WHAT DO WE DO? HOW DO WE DO IT? AND WHY?
These are three most common questions that people ask us. In a conversation with friends, around the dinner table with family, during presentations… It is normal, it happens because people care and are curious. When it comes to us, to our work at NOMADWAYS, we believe that youth work is an important piece on the social pyramid. Therefore it is important that anyone who asks gets an answer and feels like they understand what we do, how and why! So family, friends, colleagues, acquaintances and everyone else, here is our answer. We deeply hope you understand it and above that you will join us in this venture.
WHAT DO WE DO?
We develop art-making workshops in collaboration with artists, social activists, researchers, pedagogs and youth workers from a variety of cultures and disciplines. Our workshops give them a chance to explore and exploit artistic, social and pedagogical ideas, theories, methods, tools and practices together. We blend artistic disciplines and styles, combine intense performing action with philosophical, anthropological and social engagement. In doing so, we inspire learning, creativity and social engagement.
The educational component is central to our projects. Our members and participants often hosts workshops, hold lectures and make public performances at various public venues and arts festivals as a result of taking part in our activities. Through art making and dialogue, we invite everyone to question their ideas and positions and cultivate lifelong learning!
HOW DO WE DO IT?
By developing social and artistic projects, bringing together youth workers, artists and young leaders and providing them with a space to share their experiences and expertise in the field of using art based methods in youth work, we encourage our participants to develop concrete strategies on how to ensure that this kind of activities have a long lasting and sustainable impact on their target groups, understood both as young people at risk of social exclusion as well as the communities they are and want to be integrated into.
Working with groups of youth at risk is a very sensitive topic that requires especially careful approaches and methods which can provide a safe space for people to express their problems and needs without a fear of being judged or misunderstood. In vast majority of cases people from socially vulnerable groups are facing various challenges in their daily lives, hence there is a great need to give them an opportunity to express the emotions they are experiencing and at the same time to encourage them to focus on finding positive solutions.
Arts humanise us – we feel and think things we would not otherwise have felt or thought. It has the potential for transformation and change, and it elicits that most sophisticated and necessary of human emotions: empathy. Arts, culture and cultural heritage therefore have a huge potential to inspire people’s personal and social development in many ways. Creative activities are a powerful tool that can help participants discover their inner potential and increase their level of self-awareness. For example, methods based on theater or circus are often perceived as an effective way to support individuals and groups struggling with problems, helping them expressing, understanding and overcoming their emotions.
AND WHY DO WE DO ALL THIS?
Nomadways believes in active and participatory people who aren’t afraid to learn, build and create meaning from exchanging ideas and artistic tools. Because we are persuaded of the global benefit of building a common European identity and cultural heritage, to help us reflecting upon and questioning our practices, for which arts can certainly contribute enormously, Nomadways is committed to developing pedagogical projects, involving young people and youth workers in and out of Europe! This is our brick to the European and human edifice!
As an organisation Nomadways is resembling a living organism with its own energy, identity and creativity.
Our foundation is an enthusiasm to best serve our artivist mission. Our work is based on solidarity in action. We act with uncompromising honesty, transparency and integrity in everything we do. We are open, responsible and trustworthy in dealing with co-workers and the communities where we have an impact.
We constantly strive to improve in everything we do. Guiding by our passion we embrace changes. We don’t try to foresee and control but rather we try and feel. It looks like riding a bike – we don’t plan the route and then ride with closed eyes strictly following the plan. We take a look at the road, ride, check around and constantly adapt. We don’t look for the best possible solution in advance, but rather look for a realist solution that can be tried fast.
We recognize that our strength and our advantage is — and always will be — people. We believe that unless proven otherwise, everyone is fundamentally good and there is no concurrence: only allies who help to achieve our mission. We will continually learn, and share ideas and knowledge. We will encourage any efforts serving our mission at every level and across all activities, because we believe that the more you try to be useful by taking on a new role and responsibilities, the more you’ll be appreciated and trusted. We also invest time and energy to welcome newcomers. We value the skills, strengths and perspectives of each individual member. We will foster a participatory organisation that enables people to get involved in making decisions about their work that advance our common objectives as well.
Even though we are part of an international team committed to artivist mission we support personal renewal, well-being, work & life balance and recognize difference between personal interests and needs of organisations. The health and safety of our members are paramount, because someone unhappy can’t perform in 100%. Within a team we can ask each other favours, help identify needs of the others or propose solutions without imposing any outcome. Evaluations are made and received with love, acceptation and connection.
We invite our partners and participants for dialogue looking for collective learning and best practices. We are open for exchange and welcome new ideas and contributions to progress.
We communicate openly and honestly and build our relationships based on trust, respect and caring. Internal and external communication is based on transparency: everything is accessible to everyone so that everyone can make informed decisions. We base our decision making process on consensus. However, tensions and disagreements between us are good, because through them we learn, develop resilience and a feeling of ownership. Any conflictual situations we are trying to face and transform openly.
We make our work a safe space. We are welcome to show your soul and bring our humanity to work (including moods, animals, family members, partners,…)
Profit is necessary and work deserves payment. However, our goal is to realize our mission, not make profit. Profit is like breathing: we need it to live though we don’t live to breath.
Nomadways is characterized by a flat structure. There is no hierarchy so there is no promotion. Our director’s role is to represent Nomadways to the exterior, hold the space for self-governance, behave authentically, inviting wholeness from everyone, listen and direct with asking advice.
We follow the magics of self-governance. In our own areas of responsibility we feel ownership and put all our hearts to coordinate them. There isn’t a unique good way to solve difficulties. We are asking about others opinion and whatever is proposed is accepted unless somebody says no. Naturally, the more experienced team members take on more responsibilities and delegate easier tasks to the newest or least experienced.