Young people use movement, dance and film to overcome communication and intercultural barriers.

“When we dance, we’re all the same.” The words of one participant get right to the heart of what the Youth Exchange “Imagine Rhythm” manages to do in a remarkable way: bring together young people who would otherwise hardly be able to communicate with each other at all. Because, among the total of 36 participants from Armenia, Germany and Switzerland, there are 8 young people whose hearing difficulties or deafness mean that linguistic isolation is part of everyday life.

The objective of the project is to break down language and intercultural inhibitions. For this purpose, the young people spend ten days in a scouts’ hostel in Uster (ZH). Besides dance and movement, the different worlds in which the participants live are the main topics of workshops and discussions. But other small gestures also contribute to mutual understanding: every day, the young people learn a few expressions in sign language and, in this way, gain an insight into the world of expression of deaf people and those with hearing difficulties.

Despite their different requirements, the young people find a common language In various movement and dance workshops with the assistance of two interpreters. Together, they work on a modular dance performance . At the end of the project, they perform it in various public places in the city of Zurich. The unusual performance combines starting points from sign language with free dance. And, in actual fact, anyone watching the group performing and how they move to the music with each other, cannot see any differences, only things in common.

The “Imagine Rhythm” project took place from 12th till 21st August 2017 in Uster (ZH). A total of 36 hearing, hard-of-hearing and deaf young people from Switzerland, Germany and Armenia met during the exchange project. The project was organised by the Lucerne organisation Subkult in cooperation with the Armenian non-governmental organisation Doctor Cinema. The project was funded by the Movetia agency within the framework of the Youth in Action programme. As part of the Swiss solution for Erasmus+, the Youth in Action programme supports exchange and mobility projects for young people or youth workers from Switzerland. 

Would you like to apply for support for your youth project? The next deadline for applications is 11th October 2017. You’ll find the conditions for participating a project here.

If you have any questions, please contact the Youth in Action team.