The A4 in Bratislava has been a part of the voluntary network program European Voluntary Service for a few years now. Each September there is a new group of enthusiastic young people coming to gain working experience in different areas. This year we welcomed four volunteers in A4 – Nora from Spain, Natálie from Czech Republic, Dora from Poland and Minke from the Netherlands. The EVS enabled them to peek into the backstage of cultural centre organization and music and theatre production and also gave them the opportunity to realize their own projects connected with the A4 – publishing the monthly A4 Zine or organizing the popular Whatevs events.
Whatevs are happening that in their core connect the main goals of EVS activities and the philosophy of A4 as a cultural knot. The foreign EVS volunteers of different institutions and organizations in Slovakia meet regularly during these public events and share their experiences and stories and create a program dramaturgy for the outside visitors. A few editions of the Whatevs events had already taken place in A4 – which will also be hosting the last one of this season on the first of July.
The start of the summer and farewell to the current season will fill the whole A4 space on the 1st of July – starting at 4pm. There will be a few different events taking place that day – from a summer terrace party and a night music program to the EVS Whatevs reunion. The EVS volunteers will as usually not only bring each other together to share food and experiences but also provide A4 with a thoughtful program, this time a Gender Equality workshop put together by a french EVS volunteer of the Inex Slovakia organization, a theatre directing student Maud Hérissé.
Maud is, as well as the A4, aware of the current and prevalent flaws of the general gender (in)equality perception and the stereotyped and rigid male and female role division in our society (French or Slovak or anywhere else). Her workshop is open to different age groups and opens up a discussion about gender based prejudices, expectations and roles that we all are subjugated to. The basis of the workshop is communication, debate and “thinking-out-loud” (with a whiteboard handy to draw on and note down inputs) and an attempt to create a safe space in which Maud will provide us with the vocabulary for formulating the problem that will allow us to recognize it. Maud claims that it’s important to truly listen to each other rather than just try and give a simple answer right away. That could be a motto of the Gender Equality workshop in A4 but also a key to go by in real life.
The A4 and EVS volunteers are excited to invite you to start the summer and say goodbye to the succesful 2017/2018 season workshoping, debating and grilling. Come!