U.R.BANKSY - transforming urban realities

U.R.BANKSY - transforming urban realities
Youth Exchange in Rustavi, Georgia 

The project “U.R. Banksy Transforming Urban Realities” was held in Rustavi, Georgia, from the 7th to the 15th of October. The main idea of the event was to explore and express the problems of Europe through street art, graffiti. The project used human rights education transformative action to reflect on the issues that young people face nowadays. “U.R. Banksy” gathered 41 participants from seven countries: Georgia, Estonia, Romania, Finland, Ukraine, Norway, Armenia.

U.R.BANKSY - transforming urban realities
U.R.BANKSY - transforming urban realities

The first day started with icebreaking activities and name games. Participants were introduced to the project idea, aims and strategy. Later, after sessions, they had an informal welcome evening, a bonding night with music.

The second day started with morning stretches, energizers and teambuilding activities.  After a coffee break, participants had an intro to human rights. This session was loaded with many human rights games, small workshops and discussions. After that, Georgian group leaders presented some information about competencies and democratic citizenship. In the evening, everyone had time to prepare their own countries with their group members for an intercultural night. Later, they represented countries with their national clothes, food and art.

U.R.BANKSY - transforming urban realities
U.R.BANKSY - transforming urban realities

On the third day, the morning started with some wake-up energizers, exercising and yoga.  On the first session, group members played the game “Take a step forward” a situational game, which was oriented to show what it is like to be someone with a lack of opportunities or vice versa.  Later, group members had a discussion on inequalities in their communities, the problems that they face. Based on the last activity, the third session was built on the most common problems and they were expressed by forum theatre activity. It was held in the park of Rustavi, outside the camp where participants lived.  The Group theatre game was one of the most reflective activities. The action itself was really dynamic and all of the group members joined it to change something bad for the better. After forum theatre, group members went back to camp and had a reflection time of the day and forum theatre. 

U.R.BANKSY - transforming urban realities
U.R.BANKSY - transforming urban realities

On the fourth day, members already were introduced to street art activism and history. All the countries represented their local street art pictures, history and main ideas and problems of them. Later, all the group members had a bus to Tbilisi. They were taken to Fabrika and introduced to local graffiti art. After that, everyone had some free time. Some groups played city quest, others went to discover the city, try local foods and so on.  At 8 pm Everyone gathered at the local vegan cafe “Kiwi Cafe”.  They saw a short movie about graffiti. After a long and productive day, they took a bus back to Rustavi.

On the fifth day, the first session started with social activism and campaigning which contained basic information about activities, projects and human rights. After that, the whole day was loaded with workshops on graffiti and stencilling. Many of the group members were just beginners and did not know anything about graffiti. Thus, most experienced artists decided to make workshops on graffiti and stencils and teach basic techniques of spraying, painting and sketching. After workshops, the group had a reflection time and discussion about their schedule, organisation and activities. Later, in the evening, members had a game night with many entertaining tasks.

U.R.BANKSY - transforming urban realities
U.R.BANKSY - transforming urban realities

On the sixth day, the group started to think about the main street art that was supposed to be done by the end of the project. They had some time to brainstorm ideas. Also, a lot of sketches were done and the main principles of graffiti and sketching were explained to participants briefly. After lunch, the group went to the location to manifest learned material in action and try out everything themselves. They learned the basics of spray paint. After the day a reflection time was held, in order to review the past day, as well as plan the next one.

The seventh day was busy with workshops. The techniques of stencil, sketching and graffiti was reviewed in depth. After lunch, the group went to the main location and did the main sketches of graffiti. After that work, reflection time was held again, in order to discuss and plan how to finish sketches.

U.R.BANKSY - transforming urban realities
U.R.BANKSY - transforming urban realities
U.R.BANKSY - transforming urban realities

On the eighth day, the group went to the main location again and finished the sketches, within the course of the day. After they were finished a big Georgian Supra was held in a restaurant in Rustavi. Guests had the opportunity to try out Georgian cuisine as well as national music and communicate with locals.

On the last, ninth day of the project, the members were given information about Erasmus + projects. Also, they were given the opportunity to state their project ideas and receive some good tips from experienced trainers. Also, the project was finally evaluated from the side of the group, as well as leaders. At the end of the day the closing ceremony was held, where participants were able to say the best farewell to each other and proudly receive youth passes.

The Project “U.R Banksy gave a fundamental knowledge about human rights and taught basics of graffiti, stencil, sketching techniques. It vividly portrays the necessity of expressing civil problems through art, especially in modern youth, and signifies its meaning in everyday life once again.

U.R.BANKSY - transforming urban realities
U.R.BANKSY - transforming urban realities