EDUCATHE 2013 – iskustva sudionika

Sudionici Educathe radionice održane 2013. godine u Centru za kulturu Trešnjevka su nakon radionica i odličnog nastupa upitani da dobrovoljno prenesu svoje iskustvo tijekom radionica.

Kako oni jedini mogu opisati svoje iskustvo, njihova iskustva prenosimo u cijelosti i na engleskom jeziku (jeziku na kojem je održana radionica). Teksta ima malo više, ali isplati se pročitati.


When I got to Zagreb I did not know what to expect I thought it may be like being back at school and if i got things wrong people would laugh but I need not have worried it was one of the best expiriences in my life.Everyday was something new I learned to do so many new things everybody was warm and helpfull i did not think i would be able to understand so much but it was perfect. I think the workshop acomplished everything, People with disability and people without, all working together and helping each other.It was a wonderful experience,the people i met, the things I learned to do, will stay with me forever.

Thank you Ivan and all the team I feel very lucky to have met you and thank you for all that you have done.

S.M. (Romania)

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I admit I applied to this workshop and performance without thinking. Being a part of public performance for me was great challenge. So, after I’ve applied for EDUCATHE, I started thinking: „I’ve applied for theatre workshop and performance! Workshop – sounds familiar; theatre – I think that’s not for me; performance – How can I perform?” There were just few questions in my head, but it seemed like there were thousand of them. According to my previous experience, theatre was perfect structured and solid place. From my point of view, in theatre, there was no point were you could make a mistake or be relaxed.

And that’s also how EDUCATHE started. Lots of unknown people started meeting each other, using well known workshop methods, and then – making masks, in pars. It’s not enough to say I was surprised – I was shocked! While we were putting plaster on each other faces, I was wondering what could me next.  Although removing masks was the logical following step, it wasn’t easy to remove the mask, symbolically leaving our everyday roles, and – come into the theatre.

As expected, the stage and the auditorium seemed to be too large for me, I was only a small part of the story. However, daily “stage research”, as the facilitators called it, enabled me to get used to the stage. Discomfort lifted, and capabilities of every participant and the whole group came forward. Combining capabilities of individuals, we were creating scenes together, and finding ways to show something what was really familiar to all of us – daily facing with discrimination. Formula was very simple: line of fun, line of serious, and so on. The message was clear: no one is immune to prejudice and discrimination, but with knowledge we can overcome them.

Educational theatre was a perfect place for that. With every rehearsal, performance was better and better, and we became more and more self-confident. Finally, regardless of the stage fright, we were so excited that we couldn’t wait to start performance.

The audience seemed to have recognized it and our enthusiasm was transferred to them. As a conclusion, I’m sure that our performance wasn’t perfect, but we enjoyed every minute of it. All in all, it was kind of difficult to get back to reality and to continue with our everyday life and to accept that this beautiful experience was now behind us.

I.Š. (Croatia)

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This was a wonderful experience for me. I could  not imagine how different people can gather from all over the Europe and do something really incredible.

So we start from the yoga exercises of Dijana, the delicious food and the great nights – especially at the Lemon club.

I find this workshop very useful to me as all the staff we did can be turned into practice. Also I began noticing some facts of the every day life which I have not pared attention to before.

I am really grateful to have such an opportunity to meet so many different people who at the end became one of my closest friends.

If anybody has anytime such an opportunity – just go ahead.

If I have to describe the whole experience briefly I would say that we have not only shown the public how to overcome discrimination of people with disabilities. We actually have shown them how we OVERCAME it.

And last but not least, I had the time of my life.

Special thanks to Ivan Hromatko, the culture central staff, the volunteers and of course all the participants.

M. G. (Bulgaria)

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It is already a few days go since I had to pack my bag for leaving Zagreb, but when I close my eyes I still travel back fast. I see little scenes like us laughing a lot while trying to invent a little choreography for the lion girls. And this memory is definitely golden!

Reflecting on how close we became in such a small period of time turns my heart into a melted marshmallow. Before coming I was slightly nervous about the group, myself and everything to come. But when we started the workshop the group went from a bunch of strangers to a stock of bees within minutes.

If you ask me what I gained during this intense time there are thousand little things. To mention a few:

Educathie will help me work with similar groups as a lot of worries have vanished. I not only got a great insight into the process of creating theatre with such a mixed group but as well learned to trust that same process.

For the first time in my life I had the chance to communicate with deaf people. An experience that made me aware of my own insensibility and unveiled the great potential of non verbal communication to me. A subject I am eager to explore deeper.

And last but not least, the time I had in Zagreb was a great reminder of how little age, physical ability or nationality matter.

Thanks to all of the EDUCATHE  2013 familie for this memory like golden honey.

R.B. (Germany)

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What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.

Mental state, cut from reality, where you can be someone else than you. I tried to interpret to myself the liminal state. I read carefully everything Grundtvig workshop sent me. They were texts collected from the lectures of culture anthropology Victor Turner. I did not understand a bit. ”The liminal state is universal and a basic experience of being a human person…” Communitas… gee! Where on earth I was going to go.


I had picked up the most interesting words from the workshop list. Disability – I have a lot of experience from that, personal and seen by -experiences. Discrimination – us small poor bastards, we get always kicked around. Theatre – on the stage I have been a mouse, a stone and an angry dwarf. It is theatre in spite that audience has been mostly friends & relatives.

Croatia, Zagreb.

In Finland my parents talked a lot about the war. We had three timezones in our family: before the war, during the war & after the war. I was born after the war and I have lived all my life after-the-war time. On-going liminal state? My children live a different time. And I have never been in Zagreb.

War tourism?

In 1994 I designed a book cover to a book by Slavenka Drakulic, croatian author, The Balkan Express – short stories of the other side of the war. At that time I understood the Balkan war as well as to day’s war in Syria. Though The Balkan war happened in Europe, geographically in more Western Europe than Finland. Zagreb by Drakulic was more European that my hometown Helsinki. She had Laura Ashley’s wallpapers in her bedroom. On the book cover I used red, black and shades of gray.


Heartily welcome. So friendly and warm, that I forgot my luggage twice unattended on the airport floor. It was not stolen, police did not confiscate it, nothing happened. Everything was taken care of: transports, cozy hotel, food, tram tickets – absolutely everything.

Cold feet.

Now it is my duty to counteract to all this organizing and caring. For sure the others must be very very talented. For sure they speak fluent English and know all the theatre theories, sociology and they even understand that liminal state. They get into it in lotus posture just like all meditating vegan humanists. And nothing happens in me. Sitting on the floor is awful.

The Others.

If they are equally lost? Seventeen people of which most of them don’t know each other. We are from eleven different countries. But they are nice, polite, ordinary and funny. Nobody is The Diva or The Attention Craving Neurotic. It is nice to talk to them from the first minute. They are open minded and they speak English in large variety of dialects. Everyone in his or her own way, but it does not matter. We understand each other well. Me make friends in one day. How did it happen so fast? In my age you just don’t make new friends like that any more.

The Theatre.

The stage is dark and worn. It is like from Tove Jansson’s book Dangerous Midsummer, but the stage is not floating wildly on the high water. Iinstead it stands solidly in the Tresnjevka Cultural Center, over a spring fresh park. I like the stage, floodlights in the ceiling, all the equipment, especially I like the narrow balcony close to the ceiling. From there you could scatter snowflakes, shiny glitter and hang down ropes & props.


We have six days to produce a performance. There is no director for us. No manuscript. We have sessions which hopefully clarify what we are meant to do. But all the decisions are left to us. What now followed, I could write pages of confused explanations, but I do not even try to. We make rehearsals, here I feel as an outsider, but I just go with the group. I think too much, I try to reason, I can’t let go. But we laugh a lot and the group sucks me in. In two days we are like old friends who have known each other and been together for a long time.

In the evenings we drink wine and laugh even more. We don’t criticize each other, we are not competing with each other, we feel childlishly cosy being together. Three days before the performance I resign my preconceptions. If the performance turns out like nothing, then let it be like that. So what. These people, we together, we are a lot more than one performance.

Cultural differences.

I waited for and tried to avoid cultural differences. In vain. Different cultures turned out more like interesting personalities. But in some conversations I felt like walking on a thin ice, don’t brake it.

The Performance.

I take a note from the basket: “She realised that theatre is not about understanding what’s going on. It’s about meeting something you don’t know.” Anne Bogart about the NEW! I still dont’ get it, but our chaos starts to mold into acts. Strangely they start to link to each other. On Saturday, four days after we met, we have a structure, we have put together a performance about disability and discrimination. Where did it come from? I don’t understand. The overall feeling has something which I could compare to the ideological arousals in the early 70’s. We have a powerful message which we all agree with.

And then.

Of course some part of me would like to analyze the process, ask questions. Did we anyway have leaders in our group? If the process had lasted longer, had the spell broken? Had we separated into different & opposing groups? Is it this easy to join a group of unknown people under a same ideology? At what time you start to think as a group? We are just like hippie commune with our joint friendship.

Via Negativa.

You don’t have to understand everything. I hope I can keep this spell and not to dissolve it with too much thinking & analyzing. Everything I got from the workshop was like a gift, which came by a surprise, unearned and I am very thankful of it.


I let it go. Too profound to me.


During the week I had time to see few streets, some parks and couple of shops. If the same happened in Finland, what happened in Croatia, could Helsinki be like Zagreb? Maybe. But this is an old town in Europe. Many people speak good english. But still I don’t ask them, whether they live in three timezones.

R.S. (Finland)

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First of all I felt really privileged when I received the message that I had the opportunity to assist the EDUCATHE workshop. And now after the workshop I have this feeling even more.

I am a lucky person to have experienced this impressive week with people from so many different countries and cultures. This workshop brought us all together and in only seven days we realised a performance wich was received by the audience with love tears and respect.

For me the soul of the workshop was the process that lead us to this performance.

Within this theatre-experience personal contacts were made, we shared emotions, knowledge, culture, toughts, ideas, energy, fun, tenderness, feelings, fears, frustrations, friendship, interests, humour, pain, hope and believe and much much more.

I have learned a lot. I have learned things about myself, about working together, about motivation, about organising, relaxing, not to judge, believing, being open, being open to ‘the other’, being myself without fear.

In my professional life I’m an actrice and a theatremaker for inclusive performances.

As we all had to leave our ‘masks’ of everyday life and function behind I have tried to not be the ‘theatredirector’. That was like a balancing exercise. Sometimes I felt that with an intervention I could get things more efficient in the working process but then I tried to be more at the background and observe how other participants took a leading role and how the interaction worked out. It was beautiful to see how chaos comes and how chaos gets organised, even when it took sometimes quite a while. I was always thinking about ‘shall I intervene or not’ and I felt that for this process and experience I did not want to have a leading role, as I’m used to this in the work I do. I had to let go off my tendency to lead, to guide and I felt that when I did this, wich was sometimes difficult, this gave me confidence and a feeling of openness. This experience will be always on my side from now on.

I prepared a short workshop within the Educathe workshop, to share something of myself. As my work and my life are completely connected I wanted to share something of the way I work. I was very very happy and grateful to feel that it was received well by the group.

Before the workshop really started I was not sure about what was expected from me. Bit by bit I realised that that particular feeling was allready part of the experience and the process.

I am convinced that the building of this project from the beginning to the end was very well organised. Organised in a professional, enjoyable comfortable way for all of us.

As all practical matters and motivating information were build up very well, this gave me a feeling of exitement and trust at the same time.

The Tresjnevka Cultural Centre where we were received in such an efficient, professional and warm way, is really a lovely place where I absolutely want to come back. I felt so much care and respect from the team working there that I regret not to live in Zagreb!

Thank you all for the opportunity I had to be part of this wonderful experience.

It changed me and gave me lots of force to go on both in life and work.

C. R. (Belgium)

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Happily, I’m still in process with how we all co-existed in terms of the EDUCATHE workshop, but also out of it. Last sentence in my short “interview” was that what happened there was- again- what’s happening all over around us, including us, if we take a closer look at both at the micro and macro-environments, in which we socialize and compare them…
Fortunately we were all really carefully selected, we all had/probably still have the best intentions for such a goal to achieve but I still feel some things same as before.

There is a massive cliché called “acceptance”. If there’s no understanding, no matter how, there are plenty of ways, how is one supposed to accept? And let’s say there is, what if we oppose ourselves to something, why there is such an obligation to accept it if?

I’m stating this as at a very exact point, in my perception, while using also Augusto Boal’s method and after things that Caroline and, if I’m not mistaken, Vasileios, put in, we had a stroke of “let me be your leader, master and commander” and Boal’s method turned into performance of some oppressors.
But, maybe this is something inevitable and a two-peer process, so for me in the end it felt really nice to meet you all, some of you that came closer to, even more.
Special thanks to Ivan for his presence and skills, to Dijana also for being a person so open to conversations and skills but many thanks to everybody in CEKATE for everything.

K-M. K. (Greece)

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I’ll never find right words to describe what happen with all of us in Zagreb.

It was like a miracle when 17 different in any aspect people began to think and to act in quite synchronous.

It was like a deprivation when we lost our present masks, forgot about our politely manners, our previous life experiences.

It was like a birth of new „ME” for every one of us and these new „Me” began to change us.

It was some kind of initiation when every one of us became a creator. Ours new “Me” pushed us forward and we overcame all borders in our minds, our hearts became wide open to the world and to peoples.

Our life never be the same, our heartbeat never be even, when we ‘ll think about  Zagreb. Thank you , Universe, God, Allah and Buddha  , that this Workshop took place in our life, in this time in this place with these people!


M.D. (Latvia)

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What i did in Zagreb was a lesson of life.
It was so emotional period and i felt myself ready for new explorations.
Τrying to participate in a theatrical performance with disabled people, i realized for one more time how much passion we all have for life and creation. All individuals were equal. In 7 days we had a miracle. In 7 days we created a theatrical performance working 10-11 hours per day. The tiredness was the same for everyone. The willingness was the same for everyone. The passion for the creation was the same for everyone.
Sometimes i felt that my participation gives happiness to people. My heart also was full of emotions. The performance at the end was great. I couldn’t believe it…
I think it was one of the best workshops. The leaders of the workshop did excellent job. Were so helpful and hospitable. Now, i have new friends. Together could share everything in life and who knows maybe soon we will participate in another workshop or festival.
We have a great team.

Thank you for the opportunity to be in Zagreb.

V. T. (Greece)