A Kidz Connect project connecting youth refugee communities in ViennaÂ and Berlin is in the works. The program, initiated by Cabula 6 and the dance organization Tanzquartier Wien, will involve bringing kids together from Berlin and the Macondo community on the outskirts of Vienna.
The teens will meet via videoconferencing to create a dance theater performance together online. We will facilitate a process in which we ask the kids to make dance phrases based on the kind of movement and folk dances they may have learned in their native countries, thereby allowing them to reconnect with their native cultures through dance and providing an outlet for expression and sharing between cultures.
[Images from Cabula6 in the Macondo]
What they all have in common is that they haveÂ fled their native countries due to violence and hardship. As refugees, acclimating to a new culture can be a jarring experience. We hope to provide a virtual cultural exchange through shared creativity that will enable the youth to gain a sense of empowerment as they explore their identities through dance, inspired by their native cultures as well as their newly acquired cultures.
There will also be a workshop element inside the virtual world Second Life which will provide the students with the ability to explore identity through the use of avatars and roleplaying. The workshop will enable them to expand their notions of evolving identity, making it dynamic and creative precisely at a moment in their lives when theirÂ multiple identities are both in flux and in danger.
Kidz Connect Vienna<>Berlin will focus on questions about the complexity of contemporary identity while acclimating to a newÂ place, meeting new people, and adjusting to culture shock, and will offer the spaceÂ for alternate, expansive identity through shared creation in a virtual world, independent ofÂ their bodies and histories and hinged, rather, on the scope of theirÂ fantasies and dreams. They will be able to locate their past identity throughÂ personal memories and “traditional” dance and storytelling, while exploring ideas of current identity and cultural confluence by sharing these stories and dances in a virtual space which encourages collaboration and transcends cultural boundaries, thus offering the basis for creative interaction within their various “real life” worlds.