Newsletter from the Bulgarian Group Day 1. In the first day of group work, we were introduced to all the people in the project who had chosen to visit Bulgaria. We introduced them to our alphabet and our currency. We then showed them around our city, whilst getting to know them better. After that, we had a "rally" through Burgas to do some sightseeing. We went through the most important parts of the town and asked them where they came from and what they thought of our city? We asked them if they knew about the different nationalities who had previously emigrated to Burgas in large numbers. We ended up at the sea-garden and the famous sea-casino. After that, everyone received a deserved rest.
Day 2. Our trip to Nessebar was very nice. A few of the Bulgarian students had prepared some information about local churches, which resulted in the Italian, French and German students learning a lot about them. We visited Christ All-Mighty, St. Sofia, St. Stefan and St. John Aliturgitos. Whilst getting to know the churches and their history, we managed to have a taste of the atmosphere in the Old Town of Nessebar. Afterwards we were separated into random groups, with each group having a different task. This required everyone to visit the New Town as well. The first group should visit the archaeological museum and research: What has happened with the Greek minority in the town? Is there a Turkish one? The second group should meet with a notary in Nessebar, with the help of their Bulgarian colleagues, and research if foreigners buy property in Nessebar, as well as investigating which nationality these people are. The third group should visit the real estate agency in the New town and research if foreigners buy real estates in Nessebar and where do these people come from? The fourth group should analyse the results from the research of the second and third groups and determine the main reasons for the settling of certain foreigner groups in Nessebar? Having completed our tasks, all the groups gathered by a fountain on some benches, where we spent the remains of our free time together. Then we got back to the Amphitheatre, where we had to meet with the teachers and present the information we had gathered whilst working on our tasks. Having completed that, we headed towards the bus and drove off after a tiring, but memorable day.
Day 3 Today we had a workshop. It was such a nice experience because we got to play different roles and characters. The topic of the tasks and games was migration, and we had to present our ideas by performing plays. We worked in groups.Participants from each groups listened to the same instrumental music. Afterwards they had to develop ideas and scenes based on what they associate the music with, which would be performed in front of all participants. The question to be discussed was:“Music is an important part of a scene or a movie. What kind of music would you choose for your movie?” Each group received a sheet of paper with five dialogues. Afterwards each of the groups had to develop out of these five dialogues a scene of their own, where they could add some words or phrases and sentences and change the dialogues’ order. The scenes were then performed to the other groups. One voice would narrate the movie scenes, or each part would be narrated by a different voice. For the third task, each group chose a picture and created a scene for it. It doesn’t matter what the picture shows, what matters is what ideas and thoughts you want to share while looking at it, and to turn those ideas into a short theatre play. We then had a Skype conversation with the French and the Italian school. That was a very nice surprise for all of us. And that's how we met the other members of the project. After that we had lunch and free time. We took the foreigners for a walk and we got to spend a lot of time together, practicing several languages. We all spent the night at home with our family and new arrived guests. After that we had more fun in the Sea-Garden in Burgas.
Day 4. The whole group went to Sozopol. There, we saw many architectural sights and learned more about them. After that we formed four groups. Each one had to do a different exercise. The first and second group had to shoot a scene regarding the reaction of the natives in different situations when they see a foreigner. The third and the fourth group had to ask foreigners in Sozopol about their opinionon migration (the theme of the project). Does their country accept migrants in their country? We had to shoot these tasks and prepare to perform them the next day. Then we had some free time, so we all went to the beach and rested. We then went back to the bus and back to Burgas.
Day 5. On Friday, all the participants gathered at the school. The program started with presentations of our tasks in Sozopol. Afterwards, the Bulgarian and German groups presented their script ideas to the others. The day continued with a brainstorming of new ideas and deciding on the most efficient methods and scripts. The final decision was that the scene will be shot in an apartment in Berlin and the main characters will be four roommates from Germany, Bulgaria, Italy and France. It was decided that each country will show a different aspect of migration in a five-minute long movie. The Bulgarians will film a movie about studying as a cause for migration. The German group will show migration from the eyes of a German person living around refugees. The Italian group will show the economic reasons which could make a person migrate, and the French group will show migration as a way to pursue a dream career. Each of the abovementioned movies should be ready for the next meeting in Berlin. We ended the program with lots of fun, dance and music. Each nation showed a traditional dance to the others, and we said goodbye to each other.
Newsletter VI. from the Italian Group Burgas, September 11 - 15, 2017. Monday 11th: we started our meeting with some warming up activities to let the foreign students get familiar with Bulgarian currency and alphabet. Then the French group presented their work about a possible framework story and the Italians the scripts for their short film. Tuesday 12th: the full day guided excursion to Nesebar was highly interesting. The Bulgarian students illustrated the history and the complex relationships among the different populations that used to trade and cross the Black Sea. They guided us through the impressive churches that are scattered all over the area. Wednesday 13th: the students divided into groups first discussed their impressions on the visit to Nesebar, then they were given tasks to get awareness of the various steps to keep in their mind in order to plan a storyboard for their short film ( setting, analysis of the character, how to focus on the topic etc.). Later in the afternoon, while the students kept on working in groups, the teachers met to analyze some details of the project budget and to clarify misunderstandings occurred in carrying out the tasks for Burgas meeting: two partners had worked on the framework story while the others on the scripts for their own short. We worked out solutions in order to reset our work and be prepared for next meeting in Berlin. Thursday 14th: full day guided excursion to Sosopol. Again the students provided information about the different civilizations that marked the territory. After the tour the students carried out the tasks given to them on Wednesday 13th during the workshop, which exploited the issue of immigration ( interviews to passers-by, tourists and local people, short videos showing ordinary situations in the life of immigrants). Friday 15th: both the German group and the Bulgarian students presented their own ideas about the short film. The Germans proposed a couple of options for the framework story while the Bulgarians explained the main features of their film and the reasons for their choice. Their own film should be a portrait of what really happens in their country where the phenomenon of emigration seems to have a wider impact on their society than immigration. Then the students were split into groups according to their nationality and were asked to discuss the causes which bring migrants away from their countries. Each country then chose one topic to develop in its footage. We ended the Burgas meeting by stating exactly what we would be working on until the Berlin meeting: 1. the Bulgarian group will develop the theme of emigration for study reasons. 2. The Germans will develop the theme of being German and at the same time living the condition of a second-generation of immigrants. 3. The French group will deal with the aspirations and desires of those who migrate to fulfill their dreams and better their life. 4. The Italian group will voice feelings and emotions of immigration for economic reasons.
Students from Italy, Germany, France and Bulgaria worked on the "Starring together in our film" project from 24.04 to 28.04.2017 in Renaudeau, Cholet, France. This is an Erasmus+ project with the following program for the stated period 1. Day The French hosts welcomed the group with a gift for each participant. In another room, they had written in different languages "Hello" and "Welcome". Then everyone in the group presented "what he loves, what makes him happy, what makes him angry, what he hopes for and what he wants in the future, what he is and what he is not." With the help of volunteers, students wrote messages in different languages, thus showing that diversity in Europe is not a problem, but rather is what makes us rich. In the afternoon, the Bulgarian and French groups presented their mind maps on migration.
2. Day In a computer room, the participants listened to how migrants spoke in English about their experiences. Participants were then divided into 4 groups depending on the emigrant whose story they listened to and compared the results. Finally, each group had to present the life of their migrant. The meeting continued with a game called "In the migrant’s shoes" Each participant received an identity card, visa, and personal information about a migrant to place himself in his / her place. The students were divided into 3 groups because three paths were marked. After that, the game experience was discussed. The day ended in a group of three people. Each group received a migrant story and the purpose was to invent the rest of the story and complete it. Then each group presented their story.
3. Day This day was dedicated to Nantes, a city in western France. The participants had to carry out specific tasks related to the topic of the Immigration and Integration project during the whole week, which did not exclude the town of Nantes. Each group was challenged to make an art project for their city in the beginning. The Bulgarian group has been involved in a project that symbolizes shoes, saddlebags and suitcases from different periods, presenting the traces of many people who came to the Bulgarian lands after the Balkan war and World War I, the Armenian migrations, the exiles of the Bulgarian Turks in the 1980s, the escape of many Bulgarians from the communist regime, the many young Bulgarians who left the country after the changes After the creation of the Loire River, the participants were divided into new groups and started crossing the French streets in order to find different sights in the city and interview local people about their views on immigrants in the country.
4. Day The fourth day of the week spent in France was intense and memorable. The morning began with presentations of the Italian and German groups. They all were comprehensive and intriguing, with the Italian group having detailed information about the migration and the international population of their homeland, and the German students set their senses and told their own stories. There was also a project for writing and presenting my great, world-wide story, parallel to my native and personal / small history, which was discussed in plenary. After that, a project logo was selected and most participants voted for Martin Gospodinov's proposal from Goethe High School in Burgas and it became the official logo of the project. In the afternoon, the international group met with the best French basketball team, the Cholet Basket. Teachers and students had the opportunity to talk about the difficulties of living abroad, even though the choice to leave home was professional and completely independent. Two of the international players from the United States responded to student issues. The day ended with many smiles and positive emotions. The French parents had prepared traditional French dishes and, together with teachers and students, ate the delicacies, becoming part of a celebration full of wonderful moments.
5. Day The last day of the project was focused on group work - discussing various scenario ideas for the final film. The participants had over 10 different scenario views that they discussed online with German students traveling to their home country. Students shared their impressions of the day in a specially prepared notebook. The program for the next meeting in Burgas, Bulgaria in September 2017 was also discussed.