BREfest celebrated Sharr Mountain nature and culture

From 11th to 13th of August more than 150 people joined BREfest, a festival of music and nature organized by GAIA (SCI Kosovo) at Brezovica, Kosovo. Local people and guests from around Kosovo and neighboring countries gathered in the ski center of Brezovica for this nature celebration.

A
BREfest – live music and fire in Brezovica ski resort, Sharr mountain, Kosovo; photo credit: Gowhere.bg

The idea behind BREfest was to highlight the beauty of Sharr Mountain, to raise awareness of environmental topics and to provide space for people who love the mountain to meet and to share their vision for the future.

The message of the festival “Sharr is more than snow“ emphasised the unique, natural and cultural values of the mountain, besides the attractive skiing slopes in winter.

Before the festival, volunteers from Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, France, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Serbia, Turkey and the United Kingdom, together with local volunteers, prepared the place and the activities, and also organized a clean-up action in the mountain. Extinction of a Trash mountain in Sharr mountain is a short video telling the story of the clean-up action.

A few days before the event, the participants of “Tour of Freedom“ also joined the group, bringing stories and experiences from their bike travel through Kosovo. The travelling workcamp crossed Kosovo from North to South within three weeks. The volunteer got to know local communities and the environmental and social challenges they are facing. They got involved and inspired actions to act on those issues. The Bike Tour volunteers told their stories through impressive exhibition of pictures and words and via engaging human library on the first day of BREfest.

C
Opening of the exhibition of Tour of Freedom travelling workcamp; BREfest 2017, Kosovo; photo credit: Aleksandra Hiltmann

During the three days of the festival, the program was diverse with different activities, on topics including environment, migration and future challenges to the region. There were several workshops, such as Recycle Art, DIY (Do it Yourself), printing and sewing. In order to start each day with positive energy, BREfesters discovered the art of Capoeira Angola – a mixture of game, dance, martial art and music with roots from Brazil and Africa.

D
DIY workshops during BREfest 2017, Kosovo; phto credit: Aleksandra Hiltmann

Every evening movies regarding the daily festival topic were screened.  To explore the mountain, activities such as guided tours, a herbal tresure hunt and a poetry session in nature were organized.

There was also a space to discuss topics such as migration, zero waste and environmental challenges in Kosovo. Participants of “Route to Connect“ field study trip, shared their take on the current refugee situation, through an exibition and discussion. This linked the history of Sharr mountain, a transborder region with a history of migration throughout the past centuries, to the ongoing humanitarian crisis on the Balkans and beyond.

E
Route to connect exhibition, BREfest 2017; photo credit: Aleksandra Hiltmann

A group of 30 children and youth from Imaginatorium, an alternative educational center in Gracanica, also joined BREfest on Saturday, taking part in the different activities like arts, walking tours and games. For most of the kids it was the first time to explore the wild and unspoiled nature of the mountain and to be surrounded by so many volunteers from all around the world.

F
Children from Imaginatorium in BREfest 2017, Kosovo; photo credit: Polina Raynova

Jimmy Mustafa Band, a Roma band, Trio Bibera, a jazz group, and Rootsman, a reggae band from Macedonia,  joined the festival for the musical evenings. This mixture of genders and ethicities was an example of how music can connect people.

DSC_8243
Jimmy Mustafa Band performing; photo credit: Gowhere.bg

BREfest was intended to promote a different approach to appreciating nature, by provoking the participants to consider their own impact on the environment. Food was vegan, free of charge and cooked by volunteers.

„Share and exchange“ was another festival principle which was implemented by encouraging sharing tranport to the ski resort, and also exchanging skills, homemade products, food and experiences between people.

After the success of BREfest 2017, the team is already thinking about organizing it again in 2018. And we hope to meet again with anyone who wants to join us to celebrate the nature and culture of Sharr mountain!

Raquel Amaral, Portugal, an EVS volunteer in short-term EVS „All colours of Sharr mountain“, part of „Thinking like a mountain…“ project supported by Eramsus+ programme of the EU.

LogosBeneficairesErasmus+RIGHT_EN

Advertisements

BREfest – Sharr is more than snow…

11th until 13th of August, Brezovica

Welcome to the BREfest – a small-scale, sustainable, educational and creative festivity in Brezovica ski resort (map here) organized for the first time. It is about celebrating and appreciating the richness of Sharr mountain, building connections among people and reconnecting to nature.

The gathering will provide space and inspiration for exchange, discussions, music, challenges and joy. The program includes diverse activities for children, youngsters, elders and families. Gathered around the topics of sustainable living, transitive migration and wilderness:

  • Workshops on Capoeira Angola, cooking vegan, recycleArt, photography, Do It Yourself etc;
  • Guided educational tours about medical herbs, wildlife and reconnection;
  • Theoretical discussions on sustainable living, sustainable communities, nature preservation and human migrations;
  • Space for Exchange for sharing of home made products, skills and stuff you do not need anymore;
  • Presentations of local traditions, from dances and food to crafts and arts;
  • Evening program will be filled in with screenings of documentary movies and nature friendly music program.

GENERAL TIMETABLE

8:00 – 10:00 – Greetings to the mornings – sports & spiritual activities

10:00 – 17:00 – Workshops, guided tours, children activities,

17:00 – 19:00 – Exhibition & discussions

20:00 – 21:30 – Movies about environment & nature

21:30 – 00:00 – Music

MUSIC PROGRAM

Friday evening >>> Jimmy Mustafa band – Young Roma band from Plemetina

Saturday evening >>> Trio Bibera Jazz from Prishtina

Sunday evening >>> World volunteers music session – surprise!

MORE INFORMATION about the daily program here 😀

MORE INFORMATION about accommodation, food & transport here

Volunteers force for BREfest co-funded by ERASMUS+ program


Call for pax: Future myths from the past YE, Trstenik (Serbia) 1st – 10th of September

Future Myths From The Past – Youth Exchange in Trstenik, Serbia

Balkan Myth Busters

1st – 10th of September 2017

This youth exchange will gather 30 young people from Greece, Macedonia, Kosovo, Serbia, Bulgaria and Germany. After the YE in Kosovo in March, where the participants deconstructed of some of the national myths that influence our present, in Trstenik, we are moving towards the future! The participant will be creating future myths from present stories and will be encouraged to use music, drawing, comics, video, photography and storytelling, so their creations can be spread among our networks and future youth activities.

trs1

During this youth exchange the participants will:

  • Reflect on their personal identities and the outcomes of the previous exchange
  • Go deeper into the role and influence of the myths onto their identities- through culture, art, media
  • Participants will use backcasting as a method
  • Creating future myths from the past (stories, comics, photography, videos)
  • Uploading the created contents to the blog of the project- Mything point https://mythingpoint.wordpress.com/
  • Visiting religious monuments and medieval sites near Trstenik and exploring the tradition of the place
  • Visiting natural and cultural heritage near Trstenik
  • Taking part in adventures organized in the local adrenalin park
  • Enjoy local food, products, customs and tradition

trs4 (1)

Continue reading “Call for pax: Future myths from the past YE, Trstenik (Serbia) 1st – 10th of September”

Call for pax: Youth Encyclopedia of (Anti)discrimination!

novi logo

Youth Encyclopedia of (Anti)discrimination with focus on discrimination of LBGTI persons and movements which resisted such discriminatory practices.

GAIA is looking for 2 more participants who are:

  • aged between 16 and 22
  • interested in addressing the topic of discrimination of LGBTI persons
  • have solid knowledge of English language, so they can activelly take part in program
  • residents of Kosovo

The project is composed of 2 trilateral youth exchange:

  1. Youth Exchange between 30.07 – 06.08. 2017 in Weimar, Germany
  2. Youth Exchange between 04.10 – 11.10.2017 in Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina

More information about the project can be found here: Call for participants_CGE

Application form can be found here: Form

Please send your application before 1st of September 2017 to gaia.kosovo@gmail.com

Call for pax: One Step Forward, One Step Back

Volunteers’ Center of Vojvodina is organizing a seminar within the framework of the project PATH: Peace Activism through Lessons from History of Forced Migration, where we will gather 25 youth workers, activists working with youth and volunteers interested in or active in working with refugees. Participants from more than 7 countries will gather for 7 days to learn, share, challenge, create and change.

During this seminar, which will take place from 8th till 14th of May 2017 in Novi Sad, participants will :

● learn and analyze current situation in Europe and the EU, regarding the refugee crisis, legal frame, human rights and core values

● discuss about existing initiatives that support refugees and migrants along the “Balkan route” in local communities, collectives, organizations, institutions etc.

● learn about the wars in ex-Yugoslavia, forced migrations and challenges during and after the wars (status, inclusion mechanisms, discrimination etc.)

● learn about resistance and peace movement during the 90’s (deserters, journalists, musicians, organizations etc.)

● discuss the role of SCI in the past and today (SCI during the wars in ex-Yugoslavia, SAVA WG)

● organize a public event – living library with living books which had to leave their homes even though they did not want that

● create video footage and collect contents for the final exhibition to be presented at the final visibility event in Bulgaria in January 2018 on the topic of lessons from the past with the focus on personal stories and power of remembrance

More information on conditions and practicalities about the seminar is available on this LINK

Application form is HERE and the deadline for filling it in is 5th of April 2017!