Suitcase of my life in Azerbaijan

Objectives of the Activity

As the last local activity of the culture of remembrance phase, this method focuses on intergenerational dialogue by actively engaging the young and old people to have a mututal understanding and exchange of their view in a creative way. Being in line with the project objectives, it involves people from different generations to analyze a conflict and its impact on people from a different angle. Since such activities are very rare in Azerbaijan, it is a great opportunity to promote an intergenerational dialogue in the peace processes and to motivate the young people to be willing to organize such events in the future. Particularly, in our context with the long-term existence of the Karabakh conflict and its effects on the lives of people, it is very important to raise awareness of young people on peaceful coexistence, intergenerational dialogue which is much needed by often disregarded and to reflect on the past events objectively through art. 

Description of the activity

Due to the unfamiliarity with the method and necessity of involving young and old people to the activity as participants, first we worked on how to adapt it to the local context. First, we forged a cooperation with a local youth NGO „Great Return“ which works largely with the conflict affected people. With their support, we were able to engage participants from the older generation which is very hard due to their lack of interest and awareness on intergenerational activities. Second, we announced an open call for participants to attract young people who are motivated to be part of such initiatives. Regarding the implementation of the activity, we decided to divide the workshops into 3 main parts. First, we organized an introductory workshop in which the information about the „Suitcase of my life“ method, its importance, the steps required to implement such an activity, as well as information about the donors, partners, project activities and objectives. Then we organized a preparatory meeting through which the participants got familiar with the idea of tandem creation, working in pairs and creativity workshops. In the final meeting, with the involvement of the young and old people, tandems were completed and were ready for display.

Quote of an involved young person

It is time to look at the past events from a different perspective for us. I think what is unique about this method is it combines art, creativity and real life experiences. 

Quote of an involved staff member

As a project staff member, I was not sure about how this method will work in our local context since it is very unlikely that young and old people come together equally for working on creativity workshops and intergenerational dialogue. I am happy that we were able to succeed at engaging the people from different generations and discussions.