Then, a draft art concept is designed and developed by the group with the support of professionals. Next, youth themselves based on their choice of topic develop in detail role plays with certain scenario/script.
II. Implementation stage is when participants experience real life situations (education, people with disabilities, tolerance, discrimination, environmental issues) with emotional involvement and application of various expressive techniques to raise consideration about the specific issue (supported by professionals) – they have rehearsals. Design and production of décor/ costumes/puppets goes along with selection of music and title of the art product. Premieres of 3 art products performances –pantomime, forum theatre and puppet theatre.
III. Evaluation stage includes discussions following the performances with questions, comments and opinion of the audience and in a group discussion the participants draw on feedback and suggestions for new/useful insights.


Icebreaker is an information-oriented method that helps to “break the ice” in various ways. It helps group members/ participants to get acquainted, relieve inhibitions or tension between people, allowing those involved to build trust and feel more open to one another. Icebreakers encourage participation by all, helping a sense of connection and shared focus to develop.

[applied Classification of training methods (Valentina Vassileva)]


Presentation (with artistic means)

Presentation is a participatory-oriented method for informing, persuading and motivating. In the learning process, the presentation is widely used by the trainer and the participants – when presenting new learning material or when reporting learning outcomes (individual or group).  In this specific case it helped the participants from different countries to convey content with artistic means.

[applied Classification of training methods (Valentina Vassileva)]

Additional resources

Design and Development by arivum.