The Caravan Project is non- profit organisation consisted by interdisciplinary team of filmmakers, architects, anthropologists, designers, economists and strategy planners that supports and promotes participatory arts practices through culture, informal education, social and solidarity-based economy methods based on citizen participation. Working with various disenfranchised communities and using storytelling and documentary filmmaking as tool for empowerment, caravan project acts act for social inclusion, intercultural dialogue and active citizenship. We work with partners across Greece, Europe and the Mediterranean area.
In 2011, we started a journey throughout the country, aiming to bring to the foreground human stories that have the power to inspire, to move and to create spaces of self-reflection and metapraxis.With documentary, photography and narrative as a vehicle, we traveled from Pomakochoria to Crete, from Kastellorizo to Grammos mountain range, from Mani to Mount Athos, creating a small ark of human stories, through which we give prominence to diversity and to pluralism. We presented screenings in squares and villages, universities and schools, penitentiary institutions and vulnerable social groups, inaugurating a creative dialogue on the meaning and the dynamics released from each story. For the following two years we continue our journey, bringing untold stories to light, giving the floor to people who hadn’t been given voice to express their own experience. Equipped with two circular Mongolian tents (yurts) and a motor vehicle, we stay in seven Greek towns, inviting people from each local society to actively participate in a series of cultural and educational actions. Inside the large yurt, we host a multimedia exhibition open to the public and guided by these stories and by our journey, within the frame of which we effectuate educational programs for pupils. Inside the small yurt, through the “Story Workshop”, we forward an educational action for adults and we invite local residents to collect stories that affect them, contributing to an active Story Bank (caravanproject.org) created for the first time in Greece. Individual happenings, such as documentary screenings, artistic workshops and community actions will be framing our action.
The last four years we work with various disenfranchised communities all over Greece, using storytelling and documentary filmmaking as tool for empowerment. Caravan project team act act for social inclusion intercultural dialogue and active citizenship. What makes our methodology and our media practices distinct is: the use of innovative storytelling techniques, interdisciplinary approach, close collaborations with the communities involved, in-depth relation with the subject/topic we document and the use of innovative media technology. Our strategy and methodology is based on a co-creative, collaborative process . ‘Collaborative’ and ‘collective’ imply a shared vision and implementation process, rather than focus on the ability of the most empowered people in the room to implement their own agenda. Our practise focuses on things like process, rather than simply final, privileged product; What is important for us Is the constant evaluation of the process which is based on a formed but not rigid methodology. Our experience in the past working in difficult neighborhoods or with marginalized communities (Metaxourgeio, Roma, Prisons, Refugees) taught us that after a rigorous research on the community on the topic, we form our methodology and practices adjusting every time differently to the needs of each community, learning from them, often improvising or create different dynamics on the project if necessary
Our aim is to create a meeting place, addressing an open call to the local societies to explore passages together in places where memory, imagination and experience reside, thus eliminating isolation and highlighting the fruits of gatherings, through which human expression is enriched and diversity of creative forms of action is encouraged. In such turbulent times, documenting and diffusing human stories is a revolutionary practice which strengthens our resistance, reinforcing the bonds between us and whirling our thirst for life again.