A 'zoom' tells in brief about an activity, e.g. a workshop, an event or a particular approach: how it was carried out and why it was valuable. Download all zooms as PDF
We organized ourselves through groups on Facebook. The main group, ‘Codesign in Kosovo’, was created for everyone involved in the project, and we also created smaller task specific work groups, e.g. for the ones who were responsible for the communication strategy of the project. The Facebook groups were used for various tasks: planning and inviting to meetings, workshops or events (see “Making a dialogue cinema”), sharing summaries, exchanging photos from our everyday and sharing common project photo albums that we put together on Flickr. We also used the chat functionality of Facebook, together with instant messaging services like Viber and WhatsApp, to do long distance interviews between Denmark and Kosovo. This allowed the Danish codesigners to ask follow up questions to the snapshots taken by the students from the University of Prishtina in the beginning of the project.
Modern technology allows young people to constantly document and share their everyday through digital platforms. The codesigners from KADK acted on this by inviting the University of Prishtina students to share images from their everyday life. In response, the codesigners from KADK would send similar pictures to the students from their everyday life in Copenhagen. The challenge was prompted with opening questions such as; “Where are you together with friends?”, “What do you do together?” and “How do you use your local neighborhood?”. Our photos were sent through email and social media and shared within our fellow Facebook group.
The codesigners from KADK invited the students from University of Prishtina and young people from both Podujevë/Podujevo and Gjilan/Gnjilane for a series of three-hour walks in their cities to talk about public places. Throughout the walks we shared the process of documenting the places and conversations with each other by taking turns holding the camera. In some cases, the walks led to places of recreation, some being hidden or secret from the rest of the public. In other cases, the highlighted places represented a missing link or a concern, e.g. an empty library, high-fenced public buildings etc. We later used the material from the Prishtinë/Priština city walks as the basis for the “Everyday stories as a game of Domino” workshop.
Throughout the project, the codesigners from KADK focused heavily on creating an open and transparent environment for all partners. This included communicating regularly through a central Facebook group and having the UN common premises as the center of the project and as a place where students from University of Prishtina were also invited in, even when the codesigners from KADK were not present. Events and materials of the project were always visible during our different meetings: Pictures were printed out and put on display at tables so that everyone was able to get an insight into the subject material. We could refer to specific pictures in discussions and rearrange them to create new meaning.
“Pick two domino cards that tell something important. Present your picks to the group, and make sense of the issues by combining all your cards on a poster.” With these simple rules we worked together in groups combined of five people from KADK, University of Prishtina and the UN. A domino card consisted of two halves: a photo and a snippet of text or quote related to the photo. The photo and text on the domino cards were the very material we had produced ourselves from “Exchanging snapshots” and the “City walks” around Kosovo, and the material could be combined in new ways when the cards were placed like domino bricks. Through the game, we transformed the unsorted pile of stories and photos into four posters, one for each group, that pointed towards issues of vacant public space, libraries as youth spaces and much more that could be explored in the following parts of the project. Each group presented their poster and issues for the rest of the participants.
We realized that it is difficult to talk about youth engagement without concrete examples of what it can be. We went looking for already existing stories or activities and asked the question “Could this be youth engagement?”. Equipped with camcorders we visited the young people and sites of the specific activities that we had come upon through our prior activities in Gjilan/Gnjilane and Prishtinë/Priština. Together, in short 2 hour sessions, we recorded material about the specific story or activity, e.g. a protest at the university or local bloggers. Afterwards, we edited the material into short, concrete examples of youth engagement. The documentaries were shown at the dialogue cinema in Gjilan/Gnjilane (see “Making a dialogue cinema”).
The codesigners from KADK, University of Prishtina students and the Gjilan/Gnjilane students transformed the local sports hall in Gjilan/Gnjilane into a temporary cinema and showed five films about youth engagement (see “Youth engagements on film”), followed by a documentary about Kosovo rural life from the 70’s. With the documentaries as an inspiration, the audience, who counted more than 100 young people, shared their own stories of engagement on pieces of paper and hung them for display around the cinema screen. The process of engaging the audience with dialogue cards was facilitated by Bardha from University of Prishtina. The result was 24 different stories of youth engagement in Gjilan/Gnjilane.
It was crucial for us to have a broad audience of young people attending the dialogue cinema with their inputs on youth engagement. Joined by the Gjilan/Gnjilane students, some of which were featured in the micro-documentaries, we promoted the event by setting up flyers and posters at high schools, universities and hangout spots in the city. This also enabled us to talk directly to people about the event. An online Facebook page was also created to spread news of the event through the network of the already involved people.
One outcome of the “Everyday stories as a game of domino” workshop was a proposal to create an event in public space centered around building a temporary hang out space: “Buildnic” was the working title. Some of the students from University of Prishtina had invited a circle of friends to take part in a planning meeting a few days prior to the event, together with the codesigners from KADK. Plenty of ideas were proposed, but in the end it was clear that none of the participants at the meeting had a personal stake in the event. Compared to the dialogue cinema, where the Gjilan/Gnjilane students and their projects were featured in films that were shown at an event they themselves were helping create, the Buildnic event was lacking a purpose and a reason for engaging. Therefore, the codesigners from KADK decided to cancel the event.