A few weeks ago I registered through SALTO (Support, Advanced Learning and Training Opportunities) within the European YOUTH program’s website to several training courses. To my pleasant surprise I was chosen to participate in one, which took place in Glasgow. The main objective of this training course was to explore topics such as European Citizenship, role of youth in society, human rights and democratic values in Europe.
After attending one of our professor’s concert the night before, I managed to miss my morning flight to Edinburgh. Fortunately, after paying a small fee, I could set off for the journey. After arriving to Edinburgh, I took a bus to Glasgow and there I was. We were accommodated in the Beardmore Hotel, which is run by the Golden Jubilee National Hospital. What used to be one of the largest shipyards in the UK had closed down due to financial difficulties and reopened in 1990s as hospital and hotel. Some of the rooms are named after the ships that were once built there and several scale models of the ships are placed all around the hotel corridors.
During the first day, the trainers were trying to get us to know each other better, which was more than fun. Followed by an introductory sessions, the week kicked off in a way that actively involved all of us. On Wednesday, we went to visit the city of Glasgow and after that a visit of our choice to one of the institutions or NGOs. Trongate 103, a centre for arts and creativity, seemed the most appealing to me.
We had the pleasure to have Silvia as our guide, an enthusiastic student of arts and curator of several workshops. Our tour began with a walk around the developing city center, where new art galleries, theaters and community centers began to appear. The next stop was at Trongate 103. It is a center for several Glasgow-based arts organizations, such as Project Ability, Sharmanka Kinetic Theatre, Street Level Photoworks, Glasgow Independent Studio and others.
With a year-round program, the gallery is always full of life and brings thousands of people together. Next on our tour was visiting the “Artist In Residence,” which is part of the Project Ability. The position is currently held by Tanya Raabe-Webber, who was kind enough to explain to us the aims of the project and showed us around the working space.
The next stop was at a photo gallery, focused on the Jewish community in Scotland in the 21st century, filled with pictures by Judah Passow. The mission of the exhibitions reads partly as follows: “This project explores one of the contemporary Jewish community’s defining characteristics – the ability to simultaneously acknowledge its heritage, live in the creative present, and build for the future.” With photos showing their everyday life, one could make sense of their moments of joy and happiness as well as sorrow.
The last stop was at a theater of kinetic sculptures, Sharmanka, created by Eduard Bersudsky in St. Petersburg in 1989. What was once considered to be “ideologically and aesthetically incorrect” has been exhibited in Glasgow for many years. Accompanied by live music it truly was a spectacular show.
Similarly to AAU’s International Day, we organized an international evening which gave us a chance to taste food from all over Europe. And of course, there was also alcohol – beer, wine, vodka, spirits and liqueurs. One last thing that may catch your attention — almost the whole training course is covered by SALTO in co-operation with the national agency that runs Erasmus+ projects. Who wouldn’t want to travel, meet new people, learn something new and spend almost nothing on it.