Arts Lab report: The learning achievements of April

Well, time passes. It's the natural rule of the universe, and none of us humans are able to change it. The only thing we can do is to adapt ourselves to the unimaginable schedule of time. 

My second month passed as well. Days have become longer, the season changed, the nature' passion for development has become more clear. I also developed... well, this is not a surprise. I am part of nature. 

It was a strange month, nothing seemed to happen, but so many things happened. I changed a lot. 

It started like the previous month, I was in isolation with my 3 housemates. We were continuing the tasks which Mihaela gave us, trying to be productive and reach as many people as possible. I kept creating the menu for the youth center cafeteria, and drawing other things on my computer. I can safely say that I wasn't enjoying digital drawing so much before, but I figured out it was only lack of practice. More I draw on the computer, the more I like it. This was a new discovery about me, to be able to 'like' digital arts.
Meantime, we were completing April's most enjoyable task. We created a music video about Covid-19! Yes, it sounds weird and not funny at all. The main idea was creating a song which can entertain people during those boring days of self isolation, meanwhile remind them some basic acts to protect from the virus. Starting from writing the lyrics to the end of the music video, we tried to be creative and fun. The result was amazing, we made a song which includes "Wash your hands for 20 seconds, make sure to use soap and water" and "If you wanna be romantic, stay home and watch Titanic!" at the same time. We found a trap beat and rapped for the first time in our lives (with a little, far help from my brother). The shooting part was the most creative one, we even danced on the roof of the house! Well, as I've experienced (and loved!) acting, it wasn't so hard for me. But I can say we all broke our shyness and gained more self confidence somehow. This task also reminded me how I missed acting practices and how I forgot I was enjoying it. So it gave me the idea of working on this field more starting from that day. Anyway, in the end we also had really good responses from people who watched it, mission accomplished! 

Apart from those funny moments, we also had a task to present our countries. I've made a slide for Turkey, the place I call home. I've started with the basic information; a little part of the history, the meaning of the flag, the regions, the weather, and so on. As I was going deeper in culture and the places, I discovered something so much that I couldn't ignore, the truth about my feelings for my country. Well, I've never been a nationalist. In some period of my life I was feeling that I don't belong to my country. I've always complained about the politics, the beliefs of the society, even the traditions. I didn't know, or I didn't want to agree that, even though I am not a big fan of the land, I was born there and I have the codes from the culture on all my presence. I can't deny that I express like a Turkish, think like a Turkish, dream like Turkish, because it's not only about the collective history, the marks which are scratched to your personality is creating your individual history. It comes from your family from centuries ago and creates your 'self'. And believe it or not, internally you belong to that place. That discovery, with only one task, changed my point of view a lot.

While we were busy at home with the online tasks, we had a change with our Romanian language lessons. We've still been doing them online due to the situation, but our teacher has changed and we've met with Florin. Our lessons went up once every two days, for one hour. His method of teaching is slightly different from Ioana's, so we started focusing on different aspects with the language. And in my case, meeting someone else has always been inspiring so I can say this change was good in a way. 

We also continued online meetings with our lovely mentor, Nikolia. She was helping us with the Youthpass. I couldn't find out until she showed us how, but I've gained many skills according to the key competences. Also we had some personal support from her. We are so lucky to have a mentor like her! 

Well, as I said before, the season changed. Spring came slowly, we could already feel the warm weather and we started spending more time in our garden. Especially I enjoyed our outdoor painting sessions with Eliana. I think we both developed our watercolor skills by painting long hours in the garden, with the accompaniment of our coffees. 

Coming to the end of the month, we all were pretty excited about the restrictions that will ease soon. With the papers Mihaela arranged for us, we started working in the Youth Center one by one, which was a really good change we all needed. Now we are more focused on our projects, after staying home for all those weeks, hoping that the whole crisis will end soon and we will be more interactive with the people of this city we've been living in for two months. 

It's not an easy time, sometimes the anxiety can be unbearable. People are alone with their own thoughts mostly. I don't know if everyone can realize it, but those are the best times to know yourself. I've discovered so much about me, by myself or with the other beautiful people I'm passing through with. Let's all wait and see, the time will do its magic and everything is going to be alright again. 

Written by Deniz Ataman

Deniz is European volunteer for 8 months, in Arts Lab 2.0 project,  funded by European Solidarity Corps, with the support of European Union.


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