World Youth Alliance

Europe | Viviamo! Summer School  


“The Drama of Human Existence”
6th – 17th August 2007, Targu Mures

Viviamo! We live!
Participation in 2007 Viviamo! Summer School will be a unique experience which will allow us to reflect in a new way on what it means to live.  Viviamo! has developed into a major global project of World Youth Alliance featuring summer camps and grassroots development projects, coordinated from different WYA Regional Offices in cooperation with chosen Partner Organisations. We encourage you to join the group of international participants at this year’s European Summer School in Targu Mures, Transylvania. Our reflections on ‘The Drama of Human Existence’ will take a variety of forms, capturing something of the dynamism of human choices, emotions and discovery.

The role of experience in widening the horizon of human existence
The innovative approach of the Viviamo! Summer School combines the benefits of formal and non-formal education. Participants will profit from formal lectures and workshops led by outstanding academic figures. They will build solidarity through charitable work and team activities whilst gaining insights through personal interaction with other Viviamo participants, local hosting families and members of the local community. Moreover, the learning process will be enhanced through an intense encounter with literature and performing arts. Participants will be enriched by new experiences of artistic work and will be given the option of participating in special working groups dedicated to drama or poetry. A professional Shakespearean actor will guide some of the students in a venture to produce a public theatre performance of Karol Wojtyła’s play, The Jeweller’s Shop. A young British poet will lead another group in discovering the role of poetry as an expression of human experience – a valuable inspiration to reflection.

Structure & Substance
Every morning, all participants will gather together for a series of academic classes led by university professors, guest lecturers or WYA moderators. Professor Czesław Porebski - a world renowned scholar - will return to the Summer School to present lectures on ‘The Philosophical Relevance of Literature’ and on ‘Persons, Communities and Values’. Morning classes will be followed by workshops and discussions; the local youth centre provides the ideal environment for academic learning as well as interaction and group work. All this is supplemented by first hand exposure to international perspectives on global policy issues which will be the focus of one of the four working groups as well as general sessions of the second week of the school. Film nights, cultural excursions, swimming evenings and literature reading sessions are intended to be fora in which human experiences and insights combine with ascetic work and reflection - generating an intensity of joy, laughter and drama which is unique to the Summer School.

Literary and Human Encounters as Junctions on life’s Crossroads
“Viviamo!” was developed to commemorate the United Nations 2006 celebration of Habitat notion. Each year brings with it the opportunity to adopt a new leitmotif for the school’s programme. Literature will guide us through this year’s endeavour in a struggle to make sense of choices one faces on a daily basis. Crossroads - understood as ‘a point at which a vital decision has to be made’ – a choice of which way to go – is an idea which runs through the school’s curriculum. We believe that literature is a story told by life’s crossroads – points at which choices are made and decisions are taken. It is for us to make the most of this story and reflect upon other people’s (true or fictional) experience in order to become more aware of ourselves and our social surroundings. We trust that literature can serve as a junction – a counterpoint – a chance to reflect. Our choices shape us – it is therefore good to know what we choose.