European Voluntary Service

This is Pekarna's blog for EVS volunteers. Pekarna is a sending and hosting/receiving organisation for EVS volunteers and their volunteers (send and hosted ones) will keep you up to date about their work.

Evropska prostovoljna služba

Pekarna Magdalenske mreže Maribor te vabi, da se tudi ti pridružiš množici prostovljcev/-k Evropske prostovoljne službe (EVS) in odpotuješ v organizacijo po svoji izbiri v drugo državo EU. Smo pošiljajoča in gostiteljska organizacija EVS, ki mladim od 17. in do 30. leta za obdobje največ enega leta uredi vse podrobnosti za brezskrbno in povsem brezplačno delovanje v tujini.
Evropska prostovoljna služba je del programa ERASMUS + Mladi v akciji.

Za bolj podrobne informacije nas lahko kontaktiraš na: evs@pekarna.org



Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Outward Bound pustolovščina

Preko poletja do jesenskega časa, je bilo večino časa namenjenega Erasmus plus kratkoročnim projektom. Prvi, na katerem sem bila prisotna, je bil youth exhange „Creative tradition“ v Velikem Žitniku. Participanti so spoznavali lokalno kulturo, se učili folkloro, vozili s kanuji, obiskali muzej Nikole Tesla, itd. Takoj zatem smo organizirali EVS camp „Clean nature, clear mind“ v Samoborju in zadnji je bil zopet na že omenjeni lokaciji, kjer ima OBC edukacijski center, in sicer training course „Love every challenge“. Training course je bil namenjen mladim iz osmih držav za usposabljanje in uporabi metod za „outdoor adventure education“. Najbolj sem bila vpletena pri izvedbi kamp-a v Samoborju, zato ga bom tudi malo podrobneje opisala. Petnajst mladih iz štirih držav, se je zbralo z namenom, da skozi dva tedna čiščejo naravno okolje, reciklirajo, iz odvrženih odpadkov ustvarijo nekaj novega in na koncu pokažejo svoje izdelke javnosti na vpogled ter napravijo fotografsko razstavo.



Vsak dan smo imeli ekipo, ki je bila odgovorna za jutranjo vadbo, ekipo, ki je skrbela, da nismo ostali lačni, ekipa, ki je poskrbela za čiščenje ter vizualno ekipo, ki je vsak dan izbrala 5 najboljših fotografij dneva. Začeli smo s timskimi igrami v parku na lep sončen dan. Outward Bound timske igre oz. metode so organizirane po principu učenja skozi izkustvo v naravi. Prebije se led, participanti se bližje spoznajo in ustvarijo timski duh. Že prvi dan so se vsi hitro sprostili in drug drugemu postali podpora. Spretnosti reševanja problemov so se hitro razvile, komunikacija je postala tekoča in uspeli smo celi dan preživeti na svežem zraku. Prvi teden smo čistili okolje v čudovitem parku Žumberak Samoborsko gorje. Uživanja ni manjkalo, predvsem pa zadovoljstva druženja v dobri atmosferi sredi narave. Spoznali smo tudi nekaj novih joga poz in meditacijskih tehnik. Drugi del kampa je bil osredotočen delavnicam, skupinskim diskusijam ter na fotografsko razstavo. Pri delavnicah smo bolje spoznali in predebatirali tematiko na internacionalnem nivoju in začeli z ustvarjanjem. Nekatere participante je inspiracija prevzela do te mere, da so prebedeli noč, s ciljem dokončati svoje izdelke. Obiskali smo stari grad v mestu, kjer smo tudi preverili stanje čistega okolja in na večer pripravili kres. Debate so se ob ognju transformirale na globlji nivo, seveda tudi pozitivne energije ni manjkalo. Ob koncu kampa so se predstavile ideje projektov iz vsake države in mi smo držali pesti, da se načrti uresničijo ter da glas ozaveščanja zaščite narave seže preko meja v deveto vas. Skupaj smo preživeli dva čudovita tedna in bilo je lepo videti, kako so se participanti povezali, dobili veliko inspiracije in bili hvaležni za to izkušnjo. Vsi skupaj si želimo še več takšnih priložnosti in bomo definitivno obdržali tega v lepem spominu. Ti projekti so odlična priložnost, da spoznaš nove ljudi na internacionalnem nivoju, se naučiš več o koordinaciji in organizaciji le-teh ter kako motivirati mlade, da se ustvari timski duh. Na koncu je občutek izpolnjen, ko vidiš veselje in čutiš hvaležnost za priložnost, ki si jo delil z drugimi. 


In že sta se poletje in jesen po vseh dogodivščinah na terenu poslovila. Po več kot enem mesecu oz. dveh mesecih izven Zagreba, ko sem se vrnila v mesto, je prišel tisti občutek domačnosti. Mesto se je napolnilo in zaživelo, s tem pa tudi moje veselje, za izkoristek vseh aktualnih dogodkov. Kar se tiče dela, sem dobila priložnost pridobiti več znanja na vizualni strani marketinga in promocije, predvsem preko socialnih omrežij ter izdelavi promocijske podobe organizacije ter Erasmus plus projektov. Moram pa omeniti, da je največji osebni EVS izziv bil povezan s športom v naravi – plezanje in abseil. Prvi razlog, ki je izstopal je bil strah pred višino in dejstvo, da je bilo nekaj novega in čisto drugačnega od preteklih izkušenj. Pri prvem poskusu plezanja sem prišla do točke, ko mi je telo sporočalo, da paničari in tudi um ni bil preveč v pomoč. Vendar ko poizkusiš drugič, odreagiraš mirnejše, saj se um in srce bolje povežeta. Dragocena izkušnja, pri kateri vadiš trdnost in se moraš osredotočiti na določeno stopnjo fizičnega in duševnega napora. Tudi abseiling ima podobne zahteve. Najtežji del je s prvim korakom prečkati rob skale. Telo mi je možno drgetalo, da to ni naravna poza ter um me je hkrati spraševal, zakaj to delam. Po nekaj malih mišjih korakih je postalo mnogo lažje. Še vedno malo stresno, vendar takrat se začneš počasi sproščati in uživati ob lepem razgledu vse naokoli iz višje perspektive. Vse aktivnosti, ki jih lahko doživiš, so po principu Outward Bound šol „izbire izzivov“. Na koncu dobiš občutek uspeha in zadovoljstvo. Veselim se še bližje spoznati ta šport ob naslednji priložnosti v prihodnosti. Od interesov, ki so okvirno vključevali naravo, šport in vizualno umetnost, preko odkritja novih stvari skozi učenje ter do novih vpogledov in inspiracije za nadaljno in jasnejšo pot kariere, je proti koncu EVS – sa bistvo doseženo. Navigacija proti odkrivanju potenciala skozi potiskanje onkraj meja svojih sposobnosti se na koncu vedno obrestuje, hkrati tudi ugotoviš, da pri tem destinacija nima nobenega pomena v primerjavi s tem, kaj delaš ter s kom to deliš.

Živa

Monday, 12 December 2016

The greatest adventures don’t require a passport

It is sometime around the middle of December. As I’m sitting in my room back home in Žilina, Slovakia after spending extra ten days past the end of my EVS project in Maribor, I find myself wondering how to write this last blog post. It will be the hardest to write – not because I would struggle to remember and put down everything important that’s happened recently, but because my feelings are difficult to put into words right now. It will be almost impossible to not get sentimental and perhaps a little pathetic, but don’t worry, the teary eyes have already dried, the goodbyes and „see-you“s have been said and the old life is coming back for me. But before that, let’s do a recap.

Of course the biggest thing I have to mention is the StopTrik festival, which I already wrote about in the October post, but I have to return to it, since it overlapped into November a bit (the good feelings about it anyway) and Ioana wrote a nice in-depth post about it, so be sure to check it out if you’re interested. I sincerely hope it will be bigger and more fun next year. And the year after that.

At the end of November, me and Nataša went together with Sara (she was sent to Ireland by Pekarna) to present EVS during an evening in the college students‘ club ŠTUK, where multiple organizations offered opportunities to work or study abroad. It wasn’t a big event, but as always, I was happy to spread the contagion of EVS enthusiasm among young people.

Other than that, the month was pretty much about slowly wrapping things up, making a goodbye party with Ioana, doing the last this and the last that, enjoying all the Christmas lights in the city and falling into that weird phase of duality, when your mind feels like it’s split into thinking about two different places at once – anyone who’s ever lived abroad knows what I’m talking about. The feeling didn’t really hit me until the very last few days in Maribor, when I had to start thinking about packing, buying just enough food to take as little of it back with me as I could, and going to work more or less without having to. The last volunteer meetings, seeing „our“ children from Brezmejni svet for the last time to take them to UGM, the last evening out with people I can now with confidence call friends. Hating goodbyes and prefering to simply disappear like I always did, I tried to avoid the sadness until the last moment and when it hit, it stayed for a while, overwhelming everything else. I could write about it in ten different ways and not be satisfied with each interpretation. Everyone has their own.

But I’m back home now and old and new challenges are waiting for me. I feel rusty and my old uncomfortable self is coming back to me – there will have to be a long, hard conversation. With experience, I’m realizing travel has become a big escape (for myself and others), and EVS was no exception. So, in J.R.R. Tolkien’s words, I encourage you to focus not only on physical journeys, but on moral and spiritual ones beforehand. And even though many things are unclear for me now, what I know for sure is that I’m going to tell everyone about EVS and what a grand adventure it can be. Ten months in that one country that’s so similar to the one I come from that it often gets mistaken for it were enough to fully convince me. I had an amazing workplace filled with warm, kind, fun people, a job – no, a mission – I found meaningful and many wonderful relationships, sights and memories. EVS will stay in my memory for a very long time. And to people in Pekarna and Maribor I say: „Se vidimo!“


„The greatest adventures don’t require a passport.“

Michal

Monday, 5 December 2016

Jesen, čas sprememb

Jesen, čas sprememb. Vreme se ohlaja, dijaki in študentje začenjajo šolanja, Pekarna Magdalenske mreže pa ponovno začenja s svojimi glavnimi aktivnostmi. Čas je, da se zresnimo – se topleje oblečemo, ponovno prevzamemo več odgovornosti, se pripravimo na trše čase. Ne želim biti mrk – še zmeraj ostaja veliko zabave v tem kar počnem in sprememba scenografije po vročem svetlem poletju je tudi dobrodošla – le vsako leto me to malo utrudi, in tudi letos ni bilo izjema.

Na začetku meseca, se je v vasi blizu Dunaja zgodil projekt, za katerega smo se začeli zanimati poleti – mobilna kuhinja, ki čaka, da jo sestavi navdušena skupina aktivistov. Ta kuhinja, naložena v dva kombija, bi naj pozimi vozila okoli meja ter nudila brezplačno toplo hrano ljudem, ki bežijo in imigrirajo v Evropo, uporabljajoč denar, ki so ga zaslužili s kuhanjem na festivalih in srečanjih aktivistov med poletjem. Sicer je nismo videli dokončane, a izkušnja je bila vseeno zanimiva.



Delo v začetku meseca, po tem, ko smo se ravnokar vrnili, ni bilo zelo razgibano, zato sem namesto tega čas zapolnil v pričakovanju na naš vmesni, polletni trening. Le ta je bil izveden v slikovitem termalnem kompleksu na Dobrni, mestecu blizu Celja. Kot na začetnem treningu je bila to zame prijetna izkušnja, tokrat še bolj kot prvič. Nekatere prostovoljce sem poznal že od prej, aktivnosti in vaje so bile bolj premišljene in utemeljene, dobil sem veliko uporabnih informacij in ker smo vsi že skoraj zaključili z našimi EVS izkušnjami, smo imeli veliko zgodb in občutkov, o katerih smo govorili. Edina slaba stran je bil rahel prehlad, ki sem ga prinesel nazaj, a je bilo celotno doživetje tega več kot vredno.



Pozneje v mesecu se je začel nov projekt – Brezmejni svet! Vsak teden gostimo dvajset in nekaj otrok iz Bosne, Albanije, Kosova in Makedonije, ki se še učijo slovenščine ter jim pri tem pomagamo preko iger in vaj – tako se nekaj naučiva tudi z Ioano! Takšen proces ima svoje težave saj nismo nikakršni strokovnjaki, tako da rešujemo stvari sproti, a ob koncu dneva se čutiš nagrajenega in z otroki se zmeraj bolj razumem.

In kar naenkrat je september mimo in z njim začenjam čutiti približevanje konca mojega obdobja prostovoljstva. Prevladovati začenjajo mešani občutki, nekateri znani, nekateri novi. Seveda čutim nekaj obžalovanja in panike pred iztekom zadnjih minut – kar sem pri sebi tudi pričakoval – a če potegnem črto, me ne moti, da se približuje konec. Še zmeraj pa ostaja nekaj mesecev in nameravam jih (za)napolniti do roba, kot koš jesenskega sadja!

Michal



EVS v Nemčiji

Sem Lucija in trenutno opravljam evropsko prostovoljno službo (EVS) v Nemčiji, natančneje v dnevnem varstvu zavoda IWO, v katerem večino dneva preživi več kot 200 uporabnikov, torej ljudje z motnjo v telesnem in/ali duševnem razvoju. Za prav ta projekt sem se odločila zaradi želje po nadaljevanju prostovoljnega dela malo drugače ter želje po pridobivanju izkušenj na področju dela z ljudmi, saj sem letos poleti diplomirala na FF v Mariboru iz smeri psihologija. Opazila sem, da tekom samega študija nisem pridobila dovolj praktičnih izkušenj, zato se mi je EVS zdel super priložnost za pridobitev le-teh.


Vsak dan 8 ur preživim v svoji skupini, v kateri je 9 uporabnikov. Naš vsakdanjik poteka tako, da najprej zajtrkujemo. Potem ima vsak od uporabnikov svoje aktivnosti (npr. različne terapije, delavnice). Tisti, ki ostanemo v skupini pa izdelujemo različne izdelke iz papirja, barvamo, rišemo, se pogovarjamo, poslušamo glasbo, sortiramo vijake, sestavljamo puzzle, igramo različne družabne igre, kuhamo, itd.. Potem pojemo kosilo, kateremu sledi kratka pavza. Kasneje nadaljujemo z aktivnostmi. Nekako tako torej poteka teden. Med vikendi se družim z ostalimi prostovoljci (mimogrede – živim s štirimi prostovoljci, ki prihajajo iz Francije, Afrike, Makedonije in Amerike), prav tako si tudi vsako soboto ogledam drugo mesto (npr. Ravensburg, Ulm, München, Friedrichshafen, Freiburg, itd.) Naslednji vikend je na vrsti Stuttgart. J V okviru moje nemške koordinacijske organizacije sem imela priložnost obiskati tudi evropski parlament v Strassbourgu v Franciji. Res super izkušnja.






Pred dvema tednoma sem se udeležila tudi drugega seminarja. Ta je bil organiziran s strani nemške nacionalne agencije in sicer smo teden dni preživeli v majhnem mestu nedaleč stran od Münchna, ki se imenuje Benediktbeuern. Spoznala sem veliko novih prostovoljcev, ki opravljajo svoj EVS v drugih mestih po Nemčiji. Zelo zanimivo je slišati njihove zgodbe, dogodivščine, želje in cilje. V tem tednu smo ob opravljanju različnih zanimivih aktivnosti in delavnic pridobili veliko novih informacij o EVS-u in tudi o življenju in delu v Nemčiji.


Moram priznati, da sem se v komaj treh mesecih naučila že ogromno ter pridobila veliko uporabnega znanja. Samo delo je zame zelo nagrajujoče, saj zdaj, odkar opravljam prostovoljno delo tu, na ljudi v zavodu gledam popolnoma drugače. Pravzaprav sčasoma več ne vidiš njihovih primanjkljajev, ampak vidiš česa vse so pravzaprav sposobni in kako močno željo in tudi voljo imajo po čim bolj normalnem življenju. Samo okolje, uporabniki in drugi zaposleni so zelo pozitivni, medse so me sprejeli zelo lepo in vsak dan z veseljem opravljam svoje prostovoljno delo.

Lucija Polenek

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Art and propaganda – The Stop Trik International Film Festival 2016

In troubled times, it’s always a good endeavor to take some time to reflect. In politically troubled times, the reflection can be a first, necessary step towards change.
More than ever in recent history, reflecting on the mechanisms that create ideology, and on the mechanics behind why we believe and act the way we do is imperative. In this intricate, elaborate net of factors that shape our political consciousness, art occupies a special place.

The Stop Trik International Film Festival 2016 tried to analyze the place that the stop motion animation holds in the propagation and idealization of political beliefs. The events gravitated around the theme of propaganda, and focused on the social and political engagement of animated art.
The festival is political in its form as well as in its content. All events are free of charge and open to the public. The Grand Prix is not awarded by a jury, but by the popular vote of the audiences. This year there was also had a jury, but it was a student one, with the aim of shaping the critical vein of its members, and to give them the opportunity of practicing the deconstruction and analysis of the animated art.

There were two competition slots, the International Stop Motion Competition, with stop motion shorts from the last two years, and the Borderlands Competition, with short films placed at the border between stop motion animation and classical animation.
The Stop Motion Agitation section featured films that served political regimes and economic powers of the 20th century, using similar techniques when promoting and idealizing socialist principles, as well as capitalistic ones.
Meshes of Despotism was a visual collection of Czech artworks that run in a loop in the small Black Box room of GT22. They all revolved around propaganda as social and political manipulation, with its either subtle or in-you-face means, in the intent of recognizing and deconstructing its techniques of psychological control.
Midnight Movies: Screed Anxiety was a collection of propagandistic independent animation, not using exclusively stop motion techniques, but held together by the somewhat dark, twisted approaches refined under the authoritarian systems of the 20th century. Worth mentioning is their unconventional projection, taking place at 00:00 in the Gustaf pub at Pekarna.
The program was enriched by side events, such as a round table on the emancipatory potential and political influence of cultural practices, and an hours-long performance by the British artist Thomas Johnson (Grafitti Anarch-imation), concerts by Nina Bulatovix and Haiku Garden, the Obsession. Perversion. Rebellion. Twisted Dreams of Central European Animation book presentation and a four days long workshop with the Serbian animator Miloš Tomić.

My personal favorites of the festival were the Mladina Proglas exhibition and three shorts that were part of the Stop Motion Agitation section, Round and round (Widgets), Ave Maria and Little 8th Route Army.

The Mladina Proglas exhibition is a collection of ads published by the Mladina magazine since 1997, ads with a satirical twist as a criticism to the contemporary society and its issues. With a large dose of wit, the posters targeted and criticized the medication craze, barbed wire fences - most likely referring to the ones guarding the boarders from refugees, showing one of the sharp edges pointed upward as if showing the middle finger, the gradual change of youth’s preferred sport activities from playing football to playing Pokemon Go, the ‘slow death’ that a lot of corporate jobs entail, and genetic modification anomalies.




Round and round (Widgets) (Jam Handy Organization/General Motors, 1939, USA) uses very simple, almost child-oriented methods to explain how the free market works, portraying it in educational, optimistic strokes.

Ave Maria (Ivan Ivanon-Vano, Vladimir Danilyevich, 1972, USSR) is a haunting short propagandistic film against the Vietnam War. It uses a very powerful combination of music (Schubert’s somber Ave Maria) and imagery to induce feelings of revulsion. Here, as well as in Little 8th Route Army, we see children used as tools for a sympathetic, strong effect: in a dystopic, post-apocalyptic scenery, a Vietnamese child offers a toy to a soldier, who, instead of being touched, turns and kills her. We’re also shown antithetical images of a peaceful church and the crude US army in it, looking as if they would prepare to attack the statue of Virgin Mary. Then we see Last-Supper-like images of a US and a Vietnamese family having dinner, the war erupting, and then brutal flashes of the US armies and officials having a loud, sumptuous dinner party, drinking, laughing and having fun. We see these images of abundance again from time to time, overlapping with scenes of destruction and suffering. At the end, an all-loving Virgin Mary holds a Vietnamese baby as her baby Jesus, shedding a tear. Watching it, you find yourself giving in to the strongly emotionally manipulative imagery, aware of it as you may be, and cannot shake the feeling of indignation and sadness.

Little 8th Route Army (You Lei, 1973, PRC) also uses music, preach-like education and children as powerful propaganda tools to glorify Maoism during the Cultural Revolution. The children are very eager to join the fight, but are skillfully and warmly directed by the army leaders towards other ways of helping the fight – gathering food. The music is always cheerful and adventurous when the Chinese are conversing and planning, and always slows down when the Japanese soldiers enter the scene. We find the trope of the little innocent child being shot here as well, this time not only to generate feelings of indignation, but also to set the basis for dignified revenge: the wounded little girl’s brother swears revenge, and, through a brave ritualistic passing into ‘adulthood’, puts his mark on the army’s victory, kills one of the Japanese generals, and is given a gun, as a symbol of his passage and heroic recognition.

A list of the winning animation can be found here: http://www.stoptrik.eu/news/2016/10/31/6th-stoptrik-iff-in-maribor-winners-and-laureates.

Ioana Sileanu