A Futures Literacy – Theatre Lab (FLTL) for asylum-seeking unaccompanied minors

Asylum-seeking unaccompanied minors, one of the most vulnerable groups, were the beneficiaries of a future oriented, action learning activity that UNESCO Chair on Futures Research (FORTH/PRAXI Network) and Iliaktida organized in the island of Lesvos on 13 & 14 July, 2019.

38 asylum-seeking unaccompanied minors, 11-18 years old, from 10 countries (Afghanistan, Cameroon, Egypt, Guine, Iraq, Nigeria, Republic of the Congo, Sierra Leona, Somalia, Syria) participated in the Futures Literacy-Theatre Lab on the future of Education. 

The main objective of the FLTL was the development of futures literacy capability, as a means to foster soft skills related to self-empowerment, agency, self –awareness, creative thinking and intercultural competence. Tools from the theatrical arsenal of Brazilian practitioner and theorist Augusto Boal (Image Theatre, Forum Theatre) were adapted, deployed and tested during the Lab.

UNESCO Chair on Futures Research and Middlesex University worked jointly on the design of the Lab with Riel Miller’s support (Head of Futures Literacy, UNESCO). The FLTL served as pilot for the development of a Futures Literacy Lab prototype targeting vulnerable youth.

“Although the preparation for this particular Lab was quite stressful, it proved to be a very creative process. We had to overcome a number of challenges mostly related to participants’ background and needs. The enthusiasm and active engagement of participants rewarded us. It was an incredible experience that taught us a lot and gave us food for thought. It confirmed the importance of futures thinking as an enabler for self-redefinition, empowerment and resilience. The next step will be running a Futures Literacy – Theatre Prototype targeting vulnerable youth”, mentioned the Head of UNESCO Chair on Futures Research, Dr. Epaminondas Christofilopoulos.

The activity is part of UNESCO’s Futures Literacy Programme, currently implemented in Greece by UNESCO Chair on Futures Research in FORTH. The activity was supported by Middlesex University and LATRA.

The activity will be presented as a case study in the forthcoming Anticipation Conference in Oslo.

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