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Department of Social Sciences

ViSAS – Virtual Social Art Stage

04/01/2021 - 03/31/2023

ViSAS pursues the aim of a transformation of artistic methods of youth work into the digital space on a European level. The transfer is intended to make youth work in Europe sustainable and innovative.

Flag of the EU. Next to it blue lettering: "Financed by the European Union".

European Union - Erasmus+ Youth in Action

European partners from four countries have set themselves the goal of using ViSAS to awaken the intrinsic potential of young people on a broad scale, taking into account European ideas and values such as networking, solidarity and transnational cultural exchange, while at the same time promoting the urgently needed transformation of artistic methods into the digital space. ViSAS, through its implementation in a broad circle of users and multipliers, will serve to strongly confront highly topical challenges in European youth work arising from the ongoing Covid19 pandemic, overall societal developments, as well as the digital transformation, in order to master them together.

The planned outcomes include a "playbook" that will serve as an action guide for other institutions and practitioners to create their own virtual space to be used artistically, by giving ideas on how to implement hybrid artistic youth work and vividly communicating our concept for it. In addition, a digital platform in the form of a virtual space will be developed in which young people can be artistically active, present their results and get in touch with each other. This will be released for use as a field-tested prototype. The scientific support provided by the sfs will focus in particular on the effects of hybrid youth work and discuss the question of whether artistic work can be digitized.

The partner institutions will integrate the approach into their daily work with young people and it will be freely available to interested parties. In a series of multiplier events, in addition to the presentation of the products by the partners, the virtual space will be demonstrated by the young people and can be practically tried out by the guests.

The current Covid19 pandemic reinforces the social and economic challenges in Europe. Youth work is as important with regard to the current restrictions as it is problematic in its implementation. Against this background, possibilities and ways of activating the upcoming generation are being sought. ViSAS aims at a sustainable and innovative youth work in Europe and strives for a transformation of artistic methods into the digital space. This also addresses the time after the pandemic, as the innovative shift of artistic methods into the digital space is considered urgent even without the Covid19 pandemic.

To achieve the goal, a virtual space will be created that, together with ideas and concepts of its use in youth work and scientifically proven effects, will enable an innovative approach of hybrid artistic youth work. The approach is intended to strengthen the creativity and creative ability of the target group, promote social inclusion and enable a new continuity in European youth work. Across national borders, it keeps young people actively connected, promotes democratic awareness, intercultural competence, and encourages responsibility and self-determination. The European dimension and effectiveness of the educational approach "social art" that we represent can thus grow and involve both young people from all partner countries, including students of the TU Dortmund, and professionals in the development process.

In the consortium, experts from the youth education and art/culture sectors, researchers and e-learning developers, and the target group of partially disadvantaged young people come together in successive activities to achieve the project goal and disseminate the results. Cross-national (digital) project meetings enable an intensive and concentrated form of European cooperation in the course of the project.

Two thematically consecutive short-term training courses for professionals create the joint development of the necessary competencies in relation to the hybrid form of youth work to be developed. Principles of artistic youth work and digital competence are trained and prepare the staff directly for the implementation of the two mixed mobilities with the target group. In these, the young people work cross-nationally in the digital space and at two real meetings in Spain and Italy on the performative realization of a theater piece. The two Mixed Mobilities thus simultaneously serve as a moment of participation of the young people in the development of the project results and as a test of a hybrid format of youth work, in which virtual and analog activities are combined in an enriching way.

In the course of the creation of the project results, reference is made again and again to the results from transnational project meetings, further training and mixed mobilities in order to utilize the experiences from the practical work. Within the framework of the scientific monitoring and evaluation by the sfs, a mixed-method approach is used, which provides for the implementation of interviews, the use of questionnaires as well as participant observation.