By Irina Mikava, Civic Education Teacher, trainer, Team member of ProActive Group Georgia
We implemented the ‚Suitcase of My Life‘ method in Bolnisi municipality and Tbilisi. Through this method, we experienced firsthand the significance of theoretical-practical workshops in creating and presenting our own life suitcases. It underscored the importance of capturing and sharing the intricate details of our personal journeys.
During the creative process, individuals crafted and shared their life stories, animating their experiences while recalling both the hardships and positive achievements. Initially, when forming tandems, it was essential for participants to engage in communication and familiarization activities, fostering connections among people with diverse backgrounds, ultimately culminating in the creation of a collective suitcase.
The introductory meeting heightened sensitivity and mutual acceptance, generating a positive atmosphere between tandem partners. Adding symbols of life experiences, such as photographs of parents and objects retrieved from personal archives, evoked deeper emotions during the presentation. Additionally, the participation of individuals from different age groups interwove and united the histories of various times and periods within a single suitcase.
The young people involved in this process felt empowered as they realized their ability to start afresh, collaborate, and create alongside individuals with diverse interests and backgrounds. Together, they shared honest, authentic stories that spanned memories from pre-war, war, and post-war periods, evoking profound emotions and excitement.
This method taught us once and for all the power of the story, the importance of emotion management, sharing, audience interest. Emotion was a key draw during the Suitcase of Life presentation, with people telling stories, getting emotional while sharing painful details. Today, this method continues to be used in schools, it is nice to see information about this method in different spaces, we see young people who independently manage activities using this method.