One Caucasus is not only a festival but also a long-term borderland program. Together with local communities, we organize workshops for youth from Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan. We focus on creating and running interdisciplinary workshops oriented on the learning-by-doing method.
Our educators and local communities are creating new educational initiatives across the Kvemo-Kartli region.
During the six editions of One Caucasus, we ran 71 different workshops/cycles of workshops led by educators coming from 36 countries (5 continents) for at least 1100 kids from 24 villages (Armenian, Azerbaijani, Georgian, Greek, and Armenian-Azerbaijani) of Marneuli region. Since 2018, One Caucasus started to work with the youth of the Bolnisi region as well.
One Caucasus Education Program varies year on year, though the philosophy or our work remains. Our practical approach consists of learning by doing method, participatory planning, and by people for people approach. Our experience in education is based on merging the art disciplines (visual arts, video, animation, photography, music, performance, theater, dance, creative writing, etc.) with social and educational areas (learning languages, coding and programming, public space awareness and architecture, initiating local initiative, research, history, etc). We base our educational activities in villages across the region on the following structure:
- research/mapping – participating kids work in teams to find unobvious spaces in their village, collect stories by interviewing elders, etc.,
- inventing story – basing on research/mapping results – the kids invent new elements and together with educators/artists they create scenarios that will be artwork,
- creating art projects – the kids participate in creating a process based on scenarios – using experience, the know-how of artists/ educators – they learn to work with various art methods, at the final stage – professional artists take a lead in transforming the work of participants into the professional art forms (editing films, animations, preparing installations, multi-event art-walks or such forms as for example preparing a 3D model of the future center of Aghmamedlo village conducted by Tunisian architect and educator Reem Chaki),
- presenting artworks to the public – the works are later presented in specially designed by OC architects – Education and Art Corners of One Caucasus Town during the festival.
Education Programs each year
in 2020 One Caucasus Education Program was pretty diverse and unique. Our team our educators representing 9 countries held 15 different workshops such as Model Building in Tserakvi, that allowed local youth to develop the model of the new space for recreation they would like to see in their village, or the workshops on moviemaking in Shaumiani, Shulaveri, Mareti and Sadakhlo villages, as well as Animation Workshops in Mareti kids by a professional animator. The Festival was also filled with various workshops on-site for the youth participating such as Creative Poetry Writing, Handmade Mandalas, Sports, etc. In 2020 we also introduced full scale research-to-evaluation approach - which resulted in released evaluation report.
in 2019 One Caucasus Education Program was created by an international team of artists, animators, architects, activists, filmmakers, and volunteers. Dozens of new products were created such as new videos, maps, artbooks, documentaries, paintings, etc. The Program covered such villages as Damia, Sioni, Shulaveri, Tserakvi, and others. The Festival featured the results of young residents of Marneuli and Bolnisi municipalities and other target groups.
In 2018, One Caucasus had a unique edition in sense of its location (as the One Caucasus Program and Festival moved for a year to Bolnisi municipality) and of its activities. Some of the most prominent activities back in 2018 were art-walks in Bolnisi town, Khachini village, and Poladauri. Moreover, our teams of international artists created art exhibition spaces and organized various types of workshops during the Festival.
That year our teams made various workshops in such villages as Shaumiani, Shulaveri, Aghmamedlo, Tsiteli Sopeli, Araplo, and Tserakvi. The scope of the activities went along with the approach of participatory planning, mapping, creative writing, filming, etc. Six videos as the results of the workshops were created and exhibitions of the results were made during the 2017 One Caucasus Festival.
The 2016 Program of Education of One Caucasus was one of the largest in sense of scale and coverage. Here is the list of some of the best activities from 2016:
The Academy of Informal Education of Marneuli region.
The Academy was designed to transform the unique educational experiences of One Caucasus workshops into an all-year Informal Education Program that was conducted in towns and villages across the Marneuli region. The first phase of the workshop took place in the city of Marneuli from 1st to 6th of August 2016. 17 teachers and educators from the area were invited to join interactive, non-formal workshops led by experienced trainers. They were introduced to the non-formal education methods and tools which they can use in their everyday work back at their schools. The second phase was the co-operation with the international educators and to practice with them their skills in the framework of One Caucasus. The last phase consists of starting and conducting their own informal education initiatives. uWorkshops and artistic interventions 11-28th of August 2016
From the 11th to the 28th of August international educators teamed up with the teachers from the Academy of Informal Education in order to work with the local communities. By the means of several interdisciplinary workshops, they gathered stories, legends, and knowledge about the region. As the result, a Local Multilayered Archive will be created and presented during the One Caucasus Festival.
In 2015 the One Caucasus Education Program covered various places and activities including:
StoryPuri: The history of a region and its people is hidden in the flavors of local cuisine. We started to collect and revitalize the recipes and stories of the four ethnicities of the Marneuli region: Azeris, Armenians, Georgian, and Greek.
Caucasus News + Cartoon-Making Workshop: This year, the kids are involved in an interdisciplinary movie project called “Caucasus News”. In other words, they work as a TV Station by creating their own news using different methods such as stop-motion cartoons and standard reporter-style shooting. The workshop’s aim is to bring kids from the Armenian, Azerbaijani, and Georgian villages of the Marneuli district together. Mixed teams will assume functions such as reporters, journalists, animators, cameramen, sound engineers, etc.
Computer-Programming through Fun: The main goal of this workshop is to introduce the idea that computer programming can be a creative and fun activity. While working in SCRATCH, children create their own interactive stories, games, or animations with the possibility of sharing them with others in the online community. Workshops are a great opportunity to: learn the innovative and algorithmic way of thinking, develop analytical skills and also collaborate and reason in logical and efficient ways.
Children in Words: We work with local kids using short forms of literature and inspire them to write their own stories.
Let’s English It: During the “Let’s English it” workshop, kids learn English through having fun and while enjoying learning songs. Moreover, common singing makes kids more confident and inspires to learn languages.
What is communication? How to communicate with strangers?: This year our long–term volunteers and trainers Naila Huseynli and Irakli Mikiani involved Azerbaijan teenagers to the Communication workshop. The master class called “What is communication? How to communicate with strangers”. The main goal of the workshop is to get information about the forms of communication, norms, and values of other cultures, improve communication and discussion skills, express feeling, making empathy.
In 2014 the Education program - being the first such program within the One Caucasus was challenging as well as unique. The set of workshops included types of events such as music workshops by professional musicians (ex: workshops by Julian Chambers for the local young musicians), workshops of journalism, filmmaking, designing, comics, animations, video-cartoon making, and last but now least - the amazing workshops by the gospel professional from UK/Jamaica Clive Brown who visited One Caucasus specifically for creating the unique new international music workshops and projects with local young musicians in Marneuli and Tbilisi, and to perform the new music at the One Caucasus Festival.