Seminar “We and the Others” at the Museum of African Art

30With the exhibition “The Border is Closed” we adjusted our seminar to migration issues, i.e. the issue of attitudes towards migrants, as well as to the ways of deconstructing stereotyped images of others and those who are different. Together with high school teachers we tested the seminar in this format and they then applied the recommended methods of work and included their students into the work and thoughts about migration, stereotypes and discrimination. In this way the exhibition material and the seminar together make up an educational package for working with high school teachers and their students

During the exhibition at the Museum of African Art, in late October, we held a seminar for high school teachers in Belgrade.

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Lecturers at the seminar were our colleagues Biljana Đorđević from the Faculty of Political Sciences, historian Nemanja Radonjić and authors of the exhibition “The Border is Closed”: Ivana Bogicević Leko, Nena Skoko, Đorđe Balmazović and Dragan Protić.

Biljana Đorđević spoke about migration and integration of migrants in Western societies, and the presentation of Nemanja Radonjić was about stereotypes and the image of others on the examples of the Balkans in the magazine “National Geographic” and the image of Africa in SFRY.

Ivana Bogicević Leko presented the ways of exploring the local social history in working with high school students and the existing positive examples of high school research of local social history, and she also held a workshop “Blind Maps” and “Aunt from America”, reminding the participants about the migration of members of their own families.

The seminar also provided professional tours through the exhibition “The Border is Closed. Snežana Skoko highlighted the issue of women’s side of migration, and Dragan Protić and Đorđe Balmazović from “ Škart” Art Collective talked about the collection of documentary material and the migrant maps – illustrations of life stories and journeys of migrants. They talked about the sayings the authors of the exhibition had collected in interviews with migrants. Zagorka Aksentijević and Robert Kozma from the educational program of Group 484 facilitated the seminar.

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During November, the teachers who attended the seminar included their students in their work and thoughts about migration, stereotypes, discrimination. We wanted to explain to the students the current situation around the refugee crisis and try to eliminate prejudice. High school students from Loznica and Belgrade approached the topics critically and maturely, with emotions and understanding. Together with teachers some students visited places where migrants stayed and talked to them, trying to help. Others were exploring the migration history of their families or local communities and compared the findings with the current migration flow. The students’ effort resulted in short films, presentations, panels, etc. which Belgrade students presented to each other at the Museum of African Art, and they were also informed about the activities and products of high school students from Loznica.

Film made by the students of “Nikola Tesla” High School of Electrical Engineering

Project: Our new neighbours – improvement of migration policy in Serbia and the Western Balkans; Our new neighbours – strengthening capacities for understanding cultural diversity – one step further

Objective: Build trust and sensitise the local community to understand the situation of asylum seekers and migrants; Contribute to the development of openness and tolerance in our society.

Implementers: Group 484 (educational program “We and the Others”), Museum of African Art

Support: Foundation for Open Society Serbia, CCFD – Terre Solidaire

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