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Play is Hope: Creating Community and Conversation, Thessoloniki, Greece

2.5 Intercultural-cultural communication and new forms of being
Paper in a Symposium (Symp)
3:50 PM, Mercredi 30 Août 2017 (26 minutes)
Play is Hope is a “coming into being” organization that creates opportunities for play in refugee camps and communities in Europe. In collaboration with local community organizers, we have worked in several refugee camps in Greece stimulating new conversations and building communities through performance. Responding to the leadership of young people Play is Hope has organized multicultural events and cosmopolitan trips:  music concerts, dance events and playgrounds in local cities.
As an example of the work Play is Hope is doing, we will discuss a poetry exhibition initiated in Lesvos by Sham, a young person from Pakistan. Together with Sham, we collaborated on the production of a series of interactive performance exhibitions: ‘Let’s Start a Dialogue’. The audience of both refugees and locals was invited to respond to the exhibits with their own creations which then become parts of the exhibition. ‘Let’s Start a Dialogue’ has already taken place in Berlin, Belgrade and New York. It is now heading to London and Thessaloniki with the goal of spreading across Europe. Sham’s poetry emerged in response to his fear of deportation to Pakistan. While the exhibition was developing, he has rejected asylum from Europe. Our playful dialogue that has involved by now a hundred of people around the world is a political act. Our politics are not attached to a specific ideology other than the discipline to keep on relating to everyone involved in play as creators of their lives and our history, especially under conditions that are limiting our ability to choose and create. 
Play is Hope (Thessoloniki, Greece)
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