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Sep 17 2013

2013.09 Young oarsmen-9

Meeting "Young oarsmen facing the waves" / "Jeunes Rameurs face aux voilers"

The EuroMed meeting entitled "Young oarsmen facing the waves" / "Jeunes rameurs face aux voilers" was held in the leisure center of Hammamet, Tunisia, from 17  to 24 September 2013, with the participation of delegations from Tunisia, Morocco, Italy, France, Portugal and Romania.

Name: Young oarsmen facing the waves/ Jeunes Rameurs face aux voilers Duration: 17-24 September 2013  Location: Hammamet, Tunisia
Organizers: Association Euro-Méditerranéenne des Echanges, Volontariats, Evénements  Supporters: Ana Lindh Foundation  
Romanian participants: Andreea Dumitrescu (F)

This project was inspired by an issue commonly affecting the both sides of the Mediterranean: the illegal migration, which unfortunately has become a welfare dream for some Tunisian youngsters and a nightmare for some Europeans. We think that this project brought a clear support for this matter, for the new Tunisia, especially in this time of difficult democratic transition.

Imagine yourself in a boat, trying to fight the unstoppable waves of an agitated sea. The boat is overcharged and the journey is not safe, not to mention that the destination is insecure and dangerous.  For many Tunisian emigrants, this journey is a choice that can bring them closer to a life they dreamed of…but unfortunately, for some of them, this choice is also their last choice, as they meet tragic end, in the turbulent waters.  Why do they choose to embark themselves in such a dangerous journey, who is responsible for the massive illegal migration and how can it be reduced or stopped? These are a few questions that the EuroMed training entitled “Jeunes rameurs face aux voilers” (fr. “Young oarsmen facing the waves”), held in Hammamet, Tunisia,  between 17-24 September tried to raise awareness upon.
The participants, a group of active youngsters from Tunisia, Morocco, France, Italy, Portugal and Romania, discussed, during one week, through debates and workshops, the problems caused more and more by the illegal emigration. They finally came up with a totem depicting their vision on the clandestine migration. By the end of the week, this totem was planted on a highly circulated area in Hammamet, near the port, in order for everybody to see it and reflect on the matter. Those with acting skills chose to put on a forum theater play that was presented to the people from a local neighborhood. As the play showed a case of tragic illegal migration, the locals had the important role of changing the end of the play, by pointing out the bad practices that lead to the illegal migration, and interfering with the actions and the actors, as to create a happy ending. Another group of participants used their painting skills and created four imaginative and inspiring paintings on the theme of the project. As for those who were passionate about movies, they got the chance to work with a professional and to create a short mute movie on the same theme as the others groups.
The whole week was a fantastic mixture of fun activates and serious debates and presentations on a matter that is controversial and haunting among the Mediterranean countries: the migration, with focus on the kind of migration that leads to more and more victims: the illegal migration. Most of the participants have already had experiences in this field, and have studied it from different points of view and the fact that we represented a vast cultural, religious, linguistic and ethnic diversity only led to a more fruitful collaboration. 
(Andreea Dumitrescu)