On the 7th and 8th of May 2019, a workshop in the city of Guatemala was offered to librarians, educators, and members of the artistic community as well as staff from the Guatemalan government and representatives from other organizations including Bibliotecas Riecken, IBBY El Salvador/Biblioteca de los sueños; Libros para niños, Nicaragua; Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica and the Centro de Derechos Sociales de la Persona Migrante (CENDEROS). The workshop was attended by 52 people with “Cooperación Alemana en Guatemala, GIZ” supporting 12 participants for travel and accommodation which meant that educators from indigenous groups were able to come to the city and several books in different Mayan-root languages were included in the readings. Organized by the Instituto de Investigación y Proyección sobre Dinámicas Globales y Territoriales of the Universidad Rafael Landívar in Guatemala, Dr Magda García Von Hoegen, researcher at this Institute, and her assistant, Mirena Martínez worked with the Mexican team to organize, deliver and record the research-based workshop “Literatura infantil, lectura y espacios seguros: un maletín de apoyo para mediadores”. During the two days, Mónica Zárate (Ministry of Culture, México) and Cutzi Quezada (Universidad Iberoamericana, México) delivered the workshop developed by the Research Workshop on working in critical contexts of post-conflict displacement. Dr García shared the experience and findings of her research project, “Tejiendo la voz: arte como plataforma de diálogos interculturales” (Weaving the voice: Art as a platform of intercultural dialogues) where the processes of creativity and art are used for social cohesion and transformation. Participants carried out activities including storytelling, annotating picturebooks and created videos.
For a full account of the workshop (in Spanish), go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pyb1rPMXaIw&t=334s
On the 27th of January 2019, Julie McAdam and Susanne Abou Ghaida organized a one-day workshop for picturebook mediators. Dina El-Abed from the Catholic Relief Services and Mustapha Shoukry from Duwwar, who had attended a similar workshop in 2018, took part in delivering the training. The workshop was attended by 20 people, representing seven NGO’s and organizations. The workshop aimed to strengthen knowledge and understanding of how to draw on the potential of children’s literature to address the educational and emotional needs of displaced children, young people and their families. The sessions presented multimodal texts, introduced the mirror-windows-doors metaphor for book selection and discussed the visual grammar of picturebooks. During the day, various strategies to capture the responses of children were discussed and put into practice by the participants. In the final session, the participants, working in groups, chose one picturebook and designed creative response activities.
On the 26th of January, a storytelling workshop was organized in the American University in Cairo. There were 40 attendees, including AUC staff and students, members of Egyptian NGO’s and various individuals. The event was an opportunity to present the project and showcase the work done in Egypt by the Catholica Relief Services as well as ASSABIL, a new partner organization from Lebanon. This was followed by a session on how to select picturebooks to use with children, young people and their families. The participants working in groups developed their own criteria and shared it with each other. The day also included a storytelling performance by Haitham Shoukry in which he demonstrated various techniques such as reading in both colloquial and standard Arabic and using props. Mustafa Shoukry from Duwwar conducted a short interactive workshop that encouraged the participants to respond to The Arrival by Shaun Tan through drama. The day ended with a discussion of what events the project should conduct in the future and how those working with vulnerable individuals can ensure their wellbeing of the people.
On the 4th and 5th of February 2018, Julie McAdam, Susanne Abou Ghaida and Dr Azadeh Emadi conducted a two-day workshop with picturebook mediators from St. Andrews Refugee Services (STARS), the Catholic Relief Services, EducateMe and Duwwar. The workshop aimed to strengthen knowledge and understanding of how to draw on the potential of children’s literature to address the educational and emotional needs of displaced children, young people and their families. The sessions presented multimodal texts, introduced the mirror-windows-doors metaphor for book selection and using creative strategies to capture the responses of children. A portion of the workshop was dedicated to developing the skills of the participants in decoding images in picturebooks as well as in video recording storytelling and activity sessions in an ethical manner.
On the 2nd of February 2018, Julie McAdam and Susanne Abou Ghaida conducted a workshop with 10 educators working with Syrian children in community schools. The workshop took place in the headquarters of Fard Foundation, an organization that provides humanitarian aid and educational services to the Syrian refugee population in the 6th of October city in Egypt. During the day, the participants discussed texts that had served as mirrors, windows and doors for them, were exposed to picturebooks from Egypt and other Arab countries and learned strategies to elicit the responses of the children they are working with to picturebooks. During the course of the day, they developed their own ideas for activities.