• Erasmus+

Act in your community!

We were in the third, and last, phase of the international training course “ACTing for Change”

© Nuno Brízida

Needless to say, the times we live in are, to say the least, crazy, but not even like this the will to go to discovery is hidden and, thus, a group of young people from the European Union has come back to challenge conventions and preconceptions.

Our volunteers, Sofia Oliveira, Nuno Brízida, Liliana Macedo and Diogo Martins, barely dreamed of the journey that awaited them as they embarked on what they thought was just another Training Course. They decided to challenge the fear and leave for the Netherlands, more precisely for the small village of Ommen, in search of the Olde Vechte Association and the Training Course “ACTing For Change”.

What we hoped would be a simple sharing of theoretical knowledge about Social Theatre, became 4 days of pure immersion and connection with the group, the theme, and a discovery by our most intimate being.

We traveled through time, met witches, landed on the moon, arrived at the edge of time, and exceeded the shyness. During 4 days, we were all actors and actresses, maybe something more, we learned to value movement and we discovered how our body is capable of creating the most moving figures.

It wasn’t just a training course in theatre. It was sharing fears and insecurities, it was acceptance, harmony. From creative writing and storytelling  workshops to moments of reflection (with some meditation included) and body expression. We danced, sang, and acted. We were happy.

To end it big, we had the privilege of watching, live, the 2020’s Song Festival in Ommen, filled with talent and a lot of emotion.

Our volunteers have returned, full of ideas, the will to make it happen, to give those around them the experience that is freedom of movement. Because we all know how to dance, we all know how to sing, we all can act in our community. It doesn’t matter the age, gender, nationality, we can all express ourselves because everything we need lives within us.

There are rumors that part of what has been acquired has already been spread through Dutch metros and railway stations; public demonstrations of dance and freedom were seen by curious passers-by. Who knows, maybe they’ll come to Portugal?

Here’s what two of my companions in this adventure have to share:

Testimony of Diogo Martins

With bright eyes and a full heart, I have just returned home after participating in the training course ACTing For Change. It was an experience, rich in great discoveries of new inner worlds and also brought by all the people who participated and organized this program. The shared tools focused on theatre, voice, and body expression exercises as the motto for the creation of a universe of inclusion, which precisely represents my daily search. I hope that after all the mixture of emotions that I bring has settled, I too can become a seed of change in my city and create the same environment of intimacy, security, care, full of potential for a new individual and collective revolution.

Testimony of Sofia Oliveira

For me, ACTing For Change was more than a Training Course. During four days, more than two dozen people lived a unique experience, where their bodies and minds were in tune, harmony, and 100% focused on Ommen. How often do we have the opportunity of living experiences without distractions or without being affected by external problems? Very few. I left Olde Vechte more aware of the importance of using theatre and body language to raise awareness and solve some problems in my local community. I left Olde Vechte with the certainty that it is possible to make a difference. I left Olde Vechte with a smile and wanting more and more (for me and my community).

This project was funded by the Erasmus+ Programme and respected all security measures regarding the new Coronavirus. 

Change will always be possible, bringing together the right group of people. A huge thank you to everyone who was p(art) of this transcendent journey. May art always be our best weapon.

Liliana Macedo

04-09-2020