Cultural Bridge performance highlights the impact of climate change

After a busy week in Germany, the Cultural Bridge group travelled together to Belfast to continue the project in mid-August.

At the halfway point, we asked exactly what being involved in the exchange project meant to two of the young people:

“The experience I have valued the most so far has been the opportunity to meet new people and learn more about the various perspectives on the topics discussed as we create our project together”

“I really enjoyed working as part of a group/team. It was a great challenge as many of the participants I met for the first time on the trip. I learnt the importance of listening to other’s ideas. The creative process requires patience as it unfolds – and our thoughts become actions. I practiced sharing my own ideas and finding ways to integrate them into the overall group vision.

I learnt that just going for it and trying ideas out can be more effective than talking and conceptualising.

I had a chance to practice speaking and listening to the German language as the participants from Leipzig helped me to understand German better. We exchanged words that were new for them in English and me in German.

I got exposed to new information about Climate Change and how I affect the environment around me. Some points were surprising to me and have definitely impacted my perspective on climate change. By the end of the week I felt hopeful, as we discussed practical ways that we can make a difference to the climate crisis. For example, one participant from Leipzig invited us to a project for planting trees that she was a part of. Hearing her talk about her experience first hand made the information more impactful.

I enjoyed that we had a final showing/performance of what we had been working on throughout the week. This consolidated the experience for me, and I felt more connected to the project and the group afterwards.”

The week culminated with a series of outdoor performances around Belfast City Centre on Thursday 17th August.  What ensued was a highly creative response to the climate crisis and incorporated music, dance and theatre from the young people.   Starting in St Anne’s Square, followed by 2 Royal Avenue and finishing in front of Belfast City Hall, the impactful piece was really well received by funders, friends from the art sector and the public who took time out from their shopping or sightseeing to watch and support.

With their distinctive costumes and make-up, the group also caught the eye of photographer Mal McCann and made the Irish News!

Thanks to everyone at VILLA Leipzig and Beyond Skin for yet another successful exchange project.

With credit to Joe Fox for the wonderful photography.