In Georgia, by the end of 2019, CaYNex and Closer Europe Institute organized the project “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Digital Galaxy” supported by the Erasmus+ program. During this project, the youth was learning how with the help of digital storytelling to widen their abilities and to be able to share their own stories.
Together with the representatives of the non-governmental organizations from Georgia, Moldova, Italy, Poland, France, Armenia, and Lithuania in the exchange also participated members of FRI: Dima Nosov, Valeria Cherniak and Alex Tkachynskyi. So here are some motivations and details from the project that weren’t mentioned before.
1. What influenced you to make a decision to fill the application from to this storytelling project in Georgia?
Dmytro: The topic of the project was interesting, and also the fact that I will go to Georgia with my FRI colleagues since I’ve been dreaming of visiting this country for a long time.
Valeria: The word combination. I love writing stories, playing with senses and searching for the root causes. Storytelling is important for that. Keeping the audience’s attention without digital technologies is almost impossible today. How to learn to do it? This matter made me ask questions once I heard about the project.
Olexandr: Digital storytelling – it is a format of work with youth that is seldom used in Ukraine. As I communicate a lot with the youth any new digitally oriented methods may be useful for my personal and career growth.
2. What was useful?
Dmytro: I learned to create videos in ShotCut and learned more new English words. Regarding the new vocabulary, that’s what we did with the other participants: if anybody forgot the English word, it was forbidden to use the translator or to change the whole sentence. Instead, we were supposed to describe the word by saying examples or defining it until someone understands it. That helped to get more speaking practice.
Valeria: New teambuilding games, facilitator work and the studying itself. For example, I learned how to record the voice without background noise. At first, you need to print out the text to avoid the laptop noises. Then, you have to cover yourself with the blanket and pay attention that the distance to the microphone was not too short (otherwise you would get unwanted sounds like “b” and “p”) and so that it was not too long either (or it would be too silent). And of course, record voice not more than 3 times.
Olexandr: The format of work, its possibilities and the sphere of use.
3. What was the brightest moment of the project?
Dmytro: It seems to me that it was our first trip from Tbilisi to Bakuriani. We got a flat tire and so we all went out and started to chat and to get to know each other.
Valeria: The tour to Rabati. After we told our stories the organizers organized a trip to the ancient city of Rabati for us. I liked everything: from architecture and landscape views to our teamed atmosphere and jokes every now and then.
Olexandr: When we edited our stories, we sat in the circle and presented the stories to each other on the big screen. Every participant shared something intimate and important for him, and it created an atmosphere of trust.
4. What was your biggest achievement of the project?
Dmytro: I had very friendly relationships with all the participants and I had enough time to communicate and learn something new. There was no participant who I knew bad or didn’t have a chance to talk. And considering the fact that I am learning English, I had to use all these words which I already know.
Valeria: I could create the video the way I wanted to see it. I tried to carefully consider all the scenes and choose actors. It helped me to look at myself and understand how nice it is when you organize something with a cool team.
Olexandr: I was able to draw a cartoon, even though I think my illustration abilities are very poor. But I managed to do it very cool.
5. What result do you feel? Do you observe any change in your life after the project?
Dmytro: Obviously there is a change, I know more about the cultures of other countries. I already participated in different international projects. And here was a whole international European company, I enjoyed it a lot. I got rid of the stereotypes.
Valeria: I started writing. Every evening as by the alarm clock I sit down and write another poesie. I also keep in touch with Moldova, Lithuania, Italy, and France. Almost everyday I learn new pictures of the everyday life of these countries. Moreover, it’s been a few times that I got invitations to conquer the world. That’s why I see the change and not only feel it.
Olexandr: I feel more confident when telling important for me stories to the public.
6. How do you plan to use the gained during the activities knowledge?
Dmytro: I have an idea to film my own videos and write new stories as I did for this project. The project really helped me to consolidate this knowledge.
Valeria: I want to create my own educational project. This knowledge gave it a fundamental base. In fact, I got an idea for a new international project and I hope to organize it!
Olexandr: The Ukrainian participants and I are planning to create a workshop for storytelling in Kyiv. We’ll see how it goes.
7. What can you say to those who doubt about filling the application form?
Dmytro: Don’t hesitate and don’t be afraid! Sometimes the topic of the project is not as important as the experience of communication with foreign people, it helps you to open new horizons. Although the correctly chosen topic can help you to grow professionally.
Valeria: At first you have to think of the wanted result. And then fill the application. When you read the motivation letters of other people, you can clearly see their inner motivations. And if you want to be selected think thoroughly about your own motivations. Try to understand what this project may give to you. And when the project makes a change, then the motivation to new achievements appears itself.
Olexandr: Everyone finds in the project what he searches regardless of the location and topic of the studying. But I suggest you think in advance why you need this exact training and to work at the achievement of your goal.