El Mar del Mig is an amazing short cartoon film explaining the importance of the Mediterranean for our history, our culture and our identities. It is an imaginative piece of art which shows how much the current anti-immigration policies which refuse the notion of a common destiny are denying and opposing this heritage. Maydan hosts it as a contribution to the great work carried out by Irènia – Jocs de Pau, a Catalan organisation, and Yorgos Konstantinou, the artist who drew the cartoons. Irènia – Jocs de Pau is a new Maydan partner.
What is Irènia – Jocs de Pau?
Irenia – Jocs de Pau (peace games) is the name of a collective made up of working professionals and teachers, settled in Catalonia, from a wide range of educational backgrounds and experiences; all are conscious of the need to work towards a culture of peace through educational projects which are designed to develop responsible citizenship.
The collective actively supports and uses teaching and learning approaches through emotional engagement as well as academic knowledge; they base their activities on play, which is seen as an educational resource. A wide range of games (using simulation, role-play or board games) allows participants to see reality through a lens which is different from their own and step into the shoes of other people.
Through its programmes and activities, Irenia brings people closer to a culture of peace, to a knowledge of different cultures, of inequalities and conflicts within the contemporary world, and, specifically, within the Mediterranean region.
Irenia offers a wide range of workshops and activities designed for different age groups within schools and other education centres, including Inset teaching for teachers and trainers.
The rapid population increase of non-EU citizens in Europe in the last 20 years due to migratory flows has led to local authorities developing specific programmes to address social cohesion issues. These programmes are aimed at aiding to normalise and visualise the positive aspects of this new context of multiculturalism, to prevent conflict and to combat the racism and xenophobia that accompanies the fear of the diverse or unknown. These problems are particularly poignant for immigration flows originating in the Maghreb region, in Muslim countries as well as in other regions around the world that have an important presence in Europe.
Since 1998 Irenia has been implementing intercultural programmes of workshops in primary and secondary schools in several Catalan Municipalities aiming at promoting values that allow the construction of a culture of peace and conflict mediation among children and youngsters. The philosophy surrounding this programme is that it is essential to work within the formal education sector, since it is precisely there, at classroom, where children of native Europeans and non-European immigrants interact; where the foundations for current and future living together take their roots.
Thus, the organisation’s general objective is to promote intercultural education, focussed on the Mediterranean Region in the classroom and, in this way, to contribute to the construction of a Mediterranean identity and community of responsible, coherent and critical citizens in an increasingly diverse world.
March 24, 2019.